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|In the US today 50% of people support affirmative action in public college admissions for previously discriminated-against racial minorities. The other 50%, along with George Bush and the current administration, support preferential admission only for rich, white alumni.
What can be done in a democracy when the nation is split 50/50?
This is the situation in the U.S. at present and it seems some new approaches are needed. In many situations, where there must be a single decision, the bare majority must prevail, but in other situations we can find a way to appease both sides.
For state colleges, it seems that affirmative action in admissions is amenable to a split decision. Let each applicant indicate their position and then divide the applicants up by their opinions. The 50 % who believe in the value of affirmative action will be admitted based on it (as one factor among many). The 50% who are likely to sue if they are rejected, believing affirmative action caused that rejection, will be evaluated only on the basis of their class rank, grades, scores, activities, and possibly alumni connections, & income level. Perhaps the split will not be 50-50. In a recent lawsuit the rejected applicants all believed that getting into the University of Michigan was their only chance at success in life. Perhaps applicants who are not totally set on going to a particular college would take their chances with the affirmative action pool.
This would result in perhaps 5% less minority applicants being admitted, but the money saved by not having to answer discrimination lawsuits can be used to improve education in low achieving high schools, thus improving the scores and grades of Black and Latino applicants.