Affirmative Action: Argument of The Century

January 11, 2010
By
How would you feel if you weren’t admitted to the college of your dreams just because of your race even though your more qualified than the person they let in over you? Of the few things that I disagree with all of my being, one of the highest on the list is affirmative action. Affirmative action is often used to allow under qualified minorities to get into colleges and jobs over qualified majorities. Ever since its beginning in the 1960s, all it’s been doing is adding to racial tension, belittling merit, and trying to fight racism with racism. If you want a world without racism then try eliminating all forms of racism, not just the racism against minorities.

Affirmative action is just another word for reverse discrimination. In other words, all it’s doing is trying to fight racism with more racism. How many times in the past has fighting back with the same problem ever accomplished anything? Many students have been rejected from colleges, jobs, and more just on the fact that they were a minority in the past and now because they aren’t. I just don’t see how this accomplishes anything. Many colleges will accept a under qualified minority over a qualified majority just to reach “diversity” which is supposed to fix everything. But it hasn’t over the past 40 years, so why would it fix anything. It just simply doesn’t work. If you make a comment to someone and the do the same back does that fix anything? No you just end up with a larger fight.

This type of a supposed fix to a problem only creates more tension. Under these conditions groups will often see them selves as not as important or as good as the other. Many times organizations will lower their standards for one group just to accomplish “diversity” in either the classroom or the work place. How does lowering a standard for one group but not another make either group feel equal to each other? One group will feel out of place because they had a lower bar set for them while the other group will become resentful of the latter thus adding to racial tension. Often times one group is forced to work diligently to keep up with their forced high standard while the other is practically having things handed to them. If you worked twice as hard as someone else but yet you both received the same benefits in the end, you because you worked and the other because they were a minority, wouldn’t you feel resentful towards the other? Isn’t that how racism was before affirmative action just flipped?

Affirmative action can belittle merit in cases where a qualified person of majority is rejected in favor of an under qualified person of minority. One thing that I believe very strongly is that merit should outweigh race. In fighting to equal race, affirmative action exacerbates the problem, by causing race to outweigh merit in the opposite direction. Weather you start out at equal positions or not you can work with what you have and should be rewarded for your work not race. My dad had to pay his own way through college, all expenses not just tuition or food, everything. He ended up working as CFO for Consolidated Graphics one of the countries largest printing companies, and now works as CFO for a beer distributorship here in Houston.

There are, however, many supporters of affirmative action. They believe affirmative action is necessary to enable minorities a chance to succeed. One common argument is that often times colleges or jobs will accept wealthy over poor. One example of the falsehood in such a statement is again found in my dad’s case, where he paid for all college expenses, without any help, by working his way through collage and ended up CFO of a large printing company and later a beer distributorship. Another common remark is that SAT’s don’t show personal achievement. If this is true then why only lower the standards for minorities and not all races. If it doesn’t show the personal achievements of one group than why would show another’s?

In the end, affirmative action does nothing but reverse the problem and escalate the tensions that it’s supposed to relieve. All it does is fight racism with more racism, and if that hasn’t worked in the past 40 years why should it work now? The fact is that if we want true equality we need to eliminate all forms of racism not just racism against minorities, instead of discriminating against another group. Until we erase affirmative action and all other forms of racism we can’t achieve an equal society in either college or in the work place. Whether you’re going into college or you’re already out of college affirmative action will affect you.





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