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Word Count: 1,067
The attitude -- that we seek not the best individual but the individual who will contribute the most to the whole -- applies in other walks of life besides sports Think about the example of college admissions today Is it constitutional for a school to look merely for the students who individually are the best academically if there even is a way to measure this Or should it also be concerned about which mix of students will create the environment that can best contribute to the educational experience at the college and which mix of students will lead to the graduating class that can best benefit society The US Supreme Courts decision to hear Grutter and Gratz vs Bollinger a case challenging the University of Michigans racial preferences has refueled the affirmative action debate The focal point of the debate is whether affirmative action violates civil rights Its difficult to debate the issue intelligently because were talking past one another as we havent chosen to define affirmative action Lets look at it Affirmative action means different things to different people So allow me to list some of those alternative interpretations To some Americans perhaps most affirmative action means a policy of nondiscrimination A university or an employer should cast a wide net in its recruitment admissions or hiring policy by advertising and recruiting in minority schools social organizations and newspapers But in the actual admissions or hiring individuals are treated equally by race For other Americans there should be racial preferences If a white candidate and a black candidate are equal in qualifications for university admission or employment the preference should be given to the black candidate For another group of Americans they reject the first 2 Affirmative Action definitions In fact they see those forms of affirmative action as racially insensitive at best and at worst racist For these Americans affirmative action
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