In the U.S, the first significant appearance of affirmative action happened in 1961, under the Kennedy Administration as a response to racial discrimination in the government hiring process and to the Civil Rights Movement that went throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Under Executive Order 10925, President Kennedy required government contractors to “…take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin”. It wasn’t until 1967, under the Johnson Administration that affirmative action was to include gender with Executive Order 11246. In other countries with laws regarding racial equality, such as the UK, affirmative action was made and is illegal, opting to ensure equal opportunity with, for example, targeted advertising campaigns to encourage minority groups to staff government positions. Historically and internationally, affirmative action has been thought of a way to bring an increased access to education, promote diversity, rid of inequality in employment and fix past wrongs, harms, or hindrances. Affirmative action in the United States is a set of laws, policies, guidelines, and administrative practices that should be used in the U.S policies when admitting students to a university or accepting workers into a company. ?One of the most common misconceptions opposers of affirmative action have is that it sanctions quotas based on race or gender. This is false, as it does not. In 1978, this was affirmed when the U.S. Supreme Court, in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, ruled that racial quotas for college admissions violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause. And unless they were used to resolve discriminatory practices by the institution in the past, it was unconstitutional. White applicant Allan P. Bakke argued that his application to the University of California Davis Medical School was denied due to the university’s use of quotas to admit a specific number of minority students to the medical school each year. In its decision, the Supreme Court ruled that Bakke’s application was rejected because of the quota and ruled quotas unlawful. However, what made the topic ambiguous was Justice Powell’s diversity rationale in the majority decision. The diversity rationale put forth as fact that ethnic and racial diversity can be one of many factors for obtaining a diverse student body in places of higher education. Thus, while Bakke struck down sharp quotas, the case created a compelling government interest in diversity.Despite the claims of opposers, according to a report from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, white students are now more overrepresented at the most selective U.S. colleges than they were in 1995. Using Department of Education data, the Georgetown team pieced together enrollment statistics from the three most selective tiers of U.S. colleges, as ranked by Barron’s, then compared them to Census figures on the country’s 18-to-24-year-old population. Hispanics, in contrast, became more severely underrepresented, as their enrollment at top schools failed to keep pace with their population growth as the percentage of hispanics in colleges have been at seven percent. For African-Americans, it remained a steady eight percent, underrepresented over the period. On the whole, more blacks and Hispanics are in fact going to college than 18 years ago. The problem is that, as we’ve seen, they’re not ending up at schools with high standards. Instead, they’re heading to public, two and four-year open-enrollment colleges. As of now, african-americans are now over-represented at schools with come-one, come-all admissions policies, while whites are now under-represented.Support for affirmative action argues that it is designed to end discrimination by adding diversity at any workplace. In a diverse setting, one can grow from interacting with people from different backgrounds by learning about their cultures and experiences, helping to eliminate stereotypes. An example of their affirmative action in action would be an organization’s recruitment practice, broadening their advertising reach via outreach programs designed to attract women and minorities. In classrooms with people from different identity groups, students and faculty members can learn new perspectives from each other. For people who have been challenged in their lives by economic hardship or by attending schools with few resources, affirmative action provides educational opportunities and a chance to prove that they can achieve greatness.Affirmative action requires companies to perform an analysis of minority employment, establish goals to create a more demographically representative workforce, and develop plans to recruit and employ minority employees. For most companies that have effective programs, affirmative action extends beyond hiring practices to include maintaining a diverse workforce, periodic evaluations of the affirmative action program, educating and sensitizing employees concerning affirmative action policies, and providing a work environment and management practices that support equal opportunity in all terms and conditions of employment. Many of the biggest companies in the United States today have departments and legal staff s dedicated entirely to ensuring diversity in the workplace.There are those against affirmative action who would call it “reverse discrimination,” as it requires the same discrimination it originally sought to eliminate. Opposers argue how can one conciliate the reality of affirmative action as it is actually practiced with the version that it is a race-based preference, which was introduced in order to overcome past discrimination? When minority and under qualified groups are preferred it represents a discrimination and, in particular, a reverse discrimination against white people. In fact, the argument that the plaintiff’s attorneys who represented the white students (Grutter v. Bollinger, Gratz v. Bollinger and Fisher v. University of Texas) in the cases said his clients have a “personal right” not to have their race count against them. Using the Supreme Court case Fisher v. University of Texas, Fisher argued that it slows the process of equalization and reconciliation. In 2008, Abigail Fisher, a native Texan, sued the University of Texas, claiming that she was denied admission to the university because she was “white”. Only the top 10% of applicants are admitted in the university and there are students that compete to barely make it in on the threshold, such as Fisher. In such cases, with affirmative action in mind, race becomes an important factor in deciding who gets admitted to the university, and Fisher argued that discriminating and accepting students according to their race is a violation of the the Fourteenth Amendment, which declares that states must give all people “equal protection of the laws” makes race an impermissible factor in state university selection practices. Opponents suggest that affirmative action causes reverse discrimination that hurts white men and, in fact, is detrimental to minorities who are placed because of it. Furthermore, they believe that the practice of affirmative action contradicts the basic civil rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Advocates believe that discrimination still exists and that affirmative action gives minorities a chance to work, which affects every aspect of their lives. The debate will continue until minorities are represented in every job class and type.Challenging the belief of reverse discrimination and beliefs that job markets are closed to whites when competing with minorities, supporters of affirmative action quickly make clear of the point, that even though minority groups have achieved great gains, they are still underrepresented in the workforce, specifically in white-collar jobs. For example, African Americans and Latinos make up approximately 22 percent of the U.S. labor force. In comparison, they make up only 9 percent of U.S. doctors, 6 percent of lawyers, 7 percent of college professors, and less than 4 percent of scientists (Jackson 1996). Affirmative action backers argue that diversity is good for society as a whole. Owing to the hiring, promotion, and economic advancement of minorities, diversity has started to seep into more realms of American life. In essence, diversity is becoming more mainstream than it was in the past. Because of this increased diversity, prejudices held about various minority groups have become less prevalent. Partially due to mainstream diversity, the United States is becoming more culturally affluent and accepting. Prejudice is no longer acceptable in most realms of U.S. society, and affirmative action offices and practices create environments in which diversity is accepted, learned, and experienced. It not only helps individuals obtain positions previously unavailable to them, but it also helps create a broader sense of the world within individuals and within organizations. In essence, it forces people to broaden their horizons. Supporters also argue that affirmative action has helped foster the development of minority role models as more and more minorities enter professional and political positions. Furthermore, their entry has led to the development of a raised consciousness among the American citizenry about issues such as racism, rape, immigration, and poverty that were once before, invisible to the mainstream U.S. society.While the U.S is steadily becoming more racially and ethnically diverse, so is the unequal balance in terms of wealth and income. When comparing the statistics, the wealth and income divide is happening along racial and ethnic lines. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2014, the median household income for U.S families is $64,166. For black and Latino households, the median household income was $43,300. For white households, the median household income was $71,300. This argument suggests that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not solve the United States’ racial issues, only pushing it to the side. After the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and even today, African American and Latin American U.S. citizens are proportionately poorer than their white counterparts. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 opened spaces in the public sphere, but it did not provide concrete economic or financial means for success among minority groups. Affirmative action advocates argue that, contrary to popular opinion, affirmative action is still necessary. The research being done by advocates shows very clearly that there is still a major discrepancy between the United States’ population demographics and its social and economic characteristics. This discrepancy is most prevalent in the workplace and education, where affirmative action has been used the most. Not only do the advocates back their claims of inequality, they show how, in many ways, minorities in this country are hardly better off than they were when affirmative action was first implemented. They argue that affirmative action measures should be increased because of a lack of effectiveness and because of the token affirmative action that many firms use today. For all effective purposes, token affirmative action is affirmative action with quotas. In token affirmative action, the quota usually equals one. Companies will hire a token minority and appoint him or her to a public position to eliminate any doubts concerning the organization’s diversity. It is often the case that beyond these token appointments, minority groups are underrepresented in all other sectors of the organization.There are educational and cultural diversities that influence the teaching benefits. The admission policies based on affirmative action has his impact not only in the office of admission, but in all students’ environment. Even though American society is a multiethnic reality, we have to realize that different cultures in the same classroom not always can produce a high educational value if there is not the same level of knowledge. In fact, the racial balance we find in work world is the result of a positive economic process, and it is not a result of a pre-fixed quota as in university admission, which could negatively impact the purpose of teaching. It is not the affirmative action the way for contributing to the entire community’s future, but the way is to allow only people with the same intellectual background to contribute together to a better society. For example, in the case that both white and black students are admitted, affirmative action does not always represent a real help during the black student’s university career. In fact could be very hard for the minority applicants to fill the gap with other students due to different educational background of knowledge. It is a frustrating situation because minorities realize how hard is to be in a class where the level of students’ learning it is different, and where there are students who waste their time to wait for the others that need more time to understand, due to their different cultures. As a result, theoretical equal opportunities do not mean racial integration, and as soon as students have the possibility they prefer to have dinner, to sleep, to live with people of his race.There are pros and cons to affirmative action, as does all issues. On one hand, affirmative action does bring good in a humanitarian way. Affirmative action is a way to ensure that diversity is obtained and maintained in schools and in the workplace, creating a somewhat tolerant and sympathetic community. On the other hand, affirmative action has the potential to become reverse discrimination, as people of minority groups can be favored over those in the majority in college acceptances and employment. Regardless, affirmative action should still be of use today.