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Critics raised one of the crucial questions with which we have to deal: If discrimination against blacks on the basis of color was wrong, how could discrimination against whites on the basis of color be right? At the same time, supporters of the new approach argued that some sort of action was required to make up for years of discrimination. Who was right? More importantly, WHY were they right?
The controversy over strong affirmative action not only divided liberals and conservatives, it divided liberals internally. Some political groups that had been strong supporters of civil rights for blacks came out against policies that they believed gave preference on the basis of color.