edexcel government and politics unit 4 racial and ethnic politics

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Civil Rights Movement Affirmative Action
Pushed through by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964 Outline ­ President John F Kennedy created the Equal Employment Opportunity
Council (EEOC) which required that projects financed with federal funds `take
It grew out of the 1950's - affirmative action' to ensure that hiring and employment practices would be free
from racial bias.
State laws eroded the right for black people to vote. Segregation widespread.
Lyndon Johnson: "this is the next stage of the battle for civil rights"
Rosa Parks -1955 ­ arrested. Black people staged a one day boycott of local buses
in protest of her arrest. In the Bakke decision, it was suggested that Affirmative Action should be measured
by how fast it manages to move a society to a point which race no longer mattered.
E.g. Plessy v Ferguson ­ announce that racial segregation was fine so long as
African Americans had `equal' facilities.
Brown v Board of Eduction of Topeka ­ CATALYST OF CHANGE ­ announced
separate facilities were inherently unequal
For Affirmative Action
Against Affirmative Action
1 ­ it had led to greater levels of diversity which would not have been achieved by
just leaving things as they were. For example, the number of blacks doing white
1- Reverse Discrimination. White people who work hard and are highly qualified
collar jobs rose from 15% in 1960 to 70% in 2002
may be overlooked. E.g. a white person who lives in poverty but tries hard and
2- It is justified because it rights previous wrongs. The first few centuries of the US'
is qualified may lose their place to a middle class African American who is less
existence saw whites enslave the blacks. Minorities gave decades of unpaid labour,
qualified but will get in due to AA procedures.
and had land taken from them. AA simply compensates them for this
2- Students are often ill equipped to deal with the demands of the school. Prestige
3 ­ It is effective in delivering the promise of equal opportunity. For example,
schools such as Yale require a minimum GPA of 4.0 for a reason. This may be
between 1960 and 1995, the % of black people who graduated from university
dropped to enable African Americans. Perhaps the original requirements should
rose from 5% to 15%. Without the help of affirmative action, many African
be adhered to.
Americans would not have achieved this as many minorities already begin at a
3- It undermines the achievements of African Americans who have got where they
disadvantage, usually from lower income families so cannot afford private education
are through sheer hard work. E.g. Condoleezza Rice. Perhaps not needed?
4- Draws people into areas of work they may have never considered. For example,
4- It highlights race. In reality it should be a factor such as hair or eye colour which is
men into nursing, women into technology fields etc. The more stereotypes are
completely ignored. This would help create a completely colour blind society.
changed, the less AA will be required in the future.

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Synoptic of Affirmative Action
Protection of Ethnic Minorities' rights by the President
1- Commander in Chief of the armed forces so they can use troops to enforce
Introduced by democrat president Lyndon Johnson, typically it is the democrats
legislation. E.g = President Eisenhower sent troops to Arkansas in 1957 to back
who are in support of Affirmative Action.
up the Supreme Court order to desegregate schools.…read more

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Minority Representation in Congress
When Jesse Jackson ran for the presidency in 1984, there were just 21 African American
members of Congress. By the time Barack Obama ran in 2008, there were 41.
The division of Congressional districts to make it so a majority of residents are from a
3 ­ In Brown and Swann the court had clearly been in favour of equality. But as the specific racial minority.…read more

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Minority Representation and the Judiciary Minority Representation and Local Government
In 1990, Douglas Wilder became the first African American to be elected
President Johnson also appointed the first African American member of the as a state governor as Governor of Virginia.
US Supreme Court.…read more



In the case of Graz v. Bollinger the decision was made that the Affirmative action program was unconstitutional and Bush supported the removal of Affirmative action not its continuation

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