One question, does one get told that they got in because of affirmative action? Because it seems that a lot of people don't like it in principle, but I'm not completely convinced that it's always used.
Of course, we've used meritocracy in the past, however it usually maintains the class system, whereby people with money get better education, get better qualifications and therefore get better jobs.
Coming from an impoverished background, with a heavy emphasis on the state school system in the UK, I find I'm automatically at a disadvantage because of the failings of the overwhelmed state school system. In essence, I'm at an automatic disadvantage because of my original social background. Whilst it is not impossible for me to become more successful, and even earn social mobility, it does mean that I'm more likely to be unsuccessful in that task.
Affirmative action is social engineering. To be fair, social engineering isn't necessarily bad. And let's face it, no society that exists at the moment is perfect, sometimes not even close - so perhaps something to shake up society's structure would be a good thing...