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Should we ban affirmative action in college admissions?

Affirmative Action policies were introduced in the early 1960s, aiming to give more opportunities and provide some form of equity to minorities in regards to hiring and education. In recent years, Affirmative Action has fallen out of public favor to a large degree – and has received backlash for what has been perceived as taking away opportunities from one group and giving them to another. Are these practices unfair or do they provide a vital service for students in need?


Roundup: Reactions To This Week's Supreme Court Decision On Affirmative Action

Harvard Discrimination Trial Ends, But Lawsuit Is Far From Over

Additional resources to think about

Harvard Accused Of 'Racial Balancing': Lawsuit Says Asian-Americans Treated Unfairly
This is the update from the above Harvard discrimination story.

A French take on affirmative action relies on geography, not race
One of France's elite universities has a program that's inspired by American-style affirmative action. But it's not based on ethnicity or color — and some students say that's for the better.

This college freshman is worried about affirmative action — but not that it will keep him out of Harvard
Jason Fong is at the age when affirmative action programs could make a crucial difference in his life.


Who created this message?

  • What kind of “text” is it?
  • How similar or different is it to others of the same genre?
  • What are the various elements (building blocks) that make up the whole?


What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?

  • What do you notice (about the way the message is constructed)? 
  • What’s the emotional appeal?
  • What makes it seem “real?”
  • What's the emotional appeal? Persuasive devices used?

How might different people understand this message differently from me?

  • How many other interpretations could there be?
  • How could we hear about them?
  • How can you explain the different responses?

What lifestyles, values, and points of view are represented in, or omitted from, this message?

  • What type of person is the reader/watcher/listener invited to identify with?
  • What ideas or perspectives are left out?
  • How would you find what’s missing?
  • What judgments or statements are made about how we treat other people?


Why is this message being sent?

  • What's being sold in this message? What's being told? 
  • Who is served by or  benefits from the message
    – the public?
    – private interests?
    – individuals?
    – institutions?

5 Key Questions of Media Literacy used with permission from the Center for Media Literacy.
Copyright 2002-2021, Center for Media Literacy,


Should we ban affirmative action in college admissions?

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