Chang 1 Insoo Chang Ms.

Lynch 11 English May 31, 2011 Affirmative Action in the United States College applications are filled out and sent from all across the nation. Thousands of students are stressing to meet their deadlines. College resumes are received every day and the board members of University of Michigan review hundreds of resumes that they received. They rate the applications according to academic qualifications, extracurricular activities, and personal character. One applicant, “with a 3.7 grade-point average, scoring a 25 on the ACT entrance exam, and graduating 13th out of her class of 298 people”, meets all the qualifications, demonstrates a strong passion, and illustrates a strong character (Reibestein). The university is impressed with this young woman. Unfortunately, she receives an email from the university which denies her; the sole reason is because of the color of her skin (Reibestein). Because more than 60% of its students are white and since she is white, the university cannot accept her. Under the affirmative action, the university has to meet its racial quota and has to accept under represented “minorities with the same or lesser credentials” over her (Reibestein 46). “A policy designed to redress past discrimination against women and minority groups through measures to improve their economic and educational opportunities” (Affirmative Action). At first glance this definition seems to explain fairly well what affirmative action is and convinces the reader that it is done in good faith to help make up for past discrimination. However, affirmative action is a step backwards; it creates the same mistake society made in the past: discriminate according to color just like with Jennifer Gratz, the white applicant. Although affirmative action attempts to halt the racial disparities in higher education and to mend past racial discrimination, it brings

Chang 2 forth new reverse discrimination that is unjust because the focus of college entrances is no longer based on meritocracy and hard work but filling a racial quota. or national origin” (Executive Order 10925). without regard to their race. President Lyndon B. The first is by having different standards and cut-off for tests and qualifications for minorities and blacks (Roberts 41). First and foremost. creed. When Kennedy and Johnson established affirmative action. However. and employees are treated during employment. However. Johnson issued Executive Order 11246 which then required federal contractors to now take affirmative action to increase the number of minorities that they employed. As now affirmative action has been strongly enacted into the American system. employers and others are applying affirmative action which essentially. affirmative action has created many different misunderstandings on its intended purpose. these current policies are incongruous with the main purpose of affirmative action intended by John F. Discrimination in universities and workplaces against Blacks and Hispanics are near gone and so should affirmative action. Thus affirmative action was born. since that time. Johnson: to end discrimination. they intended to help minorities shatter the racist barriers that were so present when the bill first took action in 1965. Kennedy on 1961 when he introduced Executive Order 10925 in order to “ensure that applicants are employed. affirmative action has produced more harmful effects both on underrepresented minorities as well as overrepresented minorities and whites than beneficial effects. The term affirmative action was first introduced by President John F. the nation’s school systems. color. The second is less dependent on test scores but relies more on strong competition for qualified minority students by means of incentives such as scholarships. . Kennedy and Lyndon B. Currently. Today. there are two main ways that colleges are initiating affirmative action. creates reverse discrimination. Afterwards.

discipline. Affirmative Action simply shifts injustice. and achievement.Chang 3 affirmative action leads to reverse discrimination against other ethnic groups.5 GPA who realizes that he can get into any universities he wants. By tolerating and even encouraging mediocrity on underrepresented minorities. they shouldn’t reward a student simply because he or she is a certain race. asserting that they need affirmative action to succeed. by creating a strong “tolerance for levels of academic mediocrity in blacks and Hispanics that are rarely tolerated in whites and Asians” (Steele 22). The universities should reward hard work. It does little to accomplish the goal of providing equal opportunity to all. Whites and Asians who work harder and are more qualified can be passed over strictly because they are whites and Asians. For instance. he loses motivation. presumably whites and Asians. most students need an extra push to do their very best.0? It’s just like seniorities. Although some students are self-motivated. is that minority students are granted an extra twenty points toward admission simply because of their ethnic origin” (New Criterion). if a minority student with a 3. affirmative action is also insulting the minorities. By setting lower standards for admission or hiring. the universities are allowing and even promoting “a tolerance for levels of academic mediocrity in blacks and Hispanics” (Steele 22). Why should he push herself to get a 4. once one realizes he’s accepted to college. nor punish another student simply because he or she isn’t. Another harmful effect that affirmative action has on society is that it encourages mediocrity and incompetence (Steele 22). the affirmative policy “at the University of Michigan. It is “is obviously a way of helping people who are considered insufficiently capable of . “The racial preference is simply a willingness to tolerate more mediocrity in some races than in others” (Steele 22). he would have already achieved the high school goal with fraction of the academic credentials. As an example.

In other words. It doesn’t look at underrepresented minorities as equals who are capable of achieving success. affirmative action labels the success with the minorities as a result of affirmative action rather than hard work and ability. How is affirmative action going to end discrimination and create equality if it is blatantly insulting minorities that they cannot achieve their goals through hard work and ability? Affirmative action is condescending. “Affirmative action demeans true minority achievements since “there is no clear link between one’s skill development and one’s advancement” (Steele 22).Chang 4 helping themselves” (Mansfield 26). “One’s presence on campus is tied at least as much to a racial politics as to one’s own efforts” (Steele 22). hence declaring that they are undeserving of equal treatment. On top of the insult. Minorities must work twice as hard to earn respect just because of affirmative action. .

1 May 2012. Jr. Roberts. Rpt. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Harvey C. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 2003. New. Web. 30 May 2012. Mansfield.. 1 May 2012. "Reverse racism or how the pot got to call the kettle black.Ed. Opposing Viewpoints. Web. 1995: 41+. 2000: 22. Web." National Review 7 Feb. Stanley." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language. "What color is an A?" Newsweek 29 Dec. Houghton Mifflin Company 31 May.Chang 5 Works Cited "Affirmative action. Shelby." The Atlantic Nov. Mary E." Discrimination." New Criterion (Jan. 30 May 2012.usa. of Housing and Urban Development."National Review 4 May 1984: 26+. "Proliferation of privilege: quotas forever. . San Diego: Greenhaven Press." National Review 6 Nov. Web. from "Notes & Comments: January 2001. more race games. 1993: 128+. "Affirmative Action Creates Reverse Discrimination. accessed 5/19/11. 1 May 2012. 1997: 76+. 2003. Opposing Viewpoints In Context.Opposing Viewpoints In Context. "X-Percent Plans : After preferences. Paul Craig. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Williams. Fish." US Dept. Larry. "Executive Order 10925. 1 May 2012. "The underhandedness of affirmative action. Fourth Edition. Web. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. http://1. 2012 Criterion. Steele. 2001).

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful