Against Affirmative Action
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Affirmative action is a hot-button issue in American Universities. I will discuss the use of affirmative action solely in American universities and its effectiveness.
One thing I notice about affirmative action is the way that students respond to it. They become very patronizing or nice to Afro-American, Latino, and Native American students or they become downright antagonistic, seeing them as students who got into the university just because they were black or hispanic. That is not the truth. Many of the students get in because they are qualified to attend these universities. Many also get in because of the quota systems in our universities.
Now the best justification for affirmative action is unique historical discrimination (slavery, the taking away of Mexican land, the taking away of Indian Land, and the near genocide of the Native Americans). When will affirmative actions end though? These wrongs cannot be corrected through affirmative action or by giving reparations. They can only be corrected when blacks, hispanics,and Native Americans are treated as equals. A color-blind admission policy at our universities would correct this problem. Of course, one cannot be completely color-blind. A name reveals the race. On the same note, all admission to top universities for students whose father or mother is extremely famous, extremely rich, or extremely respectable must stop. Our universities must cultivate a diversity of the best students from all different backgrounds, not races.
Now I am not trying to understress the amount of discrimation that is present in our current society. There is discrimination against blacks and hispanics. They are generally seen as lazy, unproductive, troublesome, and even violent. Gangster rappers are seen as glamorizing prostitutes and money, their version of the American Dream. Hispanics are seen through the eyes of gangsters who bring their own macho cultures across state lines or as illegal immigrants who take away good American jobs. At one time, I suppose, Italians were seen through the eyes of the Godfather, as bloody and yet family-oriented souls, longing for acceptance into American culture.
It is, however, true that many other minorities have faced discrimination in America. Four of these groups, Jews, Chinese, Italians, and Irish are doing very well in America. Despite all the laws that kept them away from the Ivy League schools, they comprise of a large part of the Ivy League demographic. Of course these groups have not faced the unique historical racism of the blacks and hispanics, but they have fought, along with hispanics and blacks for equal rights in America. Of course, other Asians and Europeans have done as well, but I am stressing the discrimation factor when describing these four groups.
Now, it is a true fact that many hispanics and blacks live in near-poverty or poverty conditions. Why, however, should a white or Asian person who lives in poverty or near-poverty conditions be rejected at a good school so that a university is able to meet the quota for a black or hispanic person. This is discrimination. To paraphrase Martin Luther King Jr., a person should not be judged by the color of her or his skin. That is what these universities are doing. Are universities trying to match the demographic of the nation at large, and thereby, become a microcosm of the nation. If so, if there's a bloody civil war going on, are universities going to match the tension and conflict within the society? What exactly is this attempt to match the racial demographic of the country but mere superficiality? So when America becomes a much more pluralistic country in 2020, with a different demographic, will American universities match the new demographic? Some people may begin to think that we just have to bring more hispanics or asians into this country in order to get more acceptance letters to the top colleges in America. Has affirmative action become simply a game of numbers?
Now you may argue that the black student in poverty faces much more discrimation than a white student in poverty or an asian student in poverty. I will now turn a corner and ask about women. Women comprise of roughly half of our population at top universities and are doing extremely well. They also have been systematically put down throughout the ages. They have fought successfully against sexism, especially in modern times. The discrimination against woman has also been unique. At the same time, they are by far the minority in top positions of a university. So, to get back to my point, it is true that the black student in poverty probably goes to a school in which the majority of students are black, so where is the discrimination? If you are saying that our culture is racist, then the student can watch what he or she wants on television or study or play with whom she wants. Is you are saying that the society at large is racist, then we are dealing with the society that loves the successful and stays away from whom they perceive as unsuccessful. How does our society really make things tough for this black student? The case is complicated when a wealthy black student gets in while a poor white student does not get in. Our society is intensely prejudiced against the poor or those who do not achieve the American Dream. So where is the added discrimination?
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