Fairness and justice
When Brands wrote "A simple example of the principle is the you-cut-I-choose strategy for sharing a sandwich. If I make an unfair cut, I'll wind up with the short end of the hero," it brought back memories of my childhood. If there was an extra piece of pie or cake, my dad would tell me and my brother: "One of you cuts it in two; the other gets to choose." That ensured the one doing the cutting didn't try to cheat.
Equal fairness in society would an ideal state. The problem with eliminating things like affirmative action is that it entrenches unfairness. When a marginalized group has been held back for decades, suddenly asserting things are all equal is fine and great for the groups already ahead. There's almost no possible way for the marginalized groups to make up ground to actually BE equal without a leg up- which our society clearly shows it won't allow. Sadly.
If fairness could be implemented in an actual fair manner, then elimination of affirmative action could be effective. A good example is in audition for symphonies. Years ago, players would audition in the open before a panel. The bias was clearly in for white male musicians. But a number of years ago, audition now began to be held with musicians behind a screen. The only metric the panel had was the notes wafting over the barrier- no visual as to appearance, race or gender. Orchestras are now quite diverse and intergrated.
But barriers to jobs. loans, housing and such are more difficult to overcome because they are seldom if ever done behind a barrier.