Affirmative action, as originally defined could be summarized as “action taken to provide equal opportunity, as in admissions or employment, for minority groups and women”. Affirmative action does not mean any type of special treatment or preferences towards any minority group, it does not mean the use of any kind of quota system, even if only to create a tendency for proportional representation, it does not mandate or imply the use of any alternative criteria specifically used for minorities or women, and it is not reverse discrimination. Affirmative action only refers to actively changing and correcting policies that are inherently unfair to any group or person because of factors other than qualification. It means that everyone with an equal qualification should get an equal opportunity at being selected.
Meritocracy should be the primary system by which the great majority of employment and admissions decisions are made. Since every employment or admissions decision cannot be based solely on an objective meritocracy test, some latitude should be allowed for subjective judgments being made by employers or administrators.
Also, there should be a fair amount of leeway for employers to make their decisions based on factors other than meritocracy, so long as such exceptions do not become commonplace or severely neglect the merits of a competing candidate.