Affirmative Action

January 11, 2010
By Alex Roys SILVER, Houston, Texas
Alex Roys SILVER, Houston, Texas
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Affirmative action, a policy that considers race, sex, ethnicity, physical disabilities, etc., is a widely discussed topic, which has opinions. Either side poses its own injustices, but it is more equal without affirmative action. Colleges especially use this policy when taking applications and deciding on who to admit. Neither side of affirmative action is completely correct because racism is still a problem in society, however people have their different opinions. I believe that the fairest way to run society is without affirmative action.

If you were applying to college and you were more qualified in the sense of grades, extra curriculars, etc. than someone else, but the other person got accepted and you didn’t, wouldn’t you think that was unfair? With affirmative action in effect these situations occur. With affirmative action, a less qualified person that is a minority receives a small “boost” when applying to colleges. This boost can consist of extra points on the SAT exam. It could help the student get the score they could have if they had an easier life. It is not their fault that they have a tough background, but it is their fault if they do not work hard. In The Case Against Affirmative Action the authors state that, “In reality, the average SAT disparity between Stanford’s African American and white admittees reached 171 points in 1992…” (Sacks and Thiel 1). The minority students are scoring lower, but you do not really know if it is just because they are minorities. It could be that they are not trying as hard. Students that receive this benefit might even have a well-raised background and be minorities. Just because they are a minority that should not qualify them for this “boost”. It should only be given to the ones that are determined to work hard and plan to get somewhere with that help.
In many opinions being a minority should automatically qualify you for these benefits. On the other hand, there could be poor struggling majorities that would benefit with the “boost” much more. By saying that someone is a minority and needs help is not enough. You must judge on who needs the help the most, not by race or ethnicity but by the necessity of help. You cannot just do everything for them and give them a free ride into college. You must also decide who will use the benefits for the greatest cause, for example, which is the hardest worker. The system is unfair. The authors prove this by stating, “The fundamental unfairness and arbitrariness of preferences—why should the under-qualified son of a black doctor displace the qualified daughter of a Vietnamese boat refugee?” (1). If you are a minority you still must be qualified and not expect someone to give you a free pass.
Some people agree that the educational system is unequal. There are many parts of it that are unequal. For example, “The Milwaukee school district, with 77 percent Black and Hispanic students, annually spends $3,081 less per student than the nearby Maple Dale-Indian Hill district with 20 percent Black and Hispanic students” (Pryse 1). This shows that in these two districts, the district with a smaller percentage of Black and Hispanic students spends more money on the students than the district with a higher percentage of minorities. This is highly unfair to the schools with the higher percentages.

Affirmative action has its pros and cons but the way in which colleges admit people and give out scholarships is unfair. In most opinions, the system is fairer without affirmative action. The system can make it unfair for both majorities and minorities. Affirmative action can ruin the chances of succeeding for a range of diversities. Our society must refine affirmative action with a better solution to fix this problem. If not, people may stop trying to apply for college because they believe that they have no hope for success.

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