However, here has always been a gap between the ideas
behind the principles and how they are actually applied to the society,
especially to the black Americans. Throughout most of the American history,
black people have been always excluded from the mainstream. This particular gap
was because the federal policies in the early to middle twentieth century were
crafted and administered in a deeply discriminatory manner. President Franklin
Delano Roosevelt claimed in his New Deal in the year between 1933 to 1938 that
in order to protect the Southern way of life, the majority of white people need
to be employed, which mean the black people would either be excluded from their
benefits or not considered when placing the administration of beneficial
programs in the hands of state or local authorities who discriminate against
blacks. What’s more, the overall impact of the racial policies of the military
during World War II disadvantaged blacks as well because at the time the U.S.

military unites still remained segregated despite the abilities of the black soldiers.

To fight for the black Americans, one of the key goals of progressive American
policy from the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868 until the end
of the Eisenhower administration was to find avenues affording African
Americans equal legal rights and equal opportunities to enroll in education and
workforce (Johnson, J.W., & Green, R. P. 2009). The first explicit
appearance of the words “affirmative action” was in the text of a federal law,
which is the National Labor Relations Act, also known as the Wagner Act of
1935. However, in this specific law these two words had nothing to do with a
special consideration for a targeted group. Instead, affirmative action sounded
more like a gentle exhortation to a regulatory agency instead of a policy,
which forced the employers to reconsider their decisions based on race. As a
result, the Wagner Act barely empowered the National Labor Relations Board to
take a series of action in order to protect colored workers and the unfairness
in the workplace. In addition, as a response to the growing civil rights
movement, President Kennedy created the Committee on Equal Employment
Opportunity (EEOC) and issued Executive Order 10925 in 1961, which used the
term “Affirmative Action” to refer to measures designed to achieve
nondiscrimination (Eisaguirre, L. 1999). He decreed that federal contractors
must not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because
of their race, color, or national origin. This racially neural use of the term
“affirmative action” actually helps counter to the thrust of the race-based
affirmative action in late 1960s executive orders and statutes that would
spring from the rhetoric of Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon B. Johnson (Johnson,
J.W., & Green, R. P. 2009). With the experience of growing up in the hill
country of Texas when segregation was flourishing in the South, President
Lyndon Johnson believed that people of color deserved equal rights or even more
opportunities than any other white people in his neighborhood. As a result, in
1965, President Johnson delivered a historic speech on civil rights at Howard
University, called the “black Harvard,” declaring: “Freedom is not enough. You
do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and