In a nation where the question of race never seems to be fully resolved, we are once again faced with the question of what to do about affirmative action. America is dedicated to the proposition that each of us is equal at birth and is constitutionally entitled to equal treatment by our government. We enshrine that right as the 14th Amendment. But the spirit of fairness sometimes forces us to deviate from our founding principles in the name of becoming a more perfect union.
America has come a long way since 1939, when I was born in Jim Crow Louisiana. In 1961 president John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order 10925, which required federal contractors to take “affirmative action” to ensure that employees are not discriminated against on the basis of race, creed, color, or national origin. It was not intended to discriminate against previously favored groups. “Race has no place in American life or law,” said JFK.