President John F. Kennedy, on March 6, 1961, signed Executive Order 10925, which created affirmative action and required that government employers “not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, or national origin” and “take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin.”
Actually, Kennedy's executive order is a straightforward non-discrimination provision, and it does not define what "affirmative action" meant. As one history of affirmative action details, Kennedy's order was superceded by one issued in 1965 by Preident Lyndon Johnson that defined what kind of "affirmative action" was to be taken.
Washington's column is, of course, an anti-affirmative action rant, and of course he makes it about himself:
My strong contention in this column is to demonstrate that affirmative action is nothing but affirmative slave chains attached around the neck, wrists, ankles and minds of my people; that for over 50 years progressive whites have cynically used tokenism, race statists and quota systems to allow certain blacks to prosper (Democrats) – but for those people like myself (conservatives), affirmative action has done nothing to help us become fully integrated commensurate with our education achievements. The result is that I, and doubtlessly millions of other hardworking minorities, have had to eke out an existence on the margins of a society called America the Beautiful.
In a previous biographical essay about my own 30-year struggles to be judged not by the color of my skin and ideological worldview, but by the content of my character and actual scholarly achievements, I explain the things done in my career that no sitting member of the U.S. Supreme Court nor any law professors I know of have done, accomplished apart from affirmative action. Yet good non-racist white liberals, progressives and even establishment Republicans ignore these real achievements by blacks like me and hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of other minorities of every variety because their achievements were outside the affirmative action slave system; therefore, their accomplishments in the minds of white progressives aren’t “authentic” and thus unworthy of notice, respect and emulation (e.g., Justice Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, Star Parker, Allen West, Alan Keyes, Pastor Levon Yuille, Shelby Steele, etc.).
Given that Washington started this rant with an incorrect claim and has a history of irrational hatred of liberals in general and President Obama in particular, as well as a penchant for getting stuff wrong and masquerading (poorly) as Socrates, it appears that Washington has never considered the possibility that he has, in fact, been judged on the content of his character and his (scant) scholarly achievements -- and found wanting.