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THE BOTTOM LINE

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  • A majority of Americans seem to favor affirmative action, but more support is shown when poll questions are vaguely worded.
  • When the words “preferencesâ€? or “quotasâ€? are used, support for affirmative action falls dramatically. In a 2000 National Opinion Research Center poll, the following question was asked: “Some people say that because of past discrimination, blacks should be given preference in hiring and promotion. Others say that such preference in hiring and promotion of blacks is wrong because it discriminates against whites. What about your opinion — are you for or against preferential hiring and promotion of blacks?â€? Only 13 percent of whites and 43 percent of blacks said they were “forâ€? it.
  • Blacks continue to support affirmative action programs more strongly than do whites, seeing both a greater need and a larger role for such programs in the present as well as in the future.
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