Majority Americans Support Affirmative Action, Survey


About 63 percent of Americans support affirmative actions aimed at increasing the population of blacks and minority students in colleges and universities, according to a 2104 poll by the Pew Research Center.

The survey, conducted from February 27 to March 16, also found that 30 percent of respondents dismissed the program by saying it's a "bad thing."Nearly 84 percent of blacks, 80 percent of Hispanics, 55 percent of whites, 78 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of Republicans voted in  favor of affirmative actions.

A survey by Pew Research in 2003 and other organisation also fetched similar results.

In May 2013, a CBS News/New York Times poll found that 53 percent accept affirmative action programs while 38 were dismissive of such programs. Plus, three-quarters of African Americans approve affirmative action programs compared to 46 percent of whites. About 63 percent of the supporters said that such programs increased the diversity and 24 percent felt that it is a way of rectifying past discrimination.

However, when Gallup, an American consultancy firm, asked respondents in a 2013 survey whether students should be admitted based on academic qualifications (less diversity on campus) or background information (more diversity and admissions to unqualified minority students), they found that 67 percent disagreed with affirmative action programs.

The 2014 Pew Research finding has come a day after the Supreme Court upheld Michigan's Affirmative action ban on college admissions. The ruling now allows Michigan to forbid the use of racial considerations in admissions at publicly funded colleges and universities. Tuesday's 6-2 verdict turned around a 2013 ruling by a lower court that described the ban unconstitutional, Voxxireports.

In 2006, Michigan modified the state constitution, known as Proposal 2, to ban public colleges from taking into account race gender, ethnicity or national origin in the public college admissions process. The amendment was supported by 58 percent of voters.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg did not support Tuesday's decision.

"'For members of historically marginalized groups, which rely on the federal courts to protect their constitutional rights, the decision can hardly bolster hope for a vision of democracy that preserves for all the right to participate meaningful and equally in self-government,'" Sotomayor said.

Besides Michigan, Arizona, California, Florida, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Texas, and Washington have bans on affirmative action.

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