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All Things Being Equal
Most of us have heard Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech, or part of it, at some point in our lives. In 1964, one year after the speech was given, Lyndon B. Johnson signed Executive Order 11246, which signaled the birth of affirmative action. Affirmative action refers to efforts to increase educational and employment opportunities for minorities and women. In November, 1997, California voters did away with affirmative action [at the state level] by passing proposition 209. They were convinced that it was no longer needed, that it gave minorities and women special rights. Governor Pete Wilson wrote in 1996 as part of his campaign against affirmative action:
Let me be clear: we haven’t yet fully achieved Martin Luther King’s dream of a color-blind society. Discrimination still occurs, and we must aggressively and conscientiously enforce our civil rights laws which prohibit discrimination. But we won’t achieve that dream until we also end the system of preferential treatment that, in fact, judges people by the color of their skin rather than the…
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