Presidents And Affirmative Action Essay Research Paper

Presidents And Affirmative Action Essay, Research Paper

Presidents and Affirmative Action

In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued Executive Order #11246 at Howard

University that required federal contractors to undertake affirmative action to

increase the number of minorities that they employ. He wanted to ensure that

minorities were recruited to have real opportunities to be hired and then

eventually get a promotion.

In 1969, the Department of Labor exposed widespread racial discrimination of the

Construction Department so President Richard M. Nixon decided to encorporate a

system of “goals and timetables” to evaluate federal construction companies

according to affirmative action. This idea of “goals and timetables” provided

guidelines for companies to follow and comply with affirmative action


During the presidency of Gerald R. Ford, he extended affirmative action to

people with disabilities (3) and Vietnam veterns (4) but there were no goals or

timetables for these two groups. This type of affirmative action required

recruitment efforts, accessability, accommodation and reviews of physical and

mental job qualifications.

President Jimmy Carter consolidated all federal agencies that were required by

law to follow the affirmative action play into the Department of Labor. Before

Carter did this, each agency handled affirmative action in its own individual

way, some were not as consistant as other agencies were. He created the Office

of Federal Contract Compliance Program (OFCCP) in 1978 to ensure compliance with

the affirmative action policies.

Affirmative action began to go downhill when Ronald Reagan and later George Bush

came into office. Affirmative action lost some gains it had made and was mor or

less ignored by the Republicans in the White House and in Congress. Affirmative

action was silently being “killed” by our federal administrators. But among this

destruction there was one positive aspect, the passage of Americans with

Disabilities Act of 1990 (5).

Finally to the Presidency of Bill Clinton. The Republicans are attempting to

scare people into changing their party lines by misusing affirmative action.

They are saying that affirmative action is nothing more than a quota (6) or

reverse discrimination (7).

As you can see, there have been many additions to the policy of affirmative

action. People from the Vietnam War, people with disabilties, and minority

groups have made gains in the workforce but more research needs to be conducted

as to the qualifications of all of these people to make sure that race is not a

determining factor in the giving and receiving of jobs. The best person for the

job, no matter what race, should be given the job.


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