Affirmative Action is Racist

When it comes to affirmative action, all schools that separate people by race are not helping to diversify their school, but are actually promoting racist ideas. America has come a long way in terms of social rights. As a country, America claims to provide equality for all, regardless of ethnic background. Yet somehow, even institutions as large as universities are still dividing people up based upon race. Diversity is a matter of importance when it comes to selecting the applicants to a college, but dividing anyone up by race for any reason is an extremely old fashioned way of thinking, that today would be considered racist by most people.

“We know that connecting with people very-or even slightly-different from ourselves stimulates the imagination; and when we learn to see the world through a multiplicity of eyes, we only make ourselves more nimble in mastering-and integrating-the diverse fields of knowledge awaiting us” (Bollinger). While I believe everything that is said in that quote, the way people are going about integrating diversity into schools is wrong. Just because someone is black, does not mean that they are different. The same applies for those of any ethnic background. Today in the United States of America we have a black president. How can we possibly make the claim that all those of African American descent deserve to get special consideration when applying for a college? The idea is absolutely ludicrous. When one proposes the idea that someone should receive special treatment based upon race when entering a college, they are really implying one of two things. They are either implying that the color is what they think diversity is, or that people of ethnic backgrounds have had fewer opportunities to prove themselves academically. If anyone thinks that being black makes you diverse in any way other than appearance, they are mistaken. Many black people were born in America and raised in good suburban homes. They are the same as any other child who was raised here from birth. The only difference is the color of their skin. They are American. Black is not a nationality, it is a skin color. If someone truly thinks that a person’s ethnic background accurately displays the opportunities that one has received in life, they need only look at the president. Clearly Barrack Obama was given the educational opportunities to excel. No man in modern times becomes The President of The United States of America without getting a fantastic education throughout his entire academic career. The location a person went to school and the amount of money their parents made are really the deciding factors when it comes the chances a person has had to exceed in academics. If schools want to divide people up based on financial statistics, that is fine, but race is an inaccurate representation of past academic opportunities.

My Experience

I attend a community college. There are almost no requirements to get in, and the school is very ethnically diverse. I talk to people who come from all sorts of backgrounds, and I have found that it is not the color that divides them, but their past experiences. There is a very musically talented person who I know at my school. He is white, yet he is extremely different from an average person. He knows everything about music, and views things in a different way because of it. He shares his stories and thoughts about things with me, and they impact the way I think about things as well. I also know an Arabic student who I knew all through high school. He is almost the same as me in every aspect. We enjoy the same hobbies, and have almost identical views on things. Based upon this, why should the Arabic student, who acts and thinks the same as me (a white person), getting an advantage when applying to a university? I would say that the musically gifted individual offers the university much more diversity than an Arabic person. This scenario just stinks of ignorance and racism. Just because someone’s grandparents or parents came from another country, people assume that they are more diverse than an average person whose grandparents are from this country. Affirmative action supports this kind of thinking, and it is disgusting.

When it comes down to it, there are many different ways to make sure a university is diverse, such as looking into people’s extracurricular activities, having students of varying household incomes, and making exceptions for students who were raised in other countries. However, the current method of assuming that just because someone looks different that they are going to act different is an extremely racist idea. Bollinger’s intentions are good, and he supports affirmative action for noble reasons, but he doesn’t seem to get the big picture. It will be a very sad day when a poor white child, who lives in a bad neighborhood and was deprived of a good education, is viewed on the same level as a black child who was raised in a rich area with a fantastic educational system. Race has nothing to do with your experiences in life. Those are what truly make up a person. Not their skin tone, not the shape of their eyes, and not their gender. If a school truly wants diversity it needs to look at what a person has accomplished in their life, and stop focusing on things like race. Hopefully one day people will start to view people for who they really are instead of thinking of them differently for having a darker skin color. Sadly, I can’t help but feel that affirmative action only supports these racist thoughts, and that each day that it stays active in the United States, more people view others of varying ethnic backgrounds differently than they should.


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