In the United States, affirmative action began under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It was a way to address discrimination based on gender and race. Other countries also have affirmative action policies. Rulings expanded the U.S. law to include disability, ethnic origin and age. Affirmative action is used in employment, education, government contracts and more. Since 2000, several suits have been brought challenging the racial dimensions of U.S. affirmative action . One myth is that African Americans are the chief beneficiaries of affirmative action. That is not true. The U.S. Department of Labor has said that white women have been the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action policies.
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REFERENCE: NABJ Style Guide