Affirmative Action or Pessimistic Policy

Katie Carter, Staff Writer

Affirmative action: an active effort to improve the employment or educational opportunities of members of minority groups and women; a similar effort to promote the rights or progress of other disadvantaged persons, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

The controversy over this policy has resurfaced after a lawsuit against the University of Texas in which Abigail Fisher was allegedly denied admission because of her race. She is white.

Affirmative action has been used to benefit those whose race have a history of neglect and discrimination, but at what point does compensation become harmful to others. The policy gives rewards for being born a certain race, but that race doesn’t define the person no matter what. Just because a student is of a particular race or gender does not mean they have ever been victimized for it. While inequality is still evident in society it doesn’t have the same magnitude that prevailed in our ancestors’ time. However, affirmative action could be argued as creating racial and gender inequalities as shown in the Fisher vs. Texas case.

The last case against affirmative action was in 2003 and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of using race as a factor in college admissions. The policy creates opportunities for genders and races that previously prolonged acceptance. It creates medley of students by making it a point to admit students from all classes, genders, and races. Students thrive when in diverse environments allow them to appreciate and familiarize themselves with different backgrounds and cultures. Permitting students to begin to grasp the concept that the world is larger and become less focus on what affects themselves. Therefore educated in social matters as well as lessons learned in classrooms.

The top ten percent plan, guaranteed admission into any Texas flagship universities for students in the top ten percent of their graduating high school class, and basing admission primarily on high test scores are lesser known forms of affirmative action.

The top ten percent plan allows all races improved opportunities to receive a higher education. However it doesn’t factor in the academic differences in high schools so theoretically a student with a lower GPA could be guaranteed admission because the academic competition wasn’t as high.

Universities and colleges are known scores on tests like the SAT to heavily influence admission and because test preparation and support is more available to upper-middle classes, the scores measure students’ ability to perform well on a standardized test not their ability to succeed in college.

Affirmative action plans have been introduced with the best of intentions to allow students the opportunity to receive a higher education who may not have been able to otherwise but the execution has aroused more problems. Equality is a long ongoing battle and these policies were  intended to be one step closer but the consequences presented major setbacks. The Fisher vs. Texas case shows the repercussions that all it does is reverse who has the disadvantage.