Employment: Affirmative Action

Since 1961, when President John F. Kennedy introduced the concept of affirmative action as a means of leveling out employment and educational differences in White and minority populations, the concept has been controversial. While advocates argue that it helps to make up for centuries of discrimination against minorities, opponents contend that affirmative action punishes people who were not responsible for that discrimination by continuing to deny them equal opportunities. President Lyndon Johnson initiated affirmative action in federal contracts through Executive Order 11246 in 1965, paving the way for the hiring of minorities and banning discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin. President Richard Nixon continued federal support for affirmative action, adding gender as a minority classification. In the 1970s, passage of ...

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