Racism: What the World needs to know

January 12, 2010
By alexa_elizabeth BRONZE, Houston, Texas
alexa_elizabeth BRONZE, Houston, Texas
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Affirmative Action: Policies developed to give preference to certain groups in college admissions and hiring. Affirmative action is used in colleges all around or country to create equal opportunities. Is this program hurting or helping the issue of racism? I believe in affirmative action, but I do not believe that it should be based on gender, but on income.

Affirmative action is an issue that not to many people realize. Although it is hurting racism, it is also helping the other issues like income disadvantages. Your family income plays a huge roll in which college you go to. If you have come from a poor family and could not afford to go to a well-educated school, then you have a small percentage of a chance of getting into a good college. Affirmative action gives a few extra points to those who came from poorer areas and could not get a good education compared to someone who came from a private school with good education. For instance, East St. Louis is a very poor area with a terrible school system and bad education. East St. Louis “is simply the worst place I can imagine to have a child brought up…The community is in desperate situations” (Kozol 3). This city is a very good example of a place where a child might get extra points on a college admission form. If you could not afford to live anywhere else or go to any other school, then you do not have an equal opportunity as someone who was raised in a good home and a decent education. The other side to this argument argues that because of the extra points that are given to them, the competition to get into that particular school has become unfair. Points given for this reason is not fair because not everyone goes to a poor school and gets a bad education.
Another reason that affirmative action is helpful is because some families do not encourage their children to get good grades or try very hard. The lack of family encouragement indirectly tells the students that school is not very important and its okay to just barley make it. These children’s parents are probably low-income workers that cannot afford a great school and they might not care about their child’s education. It’s really sad to see this because this is a person’s future and will be with them forever. If your parents do not encourage you to work hard, then you will not work hard and get good grades. Affirmative action gives you points for coming from a low-income household and a poor neighborhood. Many people once again, think this is very unfair. They believe that no points should be given because their family did not help them get good grades. That is there parents fault and no points should be rewarded for something their parents did. What if you did not grow up in a nice home and was so very close to getting into the school of your choice but you got beat by someone who got those points? Would you then want to get points for that?

Although I do believe in affirmative action, I do not believe that it should be based on race. I know that colleges do this to have many different cultures and ethnicities on their campus, but do they realize what this is doing? Affirmative action based on race is creating more of a racism problem then helping it. For example, if a Caucasian male was applying to Harvard and had a 3.85 GPA and a score of 1250 on the S.A.T. test, but had a poor family, then you would think that they would have a pretty good chance since their grades are good so far. What if an African American male applied to Harvard and had a 3.84 GPA and a score of 1250 on the S.A.T. test, and also had a poor background and a bad education, who do you think would get in? “Under affirmative action, the 'black' student would not only be accepted, he would be eligible for financial aid. The 'black' student would go to Harvard and the 'white' student would probably end up at a community college” (Hallstrom 1). This statement is very true about affirmation action against race. The unfairness of this admittance is that the African American would be admitted because of the extra points he received for being a different race other than Caucasian. Although it is not fair, another party argues that this is very fair because the admissions are just trying to create diversity on the campus so that the school does not seem racist. In reality, some schools would not have some African American people or any race without affirmative action because that might have been the only reason that they were admitted. If you came from a poor school and your family had bad income, then you probably would not have been excepted if there were not affirmative action. Affirmative action gives hope to futures that once, were hopeless.

A huge argument against affirmative action is that most people would feel very offended if someone else, who had equal scores as them, got accepted because they were African American or Indian or some other race. That is the issue that is making racism worst when it is supposed to be helping. Affirmative action is definitely not helping racism issues. Another group of people might say that you should not be offended that some of another race is taking your spot because it is all for the better. How is creating more racial issues better? Sure, its nice to not only be the only person representing your race at a school, but accepting someone for their race is not right. I also think that extra points for gender are not fair either. I do not see the point in giving a few points to someone only because she is a female. I know there were once really bad women rights, but now we are equal so I do not see the need to add points for gender purposes.
The other side to the whole affirmative action policy is that you will never know about these points. An affirmative action chart was released to the public a few years ago, so that is how we know exactly what the points are. In a real acceptance letter, the admissions will not state, “Because of these extra points, someone who is from an underrepresented group has been admitted over you” (Harvard Admissions 1). This would never have been said in your acceptance letter. You will never know if you were not admitted into a school because their was a person that belonged to an underrepresented group that was chosen over you. This process was supposed to be a complete secrete until the chart was leaked to the public. Most people also would have an issue being admitted not because of their grades, but because of the extra points. Most people want the schools to see how well you do in academics instead of if you were female or a different race. This is true, but once again, you will not know the reason you were admitted. You also can not get mad because some people might have gotten extra points for coming out of a small town because most likely you will get some kind of extra points too, which might make them choose you over someone else. It is offensive to only get admitted to a school for your race, but you have to also have strong academics to even be considered to go to that school. You cannot have a very low GPA and a terrible S.A.T. score and get accepted over someone with almost perfect scores, because minority points do not help that much. Over all, you will never know why you got admitted to a school; Was it for race or gender? Or maybe because you were raised in a small town? It will always be a mystery.
Affirmative action has its pros and cons and that is to be expected. It was made to help you get into a college if you had indifference or an unequal opportunity. No one knew that affirmative action would soon be hated because of its racist point system. Affirmative action changes someone’s future, but in the process, hurt another precious person.

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