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Affirmative Action

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Essay title: Affirmative Action

Why was affirmative action started? Affirmative Action was started to increase the representation of women and minorities in areas of employment, education, and business from which they have been historically excluded. Affirmative Action levels the playing field so people of color and all women have the chance to compete in education and in business.

The policy was introduced 1965 by President Johnson as a method of redressing discrimination that had persisted in spite of civil rights laws and constitutional guarantees. Affirmative action focused in particular on education and jobs. Affirmative Action policies required that active measures be taken to ensure that blacks and other minorities enjoyed the same opportunities for promotions, salary increases, career advancement, school admissions, scholarships, and financial aid that had been the nearly exclusive province of whites.

By the late 1970’s flaws in the program began to show up. In 1973 a thirty-three year-old Caucasian male named Allan Bakke applied to and was denied admission to the University of California Medical School at Davis. In 1974 he filed another application and was once again rejected, even though his test scores were considerably higher than various minorities that were admitted under affirmative action. This program specified that 16 out of 100 possible spaces for the students in the medical program were set aside solely for minorities, while the other 84 slots were for anyone who qualified, including minorities. What happened to Bakke is known as reverse discrimination. Bakke felt his 14th amendment rights were violated so he

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