Regardless of the stance taken, proponent or opponent; affirmative action is often misunderstood amongst its most fervent commentators. What is affirmative action? Why, if at all, is affirmative action needed? Where and when did it originate? For what reasons? To whose benefit? To whose detriment? All of these questions, and more, beg not only answering, but asking. However, even the answers to these questions are intensely debated. Affirmative action stretches through numerous cities, states, countries, and hemispheres. To turn this policy into distinctly "American," would be a grave misrepresentation, as doing so, would discount the histories and issues of countries who have similar programs; in some cases, outdating that of America. This being acknowledged, particular attention will be paid to the American experience.
Before an argument can be made in favor of, or in opposition to, affirmative action, one must first understand what affirmative action is. "Affirmative action is a policy or a program aimed at increasing the representation of members of... [continues]
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