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affirmative action

n. the process of a business or governmental agency in which it gives special rights of hiring or advancement to ethnic minorities to make up for past discrimination against that minority. Affirmative action has been the subject of legal battles on the basis that it is reverse discrimination against Caucasians, but in most challenges to affirmative action the programs have been upheld. In 1995 there was substantial political agitation to repeal or modify federal and state affirmative action laws.


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