ESSENCE Poll: Do You Believe in Affirmative Action?

Affirmative action: a 50-year debate that doesn’t show signs of stopping anytime soon.

In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson, noticing that a dismal percentage of college students were Black, signed an executive order mandating that universities and other institutions be required to admit a certain percentage of minority and disadvantaged students. Enter affirmative action.

Fifty years later, that order is still in full swing. Colleges regularly recruit minority students to diversify their populations. The number of Black college students have increased, and minority students who may have been discriminated against during the application process have received degrees and scholarships.

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On the flip side, however, some people argue that it promotes reverse discrimination by accepting a minority student over a non-minority who may be better qualified. Indian-American actress Mindy Kaling’s older brother, Vijay Chokal-Ingam, recently came forward saying that he posed as a Black man while applying to medical schools to prove that he would be accepted to more schools as an affirmative action candidate (and he was, despite his wealthy upbringing, which he didn’t hide). On his blog, he explains why he believes that affirmative action does not benefit the underprivileged.

Which side of the spectrum do you fall on? Are you and advocate for affirmative action, or do you think it’s a mandate that is outdated? Take our poll and leave us a comment explaining how you feel.

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