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Affirmative Action Is Not The Answer

891 words - 4 pages

Affirmative Action is Not the Answer

 
     Created in the 1960's, affirmative action programs attempted to

undo past racial discrimination by giving preference to blacks and other

minorities.  The idea behind these programs was to help minorities gain the

representation in the job market that paralleled their percentage of the

population (Finley 1).  Unfortunately, affirmative action has mutated into

a thirty-year-old policy that places many underqualified minorities in

positions over more qualified non-minorities.  Preferential treatment of

minorities has caused problems not only in the workplace, but also in our

universities throughout the country.  Due to these current circumstances,

affirmative action policies in college admissions must be eliminated

because of the negative effects they have on campuses across the nation.

 

        There are numerous arguments that defend the use of affirmative

action and advocate its effect on college campuses.  Supporters of

affirmative action believe that minorities are still disadvantaged and that

it is "absolutely necessary to level the playing field" (Wilkins 334).

They believe that minorities will never be given a fair chance at college

unless diversity is forced upon the campus.  Proponents also argue that

affirmative action is the best solution to past discrimination and color-

blindness, and that without affirmative action the gaps between our races

will never close.

 

        Although these arguments may have positive aspects such as creating

a multicultural campus, affirmative action's many faults cause more

problems than are solved.  The leading problem with these ideas on

affirmative action in colleges is that it has completely failed to

accomplish one of its main goals:  reduce the color-consciousness of

university students and ease racial tension.  On the contrary, it has done

exactly the opposite because affirmative action "poses a conflict between

two cherished American principles: the belief that all Americans deserve

equal opportunities and the idea that hard work and merit, not race or

religion or gender or birthright, should determine who prospers and who

does not" (Roberts 32).

 

        This leads to a series of problems at universities.  For example,

we cannot expect college students to see everyone equally unless everyone

is considered equal when applying for college.  Affirmative action has

created a situation in which the minority's "society now tells them that if

they will only designate themselves as black on their college applications,

they will probably do better in the college lottery than if they conceal

this fact" (Steele 322).  Remove the section on college applications titled

"Race," and consider students by their hard work in school, not by the

color of their skin.  And how...

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