Let's Change Now

March 26, 2011
By molly welch SILVER, Houston, Texas
molly welch SILVER, Houston, Texas
9 articles 0 photos 2 comments

How would you feel if you were denied the right to learn just because of your skin color or gender? This is racist and sexist and is exactly what affirmative action is doing to their college applicants. Affirmative action is letting minorities into college that may be unqualified instead of qualified majority kids. The goal of affirmative action is to create diversity on college campuses. United States colleges should not use affirmative action because it is racist against majorities and sexist against men.

Affirmative action increases racism by having minorities appear incapable of qualifying by themselves. “The claim that racial preferences help the ‘disadvantaged’” is insulting minorities by implying that they have a handicap as if less capable than an Asian or Caucasian person (Sacks and Thiel 1). It also implies the idea that majorities are more capable and might cause them to look down on minorities, thinking that they need help, and cannot qualify on their own. These ideas only increase racism; therefore, we will never stop racism if we continue with affirmation action.

Affirmative action is racist against Caucasians and Asians, and is sexist against men. I feel that women are just as capable as men are about getting into colleges on their own. Minority races are also just as capable as others to get into college. A person’s race or gender has nothing to do with their ability to learn. For instance it is unfair for “the under qualified son of a black doctor [to] displace the qualified daughter of a Vietnamese boat refugee” (Sacks and Thiel 1). The minority races and men should not be forced to give up their rightfully earned place in college just because of their gender or race. People cannot change their race or gender; they are born with it and judging them on something that cannot be helped is sexist and racist.

Colleges should only judge their students on academic achievements and extra curricular activities, not on race, gender or income. Race and gender are “traits, not achievements” so there is no justification as to why they are included when choosing students for college (Sacks and Thiel 2).

The amount of income that a student’s parents make can, in some way, plays a role in the level of education the student acquired. For example, I am getting a much better education in my high school than a student in East St. Louis where “children get used to feeling constant pain…that grown-ups would find unendurable”(Kozol 1). With their kind of terrible conditions, I would not be able to focus on school much less think about college. I would be too worried about the health and well being of my family and myself. Therefore, I think places like East St. Louis should be immediately recognized by the government and provided with the needed resources so the children have a chance to learn in proper living conditions. If the living conditions and schooling systems are improved by the government, they will be as equally qualified as any other school. Learning is what college is all about, therefore SAT, ACT, and other tests as well as overall achievements and extra curricular activities, should be how the colleges evaluate possible students.

Another reason that the US does not need affirmative action is because some people that are minorities may not need the extra points. The high-class minorities should not be given points because of race; this assumes they are poor and needy. Affirmation action is giving all minorities the reputation of being poor and is increasing racism. If they are given points because of low income then the majorities should get the points also.

Some may argue that affirmative action is needed because there is still racism and minorities need the extra help. It is true there is still racism today but affirmative action does not help stop it. It is only racist against a different group of people and it still undermines certain minorities by implying that they cannot get in on their own. Affirmative action is not the cure to racism. David Sacks and Peter Thiel argue that “if, after 25 years, affirmative action has not succeeded in ending discrimination, perhaps it is time to try something else” (1).

Another argument supporting the use of affirmative is that bad schools have less materials and larger classes. While this is a serious matter concerning the education system, affirmative action does not impact this. If the student does not learn what they need to in the lower grade levels of school, they will be behind in college. Large classes can be both beneficial and detrimental to the student so this is an illogical statement. They can benefit because of all the different views and questions that can be asked by the students. It can also be a detriment because of the lack of individual attention is received.

Others may state that affirmative action is needed to bring diversity onto the college campuses. David Sacks and Peter Thiel prove this wrong by arguing that “the under lying assumption - that all minorities can add certain ideas or perspectives – is offensive…because it implies that all minorities think a certain way” (1). Bringing ideas that separate one race from another is indirectly increasing racism. By looking at race they are making it seem like it needs to be considered when it does not. Colleges should not ask for ethnicity or race on their applications. If the student feels that they need extra assistance because of their living conditions then the college should address the issue and then decide from there weather help is required not by asking about race or gender.

If the use of affirmative is not stopped and if cities like East St. Louis are not repaired, the US may never escape racism. Affirmative action is unfair to men, Caucasians, and Asians because of a physical trait. Cities like East St. Louis should not be ignored, these people deserve to have proper living conditions and education systems just like everyone else. If the government would help these places it would be a step in the right direction toward ridding the US of racism. Affirmative action affects everyone looking to go to college, which is more then half of the US. All colleges using affirmative action are basing some of their student admissions on race or gender. This is detrimental to our society, racist, and sexist and needs to be stopped. Affirmative action has not been equally beneficial to all Americans and now, after 25 years of failing attempts, it is time to try something new.

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