Why Affirmative Action Isn't Necessary | Teen Ink

Why Affirmative Action Isn't Necessary

January 11, 2010
By rasplickajo BRONZE, Houston, Texas
rasplickajo BRONZE, Houston, Texas
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Affirmative action should be banned because it is racism, has corrupted our way of thinking and our justice system, and colleges should accept applicants based on merit, in a colorblind way. Affirmative action is wrong: the idea of it; the concept is good – to help those who cannot normally get into college; but the actual acceptance of a minority, just because they are not Caucasian, is absolutely wrong. After all, some minorities do not want to go to college. Some Caucasians do not want to go either. And, there are alternatives.

The chief reason I believe affirmative action is wrong is that it has corrupted our American way of thinking, as well as our justice system at its highest level. Just like colleges accept minorities to look good on paper, President Barack Obama nominated Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to look good on paper. Judge Sotomayor has been nominated by both Republican and Democratic Presidents, and in his article, “Pres. Obama Goes Over the Top on Affirmative Action,” James W. Thomson argues that “Obama’s nomination of Sotomayor….suggests that Pres. Obama has no real understanding—or even desire—for a post-racial society” (Thomson 20). Operating on the definition that a post-racial society is a society where race no longer matters, why would he nominate Sonia Sotomayor—a self-proclaimed “affirmative action baby?” If she has gotten to where she is due to her race, and not her legal mind, judicial skill, etc., then why would she be a legitimate choice for a Supreme Court Justice? This kind of flawed logic will be the end of America.

My secondary reason for not approving of affirmative action is that colleges should accept students in a colorblind manner. My sister is salutatorian—second in her class, and her dream is to go to Stanford, and to be in their Product Design program (a mixture of art and engineering.) The fact of the matter is, she most likely will not get in, even though she is a very good candidate. Why, you ask? The answer is twofold. The first, obvious reason is that it is Stanford University, which is very tough to get in to in the first place. The second reason is affirmative action, or admitting minorities to colleges simply because they are minorities, and in an attempt on the part of the colleges to promote diversity. In their article, “The Case Against Affirmative Action,” David Sacks and Peter Thiel state that “This same push for “diversity” also has lead Stanford to create racially segregated dormitories, racially segregated freshman orientation programs,
racially segregated graduation ceremonies and curricular requirements in race theory and gender studies” (Sacks & Thiel). This begs the question, is affirmative action really working? If it was, would not everyone congregate together, and eliminate the need for the racially segregated dormitories, orientation programs, and graduation ceremonies? Sacks & Thiel also bring up another good point: “Although Stanford’s Admissions office cannot undo the wrongs of history, its mission is still very important—namely, admitting the best class of students it can find” (Sacks and Thiel). If this is mission of the admissions office of Stanford, one of the leading universities in our country, should it not be the mission of the admissions office of every university and college in our country? If a student who is a minority took a Caucasian students’ spot in a freshman class because they are better qualified, so be it. If they are part of the best possible class that the admissions office can admit, then there is no problem with that. In Paul Pryce’s article, “In defense of affirmative action,” he professes that “As many as 15 percent of freshman at America’s top schools are white students who failed to meet their university’s minimum standards for admission…” (Pryse). Now, what is the question? It is, of course, what we do with the fifteen percent. The logical plan seems to stop admitting them, and accept qualified minorities in their places. Not only would that make all of the students qualified, the colleges would look good on paper, as well. The best part is that there is no affirmative action needed, that everyone gets in based on merit.

My final point is that some minorities, and even some Caucasians do not want to go to college; and that there are many alternatives to college. Although there are minorities, and even Caucasians that do try hard in high school, some bring it upon themselves by slacking and having to acquire a GED (Grade Equivalency Diploma) to carry around the rest of their days. Some people decide to work straight out of high school, granted these are usually the people that cannot afford tuition, and all of the other adherent costs of a four-year university. However, the government had a solution for this long before affirmative action in the community college system. Houston Community College charges very reasonable rates for two years of instruction at heir facilities, and then after those two years; your classes transfer to any Texas college or University. Needless to say, the government has tried and true methods of helping minorities of every sort succeed.

In closing, affirmative action is without a doubt wrong. The government at all levels—state and national—has solutions for people that take initiative and want to succeed. Also, the removal of the fifteen percent of unqualified students from colleges and universities, and acceptance of qualified minorities in the unqualified students’ places will solve affirmative action. It is a win-win scenario for everyone: the colleges look good on paper, and the minorities get to go to college. However, this does not solve the corruption of the justice system or our way of thinking. These last two issues cannot be solved easily, nor can they be solved quickly. Nevertheless, we must do something about them, and soon. Only when our justice system and our way of thinking have been righted can we as Americans be a post-racial society.

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