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Affirmative action, an idea which began in the 1930s but truly kicked off in the 1960s, consists of a wide variety of programs meant to help level the playing field in both universities and the workplace by making race and gender a consideration in the selection process. While supporters believe affirmative action must stay an active policy so that the United States can continue to strive for proportional equality in higher level jobs and education, opponents argue positions should be awarded on an individual basis based on merit alone. Although affirmative action policies have done impressive work creating these opportunities, it is now time to question if, after 40 years, this method is working and should be continued, if the current policies are no longer effective and the negative costs now outweigh the possible benefits and a new approach should be put into place.
Affirmative action is a label for a large range of programs, but all of these methods began for one reason: as a way to fight racism. There were voluntary efforts and mandatory laws enacted in order to accomplish…
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