Affirmative Action is a Defective Policy

Affirmative action is “ An action or policy favoring those who tend to suffer from discrimination.” This is usually related to education or employment opportunities. The stated justification for affirmative action is to “compensate for past discrimination, persecution or exploitation by the ruling class of a culture, and to address existing discrimination.” Addressing discrimination is, of course, not a bad thing. The problem is that affirmative action addresses discrimination by using discrimination. Affirmative action is used in most states in America for college admissions decisions. The black acceptance at MIT is almost twice as high as the overall acceptance rate. Studies show that asians have to score hundreds of points higher on the SAT than african-americans to gain entrance into the same colleges. Needless to say, affirmative action can definitely be a significant factor when applying if you are part of a minority. Race is also often taken into consideration when applying for financial aid for college. In my opinion, there is only one valid argument for affirmative action. This is the idea that a certain place, such as a school or a business, would need a variety of races to accurately present their students with a real-world environment. If a college, for example, wanted all of their students to be able to prosper in a diverse world, they would have a legitimate reason to employ limited use of affirmative action. However, I still think that this need for affirmative action is not nearly ample rational to make up for all the reasons why it shouldn’t exist. The use of affirmative action has various negative side effects. Usually, these involve heightened feelings of racism. For example, if a white person and a native-american person were of equal academic standing, and the native-american person made it into a better college or program based only upon their ethnicity, this could lead to feelings of guilt for the person who benefited, and feelings of anger from the person who did not. Affirmative action lowers the standards for those who benefit from it. This leads to attitudes of entitlement. It could also result in people relying on affirmative action and not living up to their full potential. Yet another effect would be the feeling that what one accomplished was only because of the help of affirmative action and not by one’s own efforts. I strongly believe in social welfare, but I don’t think it should be done in this way. It is true that many of the minorities who benefit from affirmative action will be disadvantaged. It is also true that many people in these minorities are not disadvantaged, and thus should not be receiving aid based upon their race. The better system, if this even needs to be said, is to give the welfare straight to those who need it, not a racial group that stereotypically needs it. Then, all of the money and opportunities will be given to deserving people, regardless of their ethnicity. The demeaning practice of affirmative action must come to an end. We can’t profess to believe in equality as a great American principle if we consistently give privileges to people based only upon their race or ethnicity, regardless of which group is being benefited. If you fight fire with fire, you’re only going to get more fire.