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Schools that served these neighborhoods thus catered almost exclusively to minorities.
Since the 60’s, additional attributes have been added to Kennedy’s order (e.g.
sexual orientation) to continue ensuring that no group of people face unjust discrimination.
There were many real reasons affirmative action was put in place and there are even more for why it needs to stay a while longer.
The presidential Executive Order that birthed affirmative action implores the end of all discrimination on the premises of “race, creed, color, national origin, and gender.” This policy, issued by the Kennedy administration, was wholly aligned with the fundamental notions upon which the United States was built–wasn’t America the promised land with opportunity for all?
The illegalization of segregation, however, did not elicit a change in funding structures.
Under-funding continues to this day leading to fewer resources like books and laboratories, larger class sizes, and less qualified teachers.
It was an unplanned, unintentional side-effect of the centuries of injustice. Notwithstanding the de jure end of segregation, de facto segregation hasn’t ceased: reports from the Government Accountability Office show that the percentage of K-12 public schools with high concentrations of black or Hispanic students (75-100%) has increased from 9% to 16% in the past 5 years; these schools also offer disproportionately fewer math, science, and college preparation courses.
Historically, non-whites were concentrated into select neighborhoods.
Affirmative action is a policy that is part of a larger effort towards total inclusion.
The overarching goal is to overcome discrimination and unjust practices in higher education admissions, not to change the target of those practices.