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What arguments can be made for the point of view that affirmative action should be abolished?


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There are three main arguments that are typically made to support the idea of abolishing affirmative action.  They are:

It discriminates.  Many critics of affirmative action call it “reverse discrimination.”  They argue that affirmative action is simply another form of racial discrimination (in the case of affirmative action for racial minorities).  The only difference is that this time whites are the ones being harmed.  This, they say, is no more moral than discriminating against minorities.

It is no longer needed.  From this point of view, discrimination against minorities is something that happened long in the past.  Affirmative action may once have been warranted, but it is not anymore because racial discrimination is no longer a major factor in holding people back.  Some would argue that affirmative action should still be implemented but that it should favor those who are poor, not those who are of a particular race or ethnicity.

It actually harms those it should help.  Some people argue that minorities are actually hurt by affirmative action programs.  These programs, they say, allow minorities to get into colleges where they are over their heads.  They should go to the colleges that are more appropriate to their academic level because they will have more success there.  Such people also tend to argue that affirmative action stigmatizes minorities because it tells whites that minorities can only succeed if they are given special preferences.

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