Yes, it bridges the disparity between minority and non-minority students and workers
Yes, it is important for the social welfare and diversity of the country
No, it encourages individuals to identify themselves as "disadvantaged"
No, it provides a basis for "reverse-discrimination"
No, it is devalues the accomplishments of both those who it benefits and those it does not
It is necessary for gender, but not race
It is necessary for race, but not gender
Other, please specify
If my understanding of the current and past forms in which Affirmative Action (hereafter "AA") was applied in the USA, I would not support it then or now.
My reasons would be that the methods it used and is using to achieve it's goals are counter-productive (not to mention counter-intuitive).
As I understand the purpose of AA, it was intended to correct bigoted selection processes, or “level the playing field” for minorities, allowing those with equal abilities to obtain positions and/or services that they would otherwise be denied due to their minority status.
The methods used, however, seem nonsensical to me.
If I were attempting to counter bigoted selection procedures, I would require that any given entity not count minority status as a factor in their selection of a person. If two or more persons of completely equal ability were up for selection, random selection would seem reasonable.
“I’m going to roll a 2D6, and X result(s) = Y person(s) get(s) selected”
If a major disparity between majority and minority representation existed in a given entity, requiring selection of a minority candidate over a equally qualified majority candidate might be acceptable.
But as described previously by some on this board, selection of a less qualified minority candidate over a more qualified majority candidate seems ridiculous.
I can readily accept the argument that such methods cause side effects that not only counter the attempted results, but cause additional issues.
Finally, it seems obvious to me that socioeconomic issues (as in, poor persons) have been and will continue to have a much greater effect on a given individual than any bigotry.
Thus, those who suggest AA be adjusted to support candidates originating from a low socioeconomic background over equally qualified candidates originating from other socioeconomic backgrounds may be on to something.
Additionally, doing something about the relatively poor quality of education available in areas with a low socioeconomic level seems key to any such attempt. But that's another debate.
Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the thought is staggering. ~ R. Buckminster Fuller