Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action
Papers are piling up on top of a desk. People are running around trying
to meet their deadlines. Assignments are being pushed back to later dates.

Phones are being answered, but put on hold for the next available
representatives. The president of the firm puts out a notice of hire. The word
is spread throughout the business community through the newspaper and the
internet. Resumes are received every business day. The board members of the
firm review hundreds of resumes that are received daily. They rate the
applications according to qualifications and experiences. The names are
disregarded at this point. A dozen of the applicants are chosen, and notified
to setup initial interviews. One applicant meets all the qualifications, and
has had numerous experiences in the field. This applicant clearly surpasses all
the other applicants. The commitee is very impressed by this young man. He
heads home in delight, hoping to hear from the marketing firm again.

Unfortunately, he never hears from
them again. The main reason why he was not chosen, was because of the color
of his skin. Since he is Asian, they could not hire him, because 50% of their
employees are Asian. Under the affirmative action, they must employ someone who
is underrepresented. This type of situation happens often. It is not the
qualifications, but the color of the skin that employers look for today.

Affirmative action is a step backwards. We are back to color and race
differences. We are all Americans and should be treated as so, not what
ethnicity we are. Affirmative action should be abolished solely because we do
not want to make the same mistake our society made in the past — discriminate
according to color. Two wrongs do not make a right.

Many people say that we should keep affirmative action to render
fairness to the minorities because of the wrongs that was once put on to them.

This simply does not make sense. To compensate someone, a person must have gone
through an experience. People today did not go through such discrimination, as
their past ancestors. How can we punish someone for what they had no control?
Our white society today did not commit the wrongs that were committed a
generation ago. We should not punish them, but rather treat everyone fairly.

We should treat everyone as Americans. As Bakke quotes the Constitution,
“…The guarantees of the Fourteenth Amendment extend to all persons. It’s
language is explicit: “No State shall… deny to any person within its
jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” It is settled beyond question
that the rights created by the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment are, by
its terms, guaranteed to the individual.” (Bakke, p.485)
In the past, we were fighting to abolish racial separation, but today, we have
affirmative action, which still brings about the separation of the different
races. We should fight for equality for all. Affirmative action affects
everyone, including our children.

Under the affirmative action law, our schools are currently recruiting
students according to race and color. According to a critic on affirmative
action,
“A college board survey, described in Andrew Hacker’s Two Nations, in 1992 the
average combined SAT score for black students whose parents earn more than
$70,000 a year was 854, which was twenty-five points lower than the average SAT
for white students whose parents earn less than $20,000 a year.” (Rosen, p.3)
In effect, the solution by supporters of affirmative action is to lower
the school’s standards so that they can accept a more diverse group of students.

This solution is ridiculous, simply because everyone has a chance to do good.

It is just a matter of effort. If a student is spoiled, and does not realize
how important an education is, he will not study as hard as someone who has been
brought up with education as their number one goal. Family incomes have less to
do with SAT scores than the efforts students put into their studies. We should
not lower our standards. Instead, all students should raise their own standards
in order to improve our society. For example, the University of California in
Berkeley has a diverse student body with a majority of Asians. An Asian student
coming out of high school with a 4.0 GPA, and a list of extra curricular
activities would not be accepted simply because of his ethnicity. Instead the
school would rather accept a Mexican student with a 3.0 GPA. Why should the
student who did not study as hard be rewarded just because of his race? Nobody
has the choice of ethnicity when they are born, so we should not deprive anyone
when they make the effort. Affirmative action also brings about different
standards in grading.

The National Merit Scholarship has one standard for African Americans,
and one for the rest of the applicants. This type of double standards is absurd,
because black students are not graded any differently in the classroom. This
also implies that black students are not capable of handling the same material
as the rest of the Americans are. This double standard, in itself, is an insult
to the black community. There are many black people who want to be treated
equally, without any special assistance. By giving minorities special treatment,
we are simultaneously insulting them by implying they are of a lower class. As
Judge O’Connor of Richmond county states,
“Classifications based on race carry a danger of stigmatic harm. Unless they
are strictly reserved for remedial settings, they may in fact promote notions of
racial inferiority and lead to a politics of racial hostility. We thus reaffirm
the view expressed by the plurality in Wygant that the standard of review under
the Equal Protection Clause is not dependent on the race of those burdened or
benefited by a particular classification.” (O’Connor, p.500)
We do not want to cause any more hostility than there already is in our society
by imposing special standards. Our goal is to promote unity in our society, not
separation. This also affects the efficiency in our workforce.

In the work place, people hired under special assistance may slow the
process. If someone was hired over another simply because of the color of his
skin, and not by his qualifications, the business loses as well. They must pay
someone the same salary they would have paid a more efficient employee.

Lowering standards in the workplace, to accommodate a race, is a step back to
poorly made products. In the 1980’s, American cars were marked with a
distinction of poor quality. Since then, our cars have vastly improved, but the
distinction is still planted in many people’s minds. If we lower our standards
in the white collar force, we may develop the same distinction in our corporate
businesses as we have in our cars. Another point is that many people say that
affirmative action will bring diversity to our workforce. A projection done by
the San Jose Tribune suggests that by the year 2000, white males will make up
only 10% of new hires. This does not promote diversity, rather reverse
discrimination.

To have a unified and peaceful society, we must move away from the
separation of color lines. We moved forward when we abolished segregation, but
we are now moving back by imposing Affirmative action. This is not the way to
solve anything. Affirmative action will just cause more hostility between races,
which in turn, can lead to hatred.