In a meritocracy, equal opportunity is essential. Every individual must have the equal opportunity to demonstrate their merit, and gain reward on the basis of that merit. Yet, Affirmative Action creates race as a factor in providing individuals with rewards. Instead of earning a reward such as a certain high paying job through merit, Affirmative Action opens the potential that race will be the determining factor for that reward being assigned to an individual. It makes unequal access to opportunities, violating both the notion of equal opportunity and meritocracy.