Is Affirmative Action in College Admissions Actually as Good as People Say?

Ravi Hasegawa

10-29-21

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Do you feel that race impacts your life? Although the 14th, 15th, and 16th Amendments were made with the plan to make the United States color blind to race over a hundred years ago, racism and discrimination are still very much present in our society, and often the fight against centuries of racism involves, in fact, not being color blind. An example of this is the age old question of whether or not colleges should retain affirmative action as a criteria for admissions.


I think that affirmative action is important and needed as an aspect of college admissions, however other criteria should come before race. This is my claim because the United States has a very racist history and we need to propel forward from those past mistakes by making up for at least some of the things that aren’t equal in our society due to racism. Diversity benefits everyone for so many reasons! However, it is true that affirmative action is not actually being color blind, and there is a history of affirmative action not treating Asian-American students fairly, so although I believe that affirmative action is necessary now (even though yes, some groups of people will have a disadvantage), I hope that someday this form of assessing isn’t needed.


One of my reasons why affirmative action should be a criteria for college admissions is that the United States has a history of racism against people of color.

Affirmative action is just one step to propel past and amend both the U.S.’s

mistakes in the past and also the racism in the school system. An example from

Word Gen article 2.02, “5 Reasons to Support Affirmative Action in College

Admissions” is, “Even when students of color have wealthy parents or attend the same schools as white students, they experience the U.S. educational system differently. For example, students of color are less likely to be referred

to ‘gifted and talented’ programs, even after controlling for test scores, health, socio-economic status, and classroom and school characteristics. Schools are also more likely to suspend or expel students of color than white students.” This shows that even though way less discrimination exists than it used to, there is still way too much of it and it can affect people of color not only in admissions but also in school before college.


Another one of my reasons why affirmative action should be a criteria for college

admissions is that diversity is very important and benefits everyone! Someone who grew up with only people like them, whether that may be race or culture or religion (or anything), is way more likely to think of people that are different than them as, well, different. However, if they grow up around and meet people who are of a different race than them, they will probably have learned that they aren’t actually so different! Diversity has lots of other benefits, too. For example, in Newsela

article 2, "Trump says universities can leave race out of the admissions process", it states, “In one such document, the Obama administration said, ‘As the Supreme Court has recognized, diversity has benefits for all students, and today's students

must be prepared to succeed in a diverse society and an increasingly global workforce.’ ” This text shows that diversity benefits everyone, and that everyone should be able to be prepared to succeed in our diverse and global society because the real world is very different from a small suburban town in Georgia (sorry Georgia, but not really).


Another reason to support my argument is that although affirmative action is necessary for college admissions in the present, I hope that someday we can have more people who understand race and still have diversity without the need for affirmative action. Many people point out that affirmative action gives Asian-American students a disadvantage because so many of them get into top colleges that to have diversity, some have been making it harder for Asian-Americans to get in. For example, Newsela article 3, Harvard absolved in closely watched federal affirmative action case, states, “A 2013 study by Harvard looked at what would happen if the school weighed applicants on academics alone, and found 43 percent of the admitted students each year would be Asian-American. The actual percentage was 19 percent.” This shows that affirmative action can have a disadvantage on non-white people, which is also racism, which causes a conflict. I believe that affirmative action should still be used, however other criteria should

come before race and someday hopefully we won’t need it.


All in all, I believe that affirmative action should be a criteria for college admissions

because diversity is important, the United States needs to propel forward to amend its past racist history. However, I also feel that someday we should be able to have diversity and equality everywhere without the need for affirmative action to help balance it out. Some people may say that affirmative action causes a disadvantage for white people applying to college, but I’m not sure they understand that that is literally part of the point. White people have always had and

still do have advantages in society, so I think people who believe that who are white should think about their privilege and their ancestors' privileges instead of being mad that their race gives them a single disadvantage in life. You can help support affirmative action today by talking or sending emails (or letters!) to colleges or supporting organizations or non-profits that work to keep affirmative action!

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