Editorial

Making a Case Against Affirmative Action

default article imageAffirmative action is a program that began during World War II when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order barring discrimination in the federal government and by war industries. This was the first step towards equality. During the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s, this program picked up again during the civil rights movement. This program was intended to allow equal opportunities for minority races and eventually genders. Since the Nixon administration, however, some colleges have used it to make sure there is diversity on college campuses.

There have been multiple cases about whether this is a form of racism or merely giving other races a fair shot at an education. In the landmark case, Regents v. Bakke, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that state colleges and universities could not leave a certain amount of spaces for minority applicants. This case did not solve the problem. The ruling also said that race could be used as a “positive factor” in determining whether someone should be admitted into a place of higher learning. This applied to both public and private colleges and universities.

Coming up during the Supreme Court term this year is Fisher v. University of Texas. This is the most recent affirmative action case. In this case, a white female student, Abigail Fisher, believes she was denied admission to the University of Texas based on her race. In the state of Texas, students in the top 10 percent of their high school’s class gain admission to any public university in the state. There is no race consideration with the top 10 percent. Fisher barely missed the cut off and was put into a group of general applicants where race plays a role into admission. According to Julian Williams, Director of Affirmative Action and Human Relations at the University, affirmative action standards are not used at the University. “The University uses a race blind and gender blind test where we choose our students solely based on their credentials.”

The Outlook staff believes there is a better way to create more diversity without using affirmative action. The general consensus is that affirmative action should not play a role in determining admission. Some members said this was necessary during the civil rights movement but not so much now. With affirmative action, diversity is created but not naturally which can lead to prejudice and hatred among races. The Outlook staff believes that students should be admitted solely on their abilities and qualifications not the color of their skin or their gender.

Allowing affirmative action is seen as a form of racism according to The Outlook staff. The main point of college is to allow the world’s best minds to tap into their potential, not give one race an opportunity over another. While, in one way, it may create diversity it encourages racism. The best candidates are the ones who deserve the positions.

According to the United States Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These words say that before we are New Jerseyians, Americans, male or female, black, white, Hispanic or any other race, that we are part of the human race. By not realizing this, we forget everything our forefathers fought for.

Martin Luther King Jr. and other leaders who fought for equality would be disappointed in this program. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” stated King during his famous 1963 speech “I Have a Dream.”