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The Aquilian

Why I don’t support affirmative action in college admissions

Students+of+many+races+collaborating
Race is often overlooked most of the time despite how prevalent it is today. Photo taken from Canva

Affirmative action is probably one of, if not the most, hotly debated issues in college admissions today. It is a concept that is unique in today’s world because it bases its existence on the race of individuals and nothing else. That is where my problems with it start. Back in my American history class during my junior year of high school, I learned something that was incredibly important about race in America. Race, as a concept, is a farce. It is predicated on essentially nothing other than the appearance of one’s skin tone; it is biologically irrelevant. 

America was really the first country to use the concept of race on a legal level to distinguish one race from another. This was incredibly destructive because this was essentially used to justify the enslavement of African Americans. Slavery has always been hard for humans to rationalize because deep down we know that when we look at another person they are just as much of a person as we are, so justifying forced, unpaid labor of an entire group of people is incredibly difficult. America was the first nation to use the race of a people to justify their enslavement. 

The treatment of African Americans and other racial minority groups has always been a sore spot in American history simply because so many people have bought into the lie of race that it has become a relevant factor in our world. Affirmative action, despite its intention of trying to help those of disadvantaged racial groups, still uses race as a defining factor in deciding someone’s worth. 

It is true that those who are black, Latino and Asian have had to face unfair prejudice and obstacles compared to white people, historically speaking. It is also true that even today, those of racial minority groups face less funding in their schools, worse living situations and other factors that would make it harder to get into college. However, this doesn’t mean the solution is to simply accept more students who are racial minorities despite worse grades and SAT performance. All this does is bring back the concept of judging one’s worth based on their race. Affirmative action does more harm to those it is trying to help because it lowers the standards for minority groups. When standards are lowered for one group and not another, that creates another divide on racial lines, something that America has already seen too much of in her history. 

We can all admit that there is a problem in our country where those of certain racial groups statistically have less chance of success due to their environment. The solution to this is not to generalize an entire race of people and lower the standards for them. The solution is to actually fix the problems at their core.

Strategies like improving funding for public schools in the inner-city, creating ways for children to have activities after school, and more, are much better long-term solutions than simply lowering the standards for college admissions for racial minority groups.

 

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