Ever since Affirmative Action began, race has been one of the considerations used in determining a candidate’s acceptance into college. Many people have seen the movie “Soul Man” in which a young white man, desperate to get into an ivy league school, impersonates a black man. The movie was, in essence, a criticism of the policy of allowing a potentially less-qualified person of a minority race to enter college at the expense of turning away a potentially better-qualified student.
So should race be considered in college admissions? Is Affirmative Action obsolete? The answer, unfortunately, is subjective. However, this writer argues that Affirmative Action performed a vital service to the USA, but now it is obsolete. Thus, race should no longer be considered by college entrance boards. Instead, demonstrated ability, evidence of strong potential, and qualifications should be the considerations.
As “Soul Man” pointed out, the only consideration for many people to get into a college is their race. Consider an extreme example. A potential college student of a minority race decides that he/she wants to go to college. They find out that because of their heritage, they will be able to get into just about the college of their choice, due to that college being required to fill certain quotas of minority race representation in the student population. Furthermore, they find out that there are scholarships for the taking for those of his/her race. This student could easily decide to coast through the rest of their secondary education, knowing that they will get into college with little to no consideration of merit. Then, when the student has entered college, taking the spot of a possibly more motivated and better-qualified student, he/she will likely find that college is difficult. They will not have developed the study habits and strategies that lead to success. Thus, the government moneys going to fund that student are being wasted as the student flounders and potentially, ultimately fails.
Rather than race, the primary consideration for college entrance should be qualifications. If people of all ages, races and demographics understand that getting into college is no cake walk and that they will have to merit entrance, motivation will be intrinsic. People will work harder and develop the good study habits that are necessary for success in college. Furthermore, as race stops being a consideration, and qualifications become the priority, the level of education at college could very well increase.
Additionally, surely this Affirmative Action program is racist in and of itself. Any program or organization that elevates one group of people with a certain skin color above other groups is inherently racist. Groups that seek equality and push members of a certain demographic to merit the rewards of life do far more good than those groups that try to do the opposite. In other words, encouraging people to work hard and deserve life’s rewards is far more beneficial and long-term productive than just handing out rewards based on the color of the skin.
All in all, Affirmative Action is obsolete. College entrance should be based on merit, rather than the color of the skin. Those who argue that letting a Black, Hispanic, American Indian, or other minority member into college over a more qualified candidate is wrong have perceived the racism inherent in this out-dated program. So let’s stop all racism, shall we, not just the old kind.