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by economic hardship or by attending schools with few resources), affirmative action provides educational opportunities and a chance to prove that they can achieve.Racial and sexual barriers still exist in our society: affirmative action attempts to create a level playing field to help people compensate for that fact.The idea that a person was "bumped up" because of his or her race, gender, sexuality, disability seems horribly unfair.
Most people get into an elite college because they have something special. Once you get above a threshold level of qualifications, it's kind of arbitrary.
Sometimes that special characterisic is musical talent, coming from an underrepresented state like Wyoming, or that person's race/gender/sexuality. The idea of a pure meritocracy is an illusion, but people still cling to it.
As someone who has both seen and participated in affirmative action programs, I see two unintended consequences of such programs.
These consequences don't mean that these programs aren't worth it. I still believe in affirmative action, for various reasons.
Other Web sites of Interest Stanford University's Encyclopedia of Philosophy describes the history of affirmative action from a philosophical perspective, paying attention to both support for it and opposition to it: The American Council on Education published a report in 1997 entitled, "The Case for Affirmative Action."One issue of the Stanford University Magazine focused on this topic in 1996.
The articles can be found at the following address.
Others argue that many of the students admitted on the basis of affirmative action are not equipped to perform in, for example, Ivy League schools.
They say that the possibility for their success is low.
We are an educational community in which there are many opportunities for dialogue and engagement across all lines of difference.
We believe that knowledge and personal relationships are powerful antidotes to prejudice.