It is fine to support the achievements of people in school and in the work force. However, it must be recognized that not every person has the opportunity to achieve in the same way. Some achieve by merely making it through in awful circumstances. We need affirmative action to make sure those with potential are recognized, as well as to right wrongs of the past.
Given the history and current state of Black people in American society, affirmative action examines the people's performance and takes into account societal disadvantages (not the best schools, economic disadvantges, etc.) and identifies those who use their resources effectively. Based off of a larger "objective" standard by which we measure meritocracy, there may be some inconsistencies, BUT affirmative action accounts for people who are "top of the pack" in their respective inner-city school even if they're only "middle of the pack" from some amazing private school.
Affirmative action rewards being part of a group deemed less desirable by society which is not necessarily earned. If an individual chooses to discriminate on the basis of race, nationality, physical disability etc. that is their problem and should not be obligated to hire anyone for a reason they do not want to. Merit should be the only basis for getting a job, but if an employer would rather hire a person for any reason it should be their personal decision since they have to work with them not you.
I think that Affirmative Action had its place right after segregation, but is no longer necessary. We should abide by the notions of a meritocracy because people need to work to succeed. You can't just have a rule that says that you can make a decision based on something that has no grounds.