America’s View on Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action, Practice of Affirmative Action, Affirmative Action Policy

Learn where America stands on Affirmative Action (photo credit: Ad Meskens).

Curious to know America’s view on Affirmative Action? Wonder no more. Back in 2016, a Gallup poll suggested that 60% of American adults generally favored the practice of Affirmative Action. Additionally, 70% of American adults surveyed suggested that college applicants should be judged on merit alone — and that race should not be a consideration. It would seem, at least upon first glance, that this data is contradictory. But it does make perfect sense, if you think about it. Affirmative Action sounds nice on the surface to many Americans. But when asked pointedly if candidates should only be considered on the basis of merit, well, that seems reasonable, too. It’s kind of all in how the question is phrased, right?

Where Republicans and Democrats Say They Stand on Affirmative Action

As a piece by Courtney Rezon for “NPR” entitled “How Americans Feel About Affirmative Action In High Education” suggests, “About half of Republicans (and people who lean Republican) believe affirmative action programs designed to increase racial diversity ‘are a good thing,’ according to a 2017 Pew Research Center poll. 84 percent of Democrats (and Democratic leaners) view affirmative action positively, according to Pew. Non-white Americans are more likely to support affirmative action than white Americans, according to a 2016 report from the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.”

Where Republicans and Democrats Really Stand on Affirmative Action

But Democrat or Republican, no matter how openly one may espouse the merits of Affirmative Action, when it comes down to it and one’s child — who will not benefit from the consideration of race in admissions — is applying for admission to a highly selective college, well, you can bet they’re secretly against the practice. And that’s most unfortunate since our nation’s best colleges benefit immensely from the diverse student bodies that are a product of Affirmative Action. So the fact that 84% of Democrats and about 50% of Republicans openly support the consideration of race in admissions, well, those numbers should be met with a raised eyebrow. In our view, if the practice benefits an individual or their family, they’ll support the consideration of race in admissions. If it doesn’t, they won’t. No matter what they may say to the contrary.

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