“Affirmative action” is defined as a progressive measure taken to enhance the presence of the female gender and minorities in the work places, learning institutions, and commercial activities that from time immemorial had been restricted from freely participating (Kellough, 2006). The policies associated recognize and address affirmative action minorities in terms of ethnicity, skin color, race, sex, country of origin, and religious affiliations. This is done so as to promote the interests of these minorities who more often than not are under considered, normally in an effort to reverse the results of historical discrimination (Peterson, 2005).
Peterson (2005) explains that:
The first legislation to address the affirmative action was made in early 1860s. This was majorly intended to stop slavery and the racism that accompanied it. Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation on 1st January 1963 set the action into motion but it dint cover the entire America. Therefore the American constitution had to be changed and thus the Thirteenth Amendment of 1985 eventually wound up slavery.
After the constitutional amendments, Affirmative action was now channeled from slavery to minority issues especially racism. Some programs were set up in various fields which included employment and educational curriculum among others, which aimed at trying to ensure minorities were well represented. This was evident in the case of a white male named Bakke a former military man who joined NASA space program as an engineer applied for admission in Davis medical school in 1973 was interviewed and considered a very desirable candidate but was rejected. He then wrote a letter to the administration protesting that special admission operated at racial and ethnical quota. He applied for the same, in 1974 where he received a second invitation and was coincidentally interviewed by the chairman of the admission board whom he had appealed to in 1973.
He was recommended as limited in the medical field thus awarded a low grade. However other students who had attained even lower grades than him were admitted under the special medical program. This forced him to file a case in the superior court of California. The court held that Bakke was not to be admitted as he had applied for admission under the institutions’ special medical program, which only rated one minority against another (Peterson, 2005). Mr. Bakke, despite having impressive and admissible basic qualification for admission, was locked out due to the fact that he was white and had tried to enroll in a special program targeting the minority.