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Zavala 1 Celene Zavala John Kubler English 114A 24 September 2013 Unbalanced Rights As citizens of the United States

of America, we believe that there are many rules protecting us from discrimination. That is where the American citizen would be wrong, there are actually rules allowing discrimination. Whether it is freedom of speech, religion, the list can continue on and on. When it comes to the topic of individual rights, most of us will readily agree the government uses amendments to protect our God given rights. Where this agreement usually ends, however is on the question of group rights. Whereas some are convinced that we are not fully able to have individual rights because, the government protects group rights over individual rights. The Fisher versus University of Texas is a court case that can explain how the government does a horrible job balancing individual and group rights based on affirmative action. In our society today, it is extremely hard to get in to a university. In the debate in class, we discussed the trial of Abigail Fisher versus University of Texas. Abigail Fisher was a student who was in the top 10% in her class, who applied and unfortunately got denied by the University of Texas (Ferrara). Abigail Fisher was denied admission to the University of Texas based on affirmative action. Affirmative action is just another way of discrimination. The reason Abigail Fisher was denied was because; affirmative action allows minorities to be accepted easier, rather than the non-minorities (Messerli). Abigail was a student who exceeded the qualifications to be accepted into the University of Texas. This just proves that many of the students in the United States are getting denied into a school they deserve based on affirmative action. Affirmative

Zavala 2 action is just another way of being discriminated. A person is being told that they cannot go to a school because they are not part of the minority. This is how individual rights are being violated. An individual is discriminated for the protection of group rights. The group in this case would be the minority. Abigail Fishers rights are being violated for the minorities. Americans today tend to believe that affirmative action is great for our society but, it is not right for the individuals who work for their grades and still cant get accepted to a school the qualify for. After the court case Abigail Fisher states, I am grateful to the justices for moving the nation closer to the day when a students race isn't used at all in college admissions. (Williams). Fisher makes a great point; an individual should not be admitted or denied based on race. That simply violates an individuals rights. Due to the Fisher versus University of Texas case, affirmative action has been seen to be a problem but it has not yet been abolished. Affirmative action does not just hurt the non-minority but also the minority. The government feels like the minority, as a group needs a boost to get accepted. But this can hurt them in the long run. Written in the Amicus Brief, Some minority students are admitted to schools that are more academically competitive than their academic skill warrant. (Ferrara). This is proof that affirmative action isnt such a good thing for the minority. Admission to colleges should just accept the students who make the grades, no matter if youre part of the minority or not. Discrimination as you can now see is a huge violation of individual rights. The United States basically does not care about one individual; it is the group rights that they try to protect. Discrimination has always been apart of our society. Actually, not just our society but other societies too. The book we are reading Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood shows how it is hard to balance individual rights and group rights. In the book Marji explains how girls were forced to wear veils, and how some people werent allowed to go to school. The girls individual rights were being violated because they were forced to wear veils. As a group this didnt bother men and the more religious women in Iran (Satrapi). Also Marjis maid Mehris rights were

Zavala 3 violated. She was basically given up to when she was a baby and forced to work and was never given an education (Satrapi). The Iranian society thought that was normal. Taking away peoples individual rights seems to be a popular thing in every society. You began to think, is there anything we actually have complete individual rights over. Ultimately what is at stake here is our individual rights. I personally think the individual rights are the rights that should make up the group rights. If individual rights are violated, like Abigail Fishers were or the Iranian women then something should be done. Balancing individual right and group rights because everyone has different views. Many people would most likely disagree with me on the topic of affirmative action. There are also going to be people who disagree with Marji with what she wrote in Persepolis. The problem is that there should be a good balance between individual rights and group rights theres just no agreement on how to balance them out. As a freshman in college you cant help but to relate to Abigail Fisher. She was not accepted to the college of her choice based on her race. Although I know no one who has had this same issue I do understand why she decided to bring this to court. I remember my amendments and right away I would feel like this would violate the fourteenth amendment. This is where individual rights are clear to be unbalanced compared to group rights. If I was ever denied into a school based on my race I would take that to court based on discrimination. I do not understand how discrimination towards the non-minority is allowed, but when it happens to the minority it is considered illegal and related to racism. From my own experience I believe that every school campus is already diverse enough. We should just eliminate affirmative action. Although I disagree with affirmative action, I do believe our society should endorse diversity. I understand that affirmative action tries to benefit both the minority and the college campus. The effect of adding minorities to more campuses builds better character for students

Zavala 4 (Chang). Although I acknowledge how affirmative action helps students at a disadvantage, I still believe that the students who work for their grades should be the ones who get accepted to the college they qualify for. Affirmative action is just a way of telling other students that no matter how hard they work they still wont ever get accepted. This is just going to end up discouraging the Caucasian students because they are learning that their hard work does not pay off. Their spot in college is given away to the minority who might not have tried as hard in school. I must say that I do like how affirmative action pushes student in the minority to try different things academically (Affirmative). But, when the minority is pushed to try new things, and ends up getting into a college that is more academically advanced for the minority student it could be bad. When the student is not as academically advanced as their peers, they could end up falling behind and getting discouraged (Ferrara). This is why affirmative should not be allowed in college admission. Individual rights are violated and minorities are cheating their way to the top. So, what the balance of individual and group rights is that there is none. In our society there is no balance because the government favors a group rather than the individual. For example, with the fisher case nothing stopped affirmative action. The court took no side on the issue. Abigail Fishers individual rights were violated due to affirmative action, but of course the government wont change affirmative action because they have to think about the minority as a group. As a group you can see there are more rights. Affirmative action was made to protect the groups of minorities. I am part of the minority and I do feel like affirmative action is unjust. Discrimination in any form is uncalled for. Students who have the grades and are hard working and dedicated should be given the opportunity to be accepted in to college. I should not be based on race. Fishers case is just a great eye opener to us that individual rights are clearly in jeopardy due to group rights. There seems to be no way to balance individual and group rights in our corrupt society, no mater how many laws, amendments, or regulations this country makes we will still have unbalanced individual and group rights.

Zavala 5 Affirmative Action Overview. National Conference of State Legislatures, Jun 2013. Web. 23 September 2013. Chang, Mitchell J. The Positive Educational Effects of Racial Diversity on Campus. Diversity Challenged: Evidence on the Impact of Affirmative Action. Ed. Gary Orfield. Cambridge: Harvard Education Publishing Group, 2001. 175-186. Sage. Web. 23 September 2013. Ferrara, Peter J. Amicus Brief, American Civil Right Union in Support of Petitioner (U.S. Supreme Ct. Docs 2012). TarltonGuides. Tarlton Law Library, U of Tex. School of Law, 29 May 2012. Web. 23 September 2013. Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood. New York: Pantheon, 2003. Print. Williams, Pete, and Erin McClam. Supreme Court Raises Bar for Affirmative Action in College Admissions. NBC NBC News, Corp, 24 Jun 2013. Web. 23 September 2013.