I could debate with myself all day on this issue-- as my subjective circumstances have always shaped my opinion on the matter. When I was going through highschool and applying to college, I was more conservative on this issue, because I was effectively being "reverse" discriminated against for being smarter, and associated with a generally smarter racial class (Asian).
After being remove from school for quite a few years and not really personally affected by the issue, and also having a wider perspective of life and how the world works, I am not so much opposed to artificial measures, such as affirmative action and minimum wage laws, to align economics with ethics.
Someone is always going to get shat on one way or the other. Whether it's some privileged white boy who cries and gets all the attention, or some underprivileged black kid whose high IQ goes unrecognized because of missed opportunity-- there will never be a perfect measure that can right all the wrongs of the past.
I think Affirmative Action is the wrong way to correct a deeper problem. The problem is opportunity. The opportunity we're talking about is way back to pre-school and before. I'm suggesting that given a perfect Utopia, each race would be equally represented in school/work given their respective population to the whole. I assume that currently, there is a strong correlation with family income and the intelligence level of kids. I also assume that most minorities have lower incomes than whites.
So-- to tackle this problem by requiring a certain percentage of a certain race (in this case, blacks) in school/work environments is not wrong in its intent-- but purports to solve this issue from a top-down approach. Let's say, for example, an office required 10% black employees, and 50% female employees.
This would not make sense if the black and/or the female employees performed under-par to the white male employees. The Affirmative Action, in this case, would be a macro detriment to society, and therefore not a very good overall measure unless, total productivity was somehow increased instead of decreased.
It would be better to invest resources into schools and teachers in the poorest areas, and investing in future populations-- rather than to solve this problem with a top-down approach.
Affirmative Action does seem to be unfair, as it really is reverse discrimination. However, it is addressing a real tangible issue. If there is no better solution though, I cannot argue against affirmative action-- as it is choosing the better of two evils. I would rather force society to 'not be racist' than allow racism to passively occur. If taking 'affirmative action' is in itself an ironic form of hypocrisy, the ends justify the means in this case, on a massive scale. Maybe a handful of white men will be denied an opportunity, but the many hundreds, thousands of blacks who were passively discriminated against purely because of their race will now be given a chance, whereas before, they had zero chance to succeed in life.
So-- what are some implications? Does this mean basketball teams have to start adding more white guys? Maybe...
I mean-- the logical extremes of affirmative action can be extravagant, hilarious, and disastrous.
I am pro finding a better solution, because affirmative action is very unfair-- but it's like a last resort action to combat racism... something that still exists in the background even though we don't want to admit it.