The Xerox memo and the birth of affirmative action

The year was 1968.  Assassinations, anti-war protests, riots, and social turmoil dominated the headlines.  In response to the civil unrest in our cities, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, commonly known as the Kerner Commission.  Fifty years ago, on February 29, 1968, after seven months of investigation, the commission released its report.  The commission's most famous conclusion – "Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white – separate and unequal" – has echoed throughout the subsequent decades. Another less publicized but extremely influential document was also issued that year.  On May 2, 1968, Xerox CEO Joseph C. Wilson and Xerox president C. Peter McCollough sent a memo to all Xerox hiring managers directing them to hire under-qualified and outright unqualified minorities in response to the Civil...(Read Full Post)

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