Affirmative action is the policy of favoring ethnic minorities that have been in the past discriminated against in some way. To put it in simpler words, it can be considered reverse discrimination as it favors those of Hispanic and/or Black heritages usually in the process of college admissions.
One of the standout cases of American legal history with regards to affirmative action is the Supreme Court case of Regents of University of California Vs. Bakke. Allan Bakke, a 35-year-old white applicant to the UC Davis Medical School, claimed he was twice denied entry because of him being a white man. The school had 16 reserved spots for ethnic minorities and had chosen them over Bakke. Bakke, however, was more qualified than the minorities accepted, yielding higher qualifications. It was the Supreme Court that decided that the equal protections clause of the 14th amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave Bakke a cause of action. So with this in mind, why is affirmative action still used in colleges today?
There have been countless other cases, but the most recent case surrounding this issue is the Harvard lawsuit. According to NBC News, Harvard has had a quota on how many Asians they accept and rates people on the basis of likability, positive personality, and being a good person. Harvard, using these standards tend to score Asians lower. Not only is this happening in schools but it is also happening with SAT scores too. Supposedly, due to affirmative action, Asians are actually deducted 140 points while Hispanics are awarded 130 points, and Blacks, a 310 point bonus. While Hispanics and Blacks reap the benefits of being an ethnic minority, it seems as though Asians have to suffer the consequences of too many Asians performing well.
It is actually true that Asians perform better than other ethnic minorities and perform at such a high level, but does that mean colleges should start deducting points for being Asians? Never should it come to that. Not only does it fit the definition of discrimination perfectly, but it is also just crude to disqualify people on the basis of the color of their skin.
Shanon Wu, a Korean-Chinese-American stated her thoughts of affirmative action. “I personally think people should not be given extra aid to achieve equality in education or workspace. I think everything should be earned through effort.” Furthermore, Alison Moon, A Korean American freshman stated that “It is important that they’re acknowledging our worth through the use of stereotypes, but if it is to the point where they have extremely high expectations for being Asian, then it is unfair and unnecessary” when asked about the subject and also disagrees with it on some level
Obviously, there is a negative light about this issue in the Asian community but when I asked a Black and Hispanic girl in my school, they also disagreed with the idea that Asians were being deducted points and gave it a not so positive reaction. So not only is Affirmative Action seemingly a bad policy but even some of the constituents in the Black and Hispanic community also don’t agree with it either.
In the end, Affirmative action is a policy that can be defined as reverse discrimination. It is an attempt to help Blacks and Hispanics as they are being compensated for the wrongdoings of the past in which they faced so much discrimination and prejudice. But it is important to note that this should be done without discriminating on another race and having them suffer while another gets the reward.
An Asian who is more highly qualified than a Black person might be rejected in favor of the Black man because they are seen as “too good.” Is that not discrimination? Colleges should not be factoring in the race of a person in an application but instead should be basing it off of merit. Who knows, there may be more to a person than their race entails.
Jude Choi, Grade 10
John Marshall High School