by ANDREW SONG
Affirmative action, simply put, is fighting racism with racism; it never works. This process was first brought about by President Lyndon Johnson, who issued an Executive Order in 1965 that required government agencies to hire more minority employees. To the common man, this makes sense. If members of a certain group are not working as much as other groups, giving the former more chances for success makes sense. For schools, the National Center on Education Statistics (NCES) conducted a study in 2007 that displayed similar results. 70% of whites immediately enrolled in college whereas the percentage was only 61 for African Americans. Hence, colleges actively played a role in accepting more minority students since then. The acceptance rate for minorities is now steadily rising and more and more diversity is seen amongst not only private colleges, but also the most prestigious institutions in the nation. The problems with Affirmative Action, however, are distinctly wicked and outweigh all of its benefits.
Affirmative Action removes the oppression of one group while adding the oppression of another. We can see this occur in a closed setting. Let’s say that group 1 has the benefit of Affirmative Action while group 2 is negatively affected by Affirmative Action. If an institution can only accept a certain number of applicants, giving group 1 an advantage inevitably leads to a disadvantage in group 2. Mathematically, the “amount” of oppression removed from one group will directly correlate to the same amount of oppression removed to increase in another. This reciprocates the problem. An Applicant in group 2 can be more qualified than an applicant in group 1 and still be rejected, which morally doesn’t make sense. Shouldn’t those who are the most qualified be granted acceptance? According to Affirmative Action, no. Affirmative Action looks at color, an inherent quality of an applicant, and decides if he or she is accepted. Reminds us of the anti-slavery movement? Yes. Soon enough we may see another Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. whose skin color is white. Nothing is solved at all through Affirmative action. The same amount of anger in society is maintained.
This anger expands to unprecedented scales and brings out the worst in our Americans. Some White Americans have valid reasons for feeling oppressed. Critics against racism are gradually admitting that the 21st century brings fairness to all races. Discrimination is a thing of the past, and every American citizen is on equal ground. We don’t see different drinking fountains nor do we witness floggings based on race. A man born of equal economic status has equal opportunities with someone of another race. This assertion makes a strong case. I do admit that society has differences amongst different types of people, but this differentiation is solely based off of other factors such as economics, not race. Colleges should accept more applicants based on economics, since those who could not pay for fancy education should have an upper hand during the admission process. Unlike affirmative action, acceptances based off of economics don’t look at an inherent quality; they truly look at an injustice in our society.
Affirmative action generalizes the economic problem and creates bad exceptions. It fails to understand that a solid percentage of Asians, a group negatively affected by Affirmative Action, are also are impoverished. 12% of Asian-Americans in the United States are in poverty, which equates to nearly 2.04 million who are both economically disadvantaged AND have a smaller chance of getting into a college. Another person with a race other than white, on the other hand, can be the richest person alive who also goes to the best school in the world and yet be favored over a poor, oppressed Asian who had to work his or her way up from the slums since he or she could not afford a good education. This is unacceptably unfair.
Those who argue for Affirmative Action may argue that there’s more diversity by accepting a multitude of races. This in itself is a racist claim. Humans think differently, but they don’t think differently because of their color. Those who argue for diversity are claiming that different races think differently, which is absurd. Unless they literally want to see more color or culture in colleges, they have no ground to argue for. Colors don’t mean different thoughts. Convergence of different cultures is good, but this can’t compensate for fairness. The idea of “you get what you work for” should easily trump a small tag-along benefit of convergence of cultures.
The action itself doesn’t help those who “benefit” from Affirmative Action either. One group that is constantly labeled as “inadequate” may have a greater chance of getting into a certain institution through Affirmative Action. This, at first, sounds great. However, they are still labeled as “inadequate” since we can now make the argument that they only got into college because of his or her race. This expands, not decreases, the stereotypes in our society.
“I can get into college because of my race” is also morally wrong and undermines the successful capitalist society that we have today. Those who benefit from Affirmative Action would not have to work as hard as others, even if they can. Instead of pushing their limits and finding new innovations to make our society prosperous, these people would stop once they reached the threshold of accomplishments for their race, which is considerably lower than what others have to achieve. We’re promoting laziness and socialism by allowing Affirmative Action to take place.
Affirmative action is an injustice to our society that only brings about negatives. What good is there to this protocol? Promotes equality? Deletes stereotypes? Wrong. Affirmative action does the exact opposite. There will be the same amount of stereotypes, if not more, through the continuation of Affirmative Action. Let’s stop white supremacy by destroying what they’re angry about: Affirmative Action. Let’s stop the growth of socialism in our society, and let’s stop the oppression of minorities.