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Affirmative Action; The Noble Concept Of Equal Opportunity

            Affirmative action policy in professional and university atmospheres was first implemented by an initiative in the Department of Labor under the administration of Richard Nixon as to purposely create equal educational and employment opportunities. However, since its official establishment in 1969 and long before, affirmative action has increasingly become the subject of conflict and dispute in American culture. Though its intentions were noble, affirmative action has become a clouded issue surrounded by controversy.
             Even in 1969 affirmative action was nothing new, in 1954, when the Supreme Court ruled on Brown versus Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas the African American community had legal restraints removed that had long kept them at a distinct disadvantage. Minorities had long been imposed to prejudice, especially from the greater white population. However the Brown decision failed to cease many white advantages and professional supremacies; "it merely allowed Blacks to enter the arena of competition," (Greenberg 300)." The Brown decision only cracked the door of segregation of public facilities it did nothing to help minorities in the workplace. After the United States Congress passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964 minorities were no longer prohibited from the use of public facilities and job discrimination was no longer legally sanctioned. It became apparent that certain business traditions, such as seniority status and aptitude tests, prevented total equality in employment. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a major step in reducing de jure or law based discrimination but was unable to cease deep seeded de facto or actual discrimination in American society. The Civil Rights Act did not require employers to prove that any discriminatory policies were or were not used in the hiring of personnel, "Instead, the burden of proof was on the woman or minority group member who had been denied a particular job," (Patterson 161).

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