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The Affirmative Action Question Affirmative action has been a highly controversial topic since its origin in the mid-1960s It began as a program to increase opportunities for minorities by favoring them in hiring and promotion college admissions and the awarding of government contracts Finkelman 1 For a student who is applying to colleges affirmative action programs can affect them greatly These programs have often become the basis for college admissions thus leaving many at an extremely unfair disadvantage during the process By continuing this we are practicing a form of discrimination and ignoring the constitutional rights given to us as citizens Affirmative action in college admissions has developed into an enormous problem and should be eradicated in the near future In college admissions minorities have an obvious advantage over others The admissions standards of minorities are often compromised and blatantly lowered to allow admissions An example of this can be seen at the University of California at Berkeley The admission process there went from recruiting Black and Hispanic applicants to lowering admissions standards in order to raise their representation in each freshman class Browne-Miller 127 This compromises the educational quality of the class and denies others who may deserve admission their acceptance Affirmative action was begun with a good cause in mind Its purpose was to help minorities attain representationthat paralleled their percentage of the population Finley 1 There is no doubt that minorities have been short changed in the past Supporters of affirmative action programs seem to think that this is some sort of vindication for the entire minority group This is now what is viewed as fair Advocates of affirmative action respond that discrimination is by definition unfair treatment of people because they belong to a certain group Therefore effective remedies must systematically aid groups that have suffered from discrimination Finkelman 1 In essence we are rewarding minority groups for past wrongs that have been committed to them This may seem fair
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