During the Civil Rights Movement there was many successes and some failures. The Civil Rights Movement consists of many different things. The one event that I believe has failed is some ways is Affirmative Action. Affirmative action programs promote equal representation of minority groups in the American workplace and public schools. It seeks to remedy the effects of discrimination of specific groups through the force of laws and regulations. In practice, affirmative action can be passive efforts or an aggressive approach to correct historic patterns of racial discrimination. Unfortunately, through the years, affirmative action has changed from equal opportunity for everyone to preferential treatment of minority groups.
The original concept involved only passive efforts such as encouraging institutions to make deliberate attempts to include minorities in employment and in college enrollment. In recent years, affirmative action has become an aggressive effort that requires and measures minority representation. As a result, affirmative action has produced undesirable problems in the American culture. President John F. Kennedy first used the term affirmative action in 1961. He signed an Executive Order that stated the contractor would take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and employees are treated during their employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin.
Affirmative action was created to give minorities equal educational and employment opportunities. It ahs helped many minority people attend institutions of higher education and obtain better job opportunities, but it has failed to reach the goal of alleviating racial discrimination. Racial discrimination is prevalent in the hiring practices used by businesses in America. Today, the best qualified applicant applying for a job will not necessarily be the applicant that is hired. Supporters of affirmative action insist that minorities are trainable even if they are not the best-qualified candidates. Opponents of affirmative action argue that minorities who get the jobs do not get them on their own merit but obtain them because of the color of their skin. Some employers have to resort to hiring under qualified applicants over qualified applicants in order to satisfy an affirmative action program. Failure to meet numerical goals may cause some businesses to suffer consequences.
Affirmative action should be used to increase opportunity, determined by ability. It should not guarantee personal success because of color. Some white people today also feel the effects of racial discrimination. They contend that employers are in fact discrimination against white applicants on the basis of race. Some opponents of affirmative action feel that whites are experiencing reverse discrimination. They feel an innocent third party is paying for the historical wrongful acts of others. Affirmative action programs were established to fight racial discrimination. That need is still here today because affirmative action has not achieved its purpose. Affirmative action is an imperfect solution to the problem of racism.
However, it is important to recognize that affirmative action has contributed greatly to the diversification of schools and businesses. It has played a big part in making American far richer in opportunity for minority groups than it was years ago. If it could be utilized as originally intended, people of different genders, races and ethnicity would be treated as equals in the American workplace. The ideal of a color-blind society is an honorable and worthy goal.