Essay - The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Cra) Formally Ended Racial...


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The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (CRA) formally ended racial and gender discrimination by any entity doing business with or receiving money from the federal government. Nearly all institutions of higher education receive federal funding in some f*****m, so the Civil Rights act had an immediate effect on admissi*****s policies and student recruitment as universities endeavored to comply with ***** law (Springer, 2003).

***** universities had actually stopped practicing overt ***** discrimination prior to p*****sage ***** the CRA. The landmark Brown v. Board of Education case (1954) outlawed racial discrimination in public *****al institutions, and ***** the time ***** the passage of ***** CRA all southern universities were *****ficially desegregated. In the north and west, with much more racially homogenous populations, ***** end of desegregation was far less significant (Gr*****man, 2000).

The main effect of the CRA for all American universities was the emergence of the policy of affirmative action. Affirmative action was initially proposed by President Johnson in an executive order *****ly following passage ***** ***** CRA. Calling on ***** contractors to take "affirmative action" to ensure that they did not discriminate, ***** initiated a policy of inclusion that has been criticized as "reverse *****" (Gurin, 2002). In a sense th*****t criticism is accurate, because ***** ***** positive steps to include minorities as opposed to merely refraining from discriminating against them. However ***** minorities often face systemic ***** economic obstacles ***** achievement in areas such as higher education, affirmative ***** is *****tended to redress the imbalance and ensure minority participation.

Affirmative action has ***** the main result of the ***** for ***** world of higher education. It appears that at first universities instituted ***** action in order ***** avoid prosecution ***** the government, but now affirmative ***** is generally justified in terms of the diversity it creates in the student population (Springer, 2003). A recent Supreme Court decision upholding ***** University of Michigan's affirmative action policy notes that universities do not violate the constitution's equal protection clause by discriminating in favor of ***** students if that discrimination is designed to promote student diversity. The ***** *****ed that institutions of higher learning have an interest in achieving ***** because of ***** educational *****d intellectual benefits ***** having different perspectives represented (Springer, *****).

Therefore although conservatives have criticized affirmative action as hypocritical because it discriminates ***** a view tow*****rd ending discrimination, it is clear that colleges and ***** these days want the benefits of a ***** diverse student popul*****tion and will pursue adm*****sions ***** commensurate with that diversity. Colleges ***** relax standards for other admissions categories (legacies, athletes, musicians) when ***** feel it is their interest to do so. Affirmative action, which began as a way ***** prevent discrimination, ***** is used as a tool to promote divers*****y (Gurin, 2002).

Civil rights leg*****lation in America was initially intended to protect the legal rights of African Americans ***** the abolition of slavery in 1865, and at ***** the benefits of affirm*****ive action ***** limited to black students (Grofman, 2000). However President Johnson

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