Affirmative Action: Pure Injustice. | Teen Ink

Affirmative Action: Pure Injustice.

January 10, 2010
By jzeal SILVER, Houston, Texas
jzeal SILVER, Houston, Texas
6 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Imagine two men applying for the Ivy League college of their dreams. The first man ranks in the top 10 percent of his high school graduating class, earns a 2400 SAT score, and has been the star athlete his last two years of high school. He also receives numerous awards for the community service he has participated in during high school. He is the ideal applicant for such a pristine school. The second man, less accomplished than the first, earns a 2300 on the SAT, is not an athlete, and only does the bare minimum of community service. He does not care much about high school, until it comes time to apply for college. At this point, he bulks his application with a few extracurricular activities to make it look better. Weeks after mailing in their applications, the two men receive letters in the mail. The second man tears open the envelope: acceptance. Unfortunately, the first man does not receive the same fate and is denied admission. Why is this? This is due to the mere fact the second man was black and the first white, by a process known as affirmative action. It is an unjust way of admission where minorities, such as the black man, are given superiority and preference. Although the first man had worked hard throughout his high school years for admittance into this university, his dreams are broken because of something as trivial as skin color. According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, affirmative action is “a policy or a program that seeks to redress past discrimination through active measures to ensure equal opportunity, as in education and employment.” Affirmative action is not a fair process, and does not make people feel equal whatsoever. This discrimination against white men has been going on for about 50 years, and affirmative action is even required in some universities and workplaces. The policy and requirements are instigating court cases all over America. The process of affirmative action is wrong and unjust because it discriminates against majorities, and gives minorities unfair advantages based only on race and gender, eliminating any possibility of a truly equal world, a color-blind world.

Affirmative action is merely reverse racism, attempting to make amends for past discrimination. Many believe that since African-Americans have been so severely discriminated against in the past, the white men somehow deserve present day racism against them in compensation for the past. Such beliefs contain many fallacies. People today should not be punished for actions of the past, since they did not take part in them. It is unfair that they should receive the blame when there is nothing that they could have done to prevent it. Likewise, blacks that were not personally harmed by past racism are benefitting from affirmative action. The African-Americans today, who are applying to universities and receiving preferential treatment, are not the ones who were “bought, sold, killed, beaten, r****, excluded, exploited, shamed, and scorned for a very long time,” and they did not directly suffer from these past prejudices (Fish 2). There is no reason to try to compensate the past with the people of the present. It is over, and society has changed. Affirmative action is instigating even more racism and is, in no way, a solution to getting rid of the terrible discriminating acts of America’s past. Such things cannot be compensated for, as indicated in the words of David Sacks and Peter Thiel, “a racist past cannot be undone through more racism” (Thiel 1).

Secondly, acceptance into college should be based around accomplishments, not race, or gender. The Case Against Affirmative Action states that, “it is often not possible to tell whether a given student genuinely deserved admission to Stanford, or whether he is there by virtue of fitting into some sort of diversity matrix” (Thiel 2). This explains the effect that such a policy is having on the school systems. It is not an accomplishment to have darker skin than another man, or an accomplishment to be a woman. Race and gender are hereditary traits that cannot be controlled. It is not a fault to be a white man either. Why is society treating it like such a crime? When applying to a college, grades, community involvement, test scores, school involvement, abilities, and talents should be the only factors considered in the acceptance process. The effort put into success should be measured as a contributing factor. The person who went above and beyond and worked as hard as possible to fulfill their goals should not be denied by the university of their dreams, just because of the color of their skin, particularly if they are more deserving than another applicant. This contradicts “Martin Luther’s dream of a color-blind community” (Thiel 1). There is no legitimate argument that will prove this policy to promote equality. Everyone is created equally; therefore, everyone should be looked at the same way and given equal opportunities to attain whatever goals one may have, through what accomplishments have been made, rather than through physical qualities.

The effect of affirmative action results in the minorities being given preferential treatment being made to feel inferior to white or male students in the university. When minority groups are accepted mainly due to their race or gender, they feel undeserving of their spot. The fact that the people in majority groups are accepted due to their grades and successfulness, suggests that they are more accomplished and superior to the minorities. For others who were accepted for physical reasons, the feeling of lowliness and incompetence may be far more painful that not being accepted in the first place. The issue of inferiority causes racial strains, and “the stress on ‘diversity’ has made interracial interaction strained and superficial” (Thiel 1). Also, many times the feeling of being superior or inferior introduces racism on the campus. Stanford practices such racism and segregation in the fact that they have, “racially segregated dormitories, racially segregated graduation ceremonies, and curricular requirements in race theory and gender studies” (Thiel 1). Issues such as this, emphasize the point that achievements determine, or should determine, successfulness. If affirmative action has negative affects, even on minorities, it benefits no one.

There are many contrasting arguments for affirmative action from the proponents of this preposterous policy. Some contend that affirmative action equals out the playing field of opportunity, already tilted towards majorities. The claim made is, “the playing field is already tilted in favor of those by whom and for whom it was constructed in the first place” (Fish 3). In opposition, everyone was created by God, created in his image, and created equal; there should be no tilt in the playing field. That being said, everyone can reach their goals if they posses a determined heart and perseverance. Tilting the field towards majorities or minorities would throw off the balance, God’s balance, and prevent the possibility for everyone to reach their goals. Another dispute from those who are for affirmative action is that without it, minority participation dwindles drastically. If this is true, then these people may not be successful in the universities where they were accepted. It is harmful to the majorities because they are losing their spots to undeserving minorities due to the fact that, “preferences hurt poor whites and even many Asians” (Thiel 1). Once racial preference is removed, these students have no opportunity for acceptance, which only proves the prejudice behind their original admittance. There are no legitimate arguments that can be posed for affirmative action. Such a policy does not benefit those originally harmed, rewards race and gender over hard work, and reinforces the idea that minorities are inferior.

The desire for equality is so prevalent in present day America that it is causing many more problems, developing more prejudice. Reverse racism, acceptance because of race, and inferiority among minorities are all the affects of a country focused on the color of people’s skin instead of their achievements and abilities. If the world was colorblind, such troubles would never come about, but as a nation, Americans’ first impressions of people are physical, that is how we function. Affirmative action needs to be eliminated, for it is only producing superficial impressions. All humans are God’s people, and therefore none should be favored above another. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to achieve complete equality. All Americans, red, yellow, black, or white, any and every race, need to step back, and look at the world, and realize they are all in this together. When everything mortal and material is gone forever and humankind is in their eternal home, color will have little, if any, importance. Why spend life worrying about something of so little significance? In reaching for a better world, people must live color-blind.

Similar Articles


This article has 3 comments.

LizLin said...
on Dec. 3 2014 at 8:52 pm
I completely understand what you are saying and i understand both sides of the argument. On one side the whites and othe majorities are upset because they are losing out on scholarships and acceptances to colleges to a minority. The side of the argument that is against affirmative action are blaming the fact that they did not get into a college or get a job because someone less qualified got it. To be completly honest with you it does not matter whether the minority did just as good as the majorit because the minority will be chosen because of diversity. The majority groups try to pin off their anger about how they were not chosen on the minorities and they often times say that the minority did not have as amny qualifications. The main point of affirmative action is to enhance diversity in schools. So if the minority was higer qualified they would get the position. But, Thats not what most of these essays are focusing on. These essays focus completly on the one out of onehudred times that a minority did score less than a majority, but was still chosen becausethey were a way for the university to includediversity. In no way are the authors trying to convey that all minorities are dumb or lazy (but i do agree that this particular author was exremly biased), but they use this way to describe the minority to make a point and ferment sympathy. I agree with the way you stated your argument and i understand where you are coming from even though i am not of a minority. I hope you will understand that affirmative action is unjust but it is also usefull in someways.

LadyWisdom said...
on Aug. 6 2012 at 6:18 pm
Okay, these articles about affirmative action really get me fed up. Why, in ALL of these articles, does the author always say that the Caucasian applicant gets better grades than the minority?! Why did it say that the Caucasian got a 2400 and the minority got a 2300? Why did it say that the Caucasian was a star athlete and got good grades all through high school, while the minority just lazed around until it was time to apply for colleges?' Why do all of these authors assume that the minorities are dumb and lazy? A lot of minorities just so happen to be very intelligent and active in their communities. I am a minority and think of myself myself as a very smart person, capable of getting into any college without the help of any affimative action. I was an Honor Student all throughout middle school and I graduated from that school as Salutatorian, coming in second to an Ecuadorian. And I plan to accomplish even more in high school next month.' So, why would they accept me over a white kid? They are just as good I am, as I am as good as they are? Why can't we both get accepted?

Nadachi said...
on Feb. 25 2011 at 1:06 am
This is entirely, precisely spot on. Yet some people fail to recognize this, and doubtless, some people even argue that it's fair. Being a person of caucasian background, and academically minded, it infuriates me that such a policy can exist, and more importantly, be reinforced by the government.