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Affirmative Action Empowerment

Affirmative action represents a form of public policy that attempts to advance social justice by expanding educational, employment and other opportunities to traditionally marginalized groups in society. Rupert Barnes Nacoste (87) maintains that affirmative action is "a public policy for which the goal is clear: to empower disenfranchised groups." In the United States, the actual public policy of "affirmative action" was first used in 1965 by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, whose Executive Order 11246 required federal contractors to take "affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated to employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin" (Sykes 1). In 1967, then President Johnson expanded affirmative action to include more than race protection, extending affirmative action benefits to women (Sykes 1). Expansion of protected groups under the umbrella of affirmative action policies is an ongoing trend in contemporary policymaking, with the elderly, disabled and others coming under the affirmative action policy umbrella.

Since 1967, various laws and policies have been created in the U.S. to undermine discrimination and increase empowerment of marginalized groups throughout American social institutions. Also since then, various efforts have been undertaken by advocacy groups and policymakers to repeal affirmative action by those claiming it represents "reverse discrimination." In January, 2003, the cover of Newsweek featured a handsome young black male dressed in business attire with the headline "Do We Still Need Affirmative Action" (Polyne 41). Polyne (41) notes that the clean-shaven, designer clad male on the cover equated to "the poster child for middle-class black America-striving, upwardly mobile and assimilationist." Clearly, one successful African American male does not warrant the elimination of affirmative action empowerment programs,...

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Affirmative Action Empowerment. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 01:24, September 20, 2020, from