Abstract

When President Lyndon Johnson gave his June 4, 1965 he invoked a symbolic language that would seize the political moment and serve as a foundatino for subsequent policy. The Civil Rights Act had passed only a year earlier and Johnson, nothing that it is not “enough just to open the gates of opportunity,” told the black graduating class that Ameica needed “not just equality as a right and a theory but equality as a result.” This call for “results” was a precursor to Johnson’s Executive Order 11246, a mandate for the enforcement of positive anti-discrimination measures in preferred positions of society, or “affirmative ation.”

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