Affirmative Action

January 11, 2010
Have you ever felt like you deserved something but didn’t get it? Or that you did get it but you know you shouldn’t have? That is how it is with affirmative action! A position in a college or university is often given to minorities not because they deserve it, but because of their race, gender, and even ethnicity. It is meant to help the country become more equal but it sends the impression that racism is only wrong when it is done to African Americans. Affirmative action is not right because it bases admittance on race when it should be based on scholar merits and dedication.

Decisions should not be based on race or gender because it does not matter where you were in the past but that you are here now. All people have struggles and disadvantages, so minorities should not get the advantage. The difference with some people, is how they deal with the disadvantages. If someone cares about their education, and is dedicated to making a better future, there is always a way to succeed. School is there to help people learn and achieve; therefore, college admittance should be based on merits. For disadvantaged students who feel their school does not give a good college preparatory education, there is still a way to get a fair schooling if they are willing to strive for it. Sacrifices may need to be made to achieve it, but a dedicated student with a hunger for success should be able to get it. Those who work hard are successful; it is a fact. Soon enough, merits will be achieved and that is what colleges and universities should be looking at, not race. Merits are “not just grades and test scores, of course, but a broad range of accomplishments, in athletics, music, student government, drama, school clubs, and other extra-circular efforts” (Sacks and Thiel 2). With all these different ways of getting acceptance without even looking at gender or race, affirmative action shouldn’t be needed.

Not all minorities need the advantage so they should not receive the boost. For example, there are poor whites who need help yet do not receive it because they are white. In reality, there are more whites in need of affirmative action than blacks or Hispanics. Actually, there are about twice as many whites who live in poverty than African Americans and Latinos combined. There are many rich black and Latino people who are powerful! Some examples are President Obama, Oprah, and astronaut Franklin Chang-Diaz who have impacted America. They had started at the same point as all minorities and have become powerful influential people, so it is possible! With dedication, they have succeeded. The same goes for any minority out in the world. However, when it comes to minorities, which one receives the spot if the competition is between two different races. In some cases, “the under-qualified son of a black doctor displace the qualified daughter of a Vietnamese boat refugee” (Sacks and Thiel 1). If affirmative action spreads and continues occurring, when will it stop? Eventually, our country will have not changed at all, but instead, it will be the whites and the former rich people in need of affirmative action. Affirmative action does not lead America anywhere, and while it is trying to make people more equal, it is actually tearing us more apart.

In its own way, affirmative action is racism. It denies those who deserve recognition and instead gives it to others because their race is “inferior.” It groups all the ethnicities and builds up problems that were long gone: racism and segregation. Because minorities are poor in America, the government and school boards feel affirmative action will help equal out society. This is fighting racism with racism and will only harm the country, making it worse instead of better. As time passes, the topic will become more known, and eventually reach the ears of those learning about slavery and segregation in the U.S against blacks. Affirmative action sends the wrong message to everyone. It lets students know that racism is wrong only when done to African Americans! But really, racism may even be done more to whites. Any black person can come to white person and say “hey white boy”, or “cracker’ without anyone saying anything. Yet why is it that when a white person says “sup’ black boy”, or “hey my homie African” that they are considered racist?! I know racism is still very much out there such as minorities who deserve to be recognized such as pro-sport players “ever receive a paycheck from a professional team” (Fish 4).

America’s past is a huge scar that will last forever and will always be shared. Because of slavery and segregation, minorities supposedly have entered America labeled as poor and with no opportunities, and they feel as though they have not had the chances and enough time to become an important, influential, successful person. Well, news flash! Segregation ended at the same time everywhere in the U.S. If Jackie Robinson, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Obama, and Oprah could trudge through the color of their skin and become people that everyone will remember, any minority can do it. Sure, Dr. King was during the segregation times, but his story will last forever. Even today, he is talked about and that is what makes him inspiring and someone worth listening to. Anyone can succeed without help. Be independent; take a chance! Affirmative action is not needed for minorities to become known. It has been done multiple times before even if they believed their story was not important or influential because for someone it may have been. No one needs a college degree, Nobel Peace Prize, or any document to leave a story, but instead a strong will to strive for success.

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