Affirmative Action Helps No One | Teen Ink

Affirmative Action Helps No One

January 11, 2010
By hchs1259 SILVER, Houston, Texas
hchs1259 SILVER, Houston, Texas
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Imagine a world where no one notices the color of each other’s skin, a world where everyone was treated equally, fairly, and without prejudice. This is the goal of our generation. We want to see equal opportunities for everyone regardless of sex, or race, or nationality. Unfortunately, this will never happen as long as colleges and universities continue to favor certain applicants based on their race. The term affirmative action refers to policies that take race, ethnicity, or sex into consideration in an attempt to promote equal opportunity or increase ethnic or other forms of diversity (Wikipedia). Colleges and universities currently use affirmative action when reviewing college applications, and they are currently favoring black and other ethnic nationalities over white students in their admissions procedures. I along with many others believe this is not only unfair to white students, but is also harmful to the entire black race. Affirmative action is wrong; hard work, good grades, and a fierce determination should be considered when colleges and universities choose their freshman classes, not race.
The Supreme Court ruled that race could be a factor for universities shaping their admissions program (Washington CNN). This not only violates the constitutional guarantee against discrimination, but I believe it is also a form of reverse racism. These types of programs unconstitutionally discriminate against white students (Washington CNN). Imagine two students, one white, and the other black. Both students have grown up together, attending the same schools, pursuing the same extra curricular activities, both members of the same social clubs. Equal in every way except perhaps the white students grades are slightly better; perhaps the white student managed a better score on his SAT’s. Imagine the disappointment the white student might feel if the black student was considered for admission to a college or university that had passed up the white students application based on racial factors. Inequalities did occur in our country many years ago. Black people were not treated the same as white people. As unfair as it was to blacks, these injustices are not going to be solved by giving preferential treatment to black students entering into college, this is only causing the white students to be discriminated against in the same way we are fighting to free blacks from. This form of affirmative action is only distorting our understanding of racial discrimination (A Negative Vote of Affirmative Action).
I believe that by allowing affirmative action, we are undermining the self-respect of minority races (A Negative Vote of Affirmative Action). Affirmative action may actually be making black people feel inferior because they may not feel they are good enough to earn admission on their own. Acceptance into college is an earned privilege. It is something we work our entire childhood to achieve. Schoolwork, homework, sacrifices; we do these things to assure our acceptance into a college. It is a rite of passage that we look forward to. I cannot imagine being accepted into a college based upon the color of my skin knowing everybody else made sacrifices for the same privilege. If I gained admission to college based upon the color of my skin, I would always wonder if I was ever actually smart enough to do the same thing on my own. I would enter into a situation when I felt inferior. I would never feel good enough. Because of affirmative action, many blacks may lose their self-respect because they may not feel they have earned their admissions based on their skills and abilities.
By allowing affirmative action, we may also be creating a victim mentality among blacks (A Negative Vote on Affirmative Action). Slavery was an appalling reality that happened in the past. We cannot change the past, but we can learn from it. By allowing affirmative action, instead of growing and learning from the past, we are allowing blacks to use it as an excuse as to why they cannot be successful today. Slavery occurred hundreds of years ago. Now is the time to move on and allow blacks to achieve equal opportunities on their own. Now is the time for blacks to feel the joy of their own success. Blacks need to feel their own accomplishments; they need to feel the sense of pride that goes along with hard work. Affirmative action allows blacks to wallow in self-pity and allows them to capitalize on injustices that happened hundreds of years ago (A Negative Vote of Affirmative Action).
Some people may believe that affirmative action levels the playing field (A Negative Vote of Affirmative Action). Some think the playing field is tilted in favor of white students. I don’t believe this. I believe that white students have to work hard in school if they want to go to college. I go to a school where three to four hours of homework each night it expected. It’s not fun, family time suffers, and I have little social life, but the promised rewards of college far exceed the sacrifices I am making. Black or white, hard work is required of us if we want to be accepted into college. Black people should not be allowed to goof off during high school and expect special treatment from admissions boards. When both black and white students work equally as hard to earn their spots in college, the playing field has been equalized.
Another argument some may have in favor of affirmative action is that college admission tests such as the SAT unfairly favor white students. White students may have an advantage because we are exposed to greater vocabulary words at home, or we have benefited from greater life experiences, but take it from a student with learning disabilities, the same tests also discriminate against students like myself. If we start making changes in these tests to benefit black people, can we also make changes to benefit students with learning disabilities? What about white students who come from underprivileged homes? What changes are we going to make to accommodate them? There may be problems with college entrance tests, but these problems have nothing to do with the color of our skin. These problems encompass far more than the simple issues of race.
Let us not forget yet another argument affirmative action supporters have. Some believe that blacks should receive special treatment because blacks lead a significantly lesser life than their white counterpart (A Negative Vote on Affirmative Action). This is racial profiling at its best. To lump all black people into this category is like lumping all blondes into one category. Some people say that all blondes are stupid, or all redheads are hotheaded. Lumping people into categories based upon coloring makes no sense. Blondes have to earn respect, redheads have to earn respect, and black people are no exception. Respect must be earned be each of us, equally.
In conclusion, hard work, good grades, and a fierce determination should be considered when colleges and universities choose their freshman classes, not race. Affirmative action is wrong. I agree that society does tend to stereotype different racial groups, and these stereotypes are wrong. But, people overcome these stereotypes everyday. Blacks need to learn from an early age that they are smart, determined, and worthy of college. They need to work hard and know that that hard work will make a difference. They need to experience the same sense of pride that white students feel when the college or university of their choice accepts them. They need to feel the same sense of accomplishment. Once they do, then they will truly know what equality feels like.

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This article has 4 comments.

flying10001 said...
on Jan. 28 2016 at 10:40 pm
Firstly, I heard many people said that affirmative actions replaced by diversity management nowadays. We live in multicultural society, people are from different background. We need diverse group to form our government, community and neighbourhood. To achieve that, affirmative actions play important part. Burns and Schapper pointed out “Targeted hiring of designated groups to increase the representation of those groups in educational institutions and workforce.” (Burns and Schapper (2008)). I generally agree with you that “hard work, good grades, and a fierce determination should be considered when colleges and universities choose their freshman classes, not race.” You argued that some of college and university admissions programs “unconstitutionally discriminate against white students”, I disagree with you, and I believe there is no discrimination. If you look back history, when there were discrimination existed in the old time. The policies and legislations were created by the powerful white people to against minor group or black. Today, affirmative actions are made by diversity of group, which are also included white people to encourage minor group or black people to join the society and represent their nations. Furthermore, because I live in New Zealand and we have targeted admission schemes are provide for Maori, Pacific island, refugee or disabilities. Statistics New Zealand shows Maori students and Pacifica students perform less well than other group of students at school. The main reason is because of their parents’ background. Generally Maori or Pacific parents having less money and less education than other groups. For example, Statistics New Zealand indicates that the employment rate of Maori and Pacifica groups are 59% and 56% respectively, whereas 67.3% of New Zealand Europeans are employed. It also discovered the key barriers for Pacific student could not perform well are lack of English fluency, less involvement in school activities and cultural differences. Targeted admission program are necessary for them; education is right for everyone in the country. Government have obligations to ensure equal opportunity of ethnic group with equal right. Hence, college and university should adopt affirmative action policies to balance strong group and weak groups.

flying10001 said...
on Jan. 28 2016 at 10:39 pm
Hi hchs159, My response on your article “Affirmative Action Helps No One” is part of business ethics assignment. Thank you for your views. Your points of views are against affirmative action. You think affirmative action is wrong. However, I do not agree your view of “a form of reverse racism”. Move over, I also have different view on affirmative action create negative influence, such as self-pity and less self-respect.

Fluffy2772 said...
on Jul. 15 2011 at 6:55 pm
Fluffy2772, McDonough, Georgia
0 articles 0 photos 41 comments
Affirmative action has helped more white women than both males and females combined of every other race.

lecruz said...
on Feb. 27 2010 at 11:02 am
Although your article is supported with some reason, there is quite a lot of content that you are leaving out. Remember that affirmative action accounts for more than just black and white. Affirmative action accounts for race, gender, physical disability, and even social class. The conclusions that you are drawing can not be made uncless you are looking at the entire scope of the situation. Affirmative Action defends diversity.