Against Affirmative Action in College Admissions

Essay by rockhoops9High School, 11th gradeA+, May 2004

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Originally imposed in 1965, affirmative action is a set of public policies designed to compensate for past racism and help alleviate the racism that still exists. Ironically it does just the opposite. With affirmative action in place, colleges are forced to discriminate in favor of racial minorities in their admissions. Thus, discrimination is being used to combat discrimination. Affirmative action creates a situation analogous to that of George Orwell's Animal Farm, in which the under qualified minorities (the animals) are driving out the qualified whites (the humans). But it doesn't end there. Just as in Orwell's satire, "all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others," in that affirmative action creates a hierarchy of the oppressed: blacks get primary preferential treatment, women second, Native Americans third, Hispanics fourth, handicapped fifth, Asians sixth, and so on. The intentions of affirmative action are genuine, but the means is incorrect, and the result is disappointing.

Supporters of affirmative action claim that racial preferences help the "disadvantaged." However, it has been shown by Thomas Sowell of the Hoover Institution that preferences primarily benefit minority applicants from middle and upper class backgrounds. In other words, the people who are supposedly held back for economic reasons are actually starting off on a level playing field. Meanwhile the lower class whites that academically outdo the middle and upper class minorities lose out in college admissions.

In addition, affirmative action is used as a means to compensate for past injustices toward blacks and other minorities. The mere thought that some of the wrongs that occurred over fifty years ago could be made up for today is absurd. The people living now had nothing to do with any of the racial atrocities that took place in the past. Two wrongs have never made a right...