A number of cases can be evidenced where people of color, working class women, white women as well as men of all races who were facing exclusion (segregated) from educational opportunities or jobs, or were barred from accessing further opportunities after they were admitted, have managed to overturn this and got the access through affirmative action. This became a reality after these policies got executive and judicial support that opened the way that otherwise could have never been achieved. Because of these gains, real changes can now be seen.
The ongoing debate on affirmative action tends to be more than legal issues. Finding ways of ending racism will always be a responsibility and a challenge to every individual within a society, not leaving out the organizations and institutions which have got greater impact to our lives. Nevertheless, there still exists vocal minority that is for the idea that affirmative action should be stopped not as just a legal remedy but as a social commitment as well. As we now see the social changes that affirmative action has brought, there is a group that says that the society has gone too far in correcting racial injustice. They do not realize that they fail to challenge the traditional forms of preference and discrimination that will always favor the educated, the rich, white people and men.
Our society is involved in affirmative action in various aspects on top of leveling the playing field for people of color. This is on the background of hiring and recruiting preferences for veterans, women as well as children from particular quarters is still experienced, (Vernellia R. Randall, 1997). A special economic incentive for purchase of U.S. made products, import quotas against foreign goods, as well as agricultural and textile subsidiaries are on practice. For a long time such overrepresentation of white people, middle class in the well paid jobs, in the professions, and universities have been evidenced.
The establishment of affirmative action was based on the objective of stopping racial discrimination. Through Federal Government, it was mandated with the intention of redressing racial inequality and injustice in a series of steps starting with executive order that was issued in 1961 by President Kennedy. The 1964, Rights Act made discrimination to be illegal and brought equal employment opportunities for every American without considering the cultural background, race, religion or color. Through executive order 11246, President Johnson mandated affirmative action goals for each and every federally funded program and established monitoring as well as enforcement of affirmative action programs out of the White House as well as into the Labor Department. All these came about because of the response to the huge mobilization of African-Americans in addition to white supporters that pushed for integration and racial justice during 1950s and early 1960s.
The objective of the affirmative action policy at first was to correct institutional discrimination where policies, decisions and procedures that seemed to be of discriminatory and had negative impact towards people of color were to be addressed. Policies of affirmative action have helped to address and redress systematic political and economic discrimination against any group of people that have been undergoing discrimination or are underrepresented within a given institution.
Those who have been benefiting and are still yet to achieve its benefits totally out of these programs are poor and working class people, black men and women, people with disabilities. The basic emphasis here has been to address the issue of racial discrimination, which has not been achieved to the level that open up all opportunities to all people regardless of the color, background, social status in the community.
The role of affirmative action has strongly been felt in mitigating the historical effects of institutional racism. Another role of it is on countering the effects of current discrimination, whether intentional or not. We cannot assume that the entire white have good intentions. A section believe that every person is entitle to equal chance, however they still hold deep-seated prejudices against people of color, (Claude M. Steele, 1992). There are existing evidences showing the still ongoing practices of discrimination within the organizations and in people yet they are professing agreement with equal…