Affirmative action or “racial preferences” are a hotly contested issue in the United States. For over four decades many states’ public universities have used race in the awarding of admissions preferences for minority applicants. Ten states have banned the use of racial preferences in university admissions including Michigan where on April 22, 2014 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a voter approved ban on affirmative action. This policy paper attempts to influence state legislatures and officials to adopt similar bans in their home states not because the United States no longer suffers from racism and bias, although this bias has been significantly reduced since 1960’s, but on the grounds that research proves racial preferences in universities, especially selective ones, actually hurt minority students in a phenomenon known as “mismatch.” Mismatch is where minority students are admitted to select universities based on broad racial preferences even though they are not academically prepared. These large racial preferences backfire against most recipients and cause many to fail academically when they would have been more likely to succeed at a less-competitive school. The consequences in terms of cost in time, money, and loss of self-confidence are dire.
We will observe the effects and outcomes on minorities from California’s Proposition 209, which banned the use of affirmative action in admissions at the enormous University of California system and why states ought to adopt similar measures. It is the author’s sincere desire to influence state policy makers to ban the use of racial preferences, ideally through voter referendums, in public universities vis-à-vis admissions and that preference points should be awarded based on a socioeconomic status of an applicant, regardless of race.
Affirmative Action or racial preferences go back to the 1960’s when the United States racial tensions came to a head. Racial preference policies provided special opportunities for groups who historically had suffered from discrimination. In 1960’s era United States this overwhelmingly meant African-Americans, the majority of who were descendants of slaves. Today, affirmative action in university admissions also applies to Hispanics, biracial Americans, and Native Americans. It is important to know that these policies do not apply to Asians. Universities in the 1960’s were hotspots of racial tension, especially in the south where many universities were still segregated. These policies were a noble effort aimed at promoting racial diversity and to give a “leg up” to minorities in a country where the white majority dominated socially and politically. These policies were never meant to be permanent and it is my opinion that they have actually done the opposite of what they were intended for, breeding tolerance. Instead they do quite the opposite by creating negative stereotypes and resentment in whites...