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Pros and Cons of Affirmative Action

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When we imagine getting into college in the US, it often looks like a race to fill a limited number of seats. SAT, i.e. Scholastic Assessment Test scores, being a class president or playing an instrument mean plus points for the entrance. I mostly agree that these factors are a good way to decide who should get a seat but there is one factor where Americans disagree: race. Should race continue to play a role in how colleges pick their student?

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As a tool to increase diversity, affirmative action has been successful. There are two simple reasons why: one reason we stick in talking about affirmative action is because many of us don’t actually know what it is. It was originally a way for colleges and universities to give special consideration to racial minorities to help undo the effects of past discrimination. For many schools, it meant setting aside a certain percentage of their seats for minority applicants. University administrators could no longer use affirmative action to address past discrimination but they could use it to create a diverse student body and to be fair, diversity is beneficial to everyone. It is not a racial bonus or quota and it is not about historical discrimination. It is a very narrow and frankly confusing tool for colleges to create more racial diversity.

Affirmative action program often falls into two basic categories and the first our arguments dealing with historical compensation. Given that many African Americans today are descended from Africans who are brought to America in Chains and then forced into servitude. The idea of this argument is that affirmative action programs help to compensate this group of people who have been historically wronged. Most arguments though fall into the category of current and the future lack of fairness in the society, in which we live. For instance, many people are denied positions in business and in education due to active discrimination and sometimes due to unconscious discrimination or due to poverty and educational gaps.

There are of course a number of arguments against affirmative action as well. Probably the most prevalent argument is that affirmative action programs are a form of discrimination. In this case, reverse discrimination. Discrimination against people on the basis of race and gender only this time it’s discrimination primarily against people who are Caucasian and people who are male. There is a real question whether affirmative action programs are constitutional. Another concern with affirmative action programs is that they perpetuate racial and gender consciousness. One of the main purposes of affirmative action programs is that decisions for hiring and promotion are made on the basis of the value of the candidate, not based on racial or gender consciousness. Yet affirmative action programs perpetuate this very situation, in which race and gender are concerned at every level or are considered at every level in the hiring and promotion processes of businesses and educational institutions.

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What we need to do is we think through these arguments is determined, which of these bad solutions is better. We have to balance out intelligently and honestly the pros and the cons dvantages of each of these approaches.  

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Pros And Cons Of Affirmative Action. (2022, February 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 28, 2023, from
“Pros And Cons Of Affirmative Action.” GradesFixer, 10 Feb. 2022,
Pros And Cons Of Affirmative Action. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 28 May 2023].
Pros And Cons Of Affirmative Action [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Feb 10 [cited 2023 May 28]. Available from:
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