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August 16, 2012

Ethnicity and Racism in America from a legal standpoint


United States has a long history of ethnicity and racism.  African Americans were actually the enslaved blacks were brought to the shores of America. Those blacks who, from the very beginning, fought to get the equal rights for the blacks were actually the founding fathers of civil rights movement (Williams & Bond, 1988). Their struggle instilled and ignited a fire in black community to get conscious about their identity and struggled against the biased laws which proliferates ethnicity and discrimination.  After the civil war that ended in the 1865, all the African American slaves were freed of slavery and torture. The government of United States had tried their utmost to remove any feeling of discrimination and to create an environment of harmony and brotherhood. For this purpose, in 1964, President Johnson ordered the civil rights that stated that no discrimination or favoritism will take place in the name of color, race or religion.
Title VII of the civil right act of 1964 has prohibited any kind of discrimination against people due to their color, race or religion. Title VII also prohibited discrimination against people due to their association with people of some special color, race and religion (FinduLaw). This law also ensures that nobody can be discriminated due to his or her interracial relation with another person.  However, Federal Government, Native American tribes administered by Federal government, Religious groups who are involved in their specific religious activities and Bona fide nonprofit organizations are partial or completely exempted from Title VII adherence.
Executive Order 11246    
Executive Order 11246 was signed by the President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965. The order “prohibits federal contractors and federally assisted construction contractors and subcontractors, who do over $10,000 in Government business in one year from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin” (United States Department of Labor). The contractors are also bound to “take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, color, religion, sex or national origin” (United States Department of Labor). Affirmative action is an initiative that was also started in 1965 by President Johnson in order to ensure that employer’s of various companies should not be discriminative towards people of any race, color or gender.  Affirmative Action also avoided any health care, welfare and education services to be lenient towards such people.  Affirmative Action is a plan that promotes equality and harmony amongst the Americans, and allows the minorities to have an ample opportunity in all fields.  It is also there to eliminate any discrimination that is presently going on and to make up for the past bigotry or racism by various ruling parties.
The basic purpose of Executive order 11246 and Affirmative Action was to remove ethnic differences and to create a society where everyone has equal right to live. Executive order 11246 and Affirmative Action have definitely played a major role in doing so. It helps the white citizens of United States to get along with all kinds of people and understand that they are also people who are similar to them in many ways. Without the Executive order 11246, such an opportunity would not be possible.  It greatly offers the chance to those people that come from middle or low class families to attain and get the best job that any other citizen can, however, they might not be as educated and literate but if trained well; would definitely succeed. There is also a high chance for people to become successful in fields that were never once available to them, such as female astronomers or male nurses.
Equal Pay Act of 1963
Equal pay act was introduced and signed by President John F. Kennedy in 1963. It was introduced to abolish wage disparity between the men and women. The Act stated that.
“No employer having employees subject to any provisions of this section [section 206 of title 29 of the United States Code] shall discriminate, within any establishment in which such employees are employed, between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees in such establishment at a rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to employees of the opposite sex in such establishment for equal work on jobs[,] the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions, except where such payment is made pursuant to (i) a seniority system; (ii) a merit system; (iii) a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or (iv) a differential based on any other factor other than sex” (U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).
            This has improved the position of female workers at workplace. Now women are frequently seen in different managerial positions and they are paid equally as  their male counterpart are paid.

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