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Dr Turner Philosophy 431 17 September 2001 Is Affirmative Action a Workable Matrix Affirmative Action policies are used in the United States to increase opportunities for minorities by favoring them in hiring promotion contracting and school admissions Minorities are defined by race ethnicity or gender Affirmative action has been accepted by governments businesses and educational institutions to remedy the effects of past discrimination against a group It has been widely criticized for creating reverse discrimination in the workplace and at schools Until the 1960s barriers prevented blacks and other minorities from entering many jobs and educational institutions Born in the midst of the modern civil rights movement affirmative action was originally a phrase in a government order demanding that employers look beyond traditional labor sources in order to recruit African Americans for jobs that had previously been closed to them1 The link between affirmative action and civil rights was first made by John Kennedy in 1961 just months after taking office On March 6 Kennedy signed Executive Order 10925 which established the Presidents Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity and spelling out the obligations of contractors doing business with the government The contractor will 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 origin2 This order also provided for a Presidents Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity PCEEO headed by the vice-president and staffed by representatives from agencies of the government that often gave contracts to private companies The PCEEO was in charge of compliance and required companies with federal contracts to file compliance reports showing that they were not discriminating A company that did discriminate could lose its federal contracts and even be barred from future government work3 Kennedys executive order was well intentioned but it did not go very far toward eliminating job discrimination A study of ninety-one government contractors
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