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 form, so the Civil Rights act had an immediate effect on admissions policies and student recruitment as universities endeavored to comply with the law (Springer, 2003).

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

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

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

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

Civil rights legislation in America w***** initially intended to protect the legal rights of African *****ns following ***** abolition of slavery in 1865, and at first the ***** of affirmative ***** ***** limited ***** black students (Grofman, 2000). However President Johnson

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