Letter to the Editor: Affirmative action ineffective policy

Affirmative action strives to help minorities after they’ve experienced a history of civil rights violations. Admission spots in universities known as “diversity quotas” often need to be filled based predominately on race. Ahmed Danso-Faried’s commentary (“Affirmative Action a chance to rectify past mistakes,” Jan. 10), exemplified the lofty fallacy of this policy, which is ultimately unfair, unjust, and extremely divisive. Affirmative action runs counter to the ideals of the most famous civil rights pioneer, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by making a decision based clearly on the color of one’s skin and not the content of one’s character.

The root problem of underprivileged minorities should be addressed and remedied before college, in the failing elementary and high schools from which they graduate. According to a report by Jay P. Greene of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, just over half of blacks and Hispanics graduated high school in 2003 compared to about 80 percent of whites. Sticking minority students in unionized schools with no other viable choice is a vicious and unfair cycle for these students. Society contributes to this crisis by refusing to confront the declining quality of these education systems, endlessly shifting the blame onto past injustices minorities experienced. Giving them a free pass to a university because of their skin color does not solve this problem and is discrimination against the majority.

The introduction of school vouchers would pressure public schools by throwing them into competition for once, forcing the schools to enact badly-needed reforms. Better schools would enable disadvantaged minorities to reach their potential and compete more with the majority, thus eliminating the need to even mention race on college applications. Many other important factors plague disadvantaged minorities, but this would be a start toward improvement.

Regarding colleges’ desire to achieve “diversity” on campus, our society will always contain racism if we continually look at the color of one’s skin as the definition of diversity rather than a diversity that depends simply on an array of ideals, thoughts, beliefs, and intelligence. As David Sacks and Peter Thiel of Stanford Magazine remarked, “The underlying assumption – that only minorities can add certain ideas or perspectives – is offensive not merely because it is untrue but also because it implies that all minorities think a certain way.”

Perhaps if our universities will move beyond this biased and never-ending program, we can finally achieve Dr. King’s dream of a color-blind society.

-Christian Shoemaker is a middler international affairs major and assistant editor of the Northeastern Patriot.

Leave a Reply