Home / Fall 2012 / 2012-11-01 / Weighing Affirmative Action

Weighing Affirmative Action

The idea that affirmative action is preventing white students from getting a great education because colleges are admitting unqualified minorities is nothing more than an offensive joke.

Despite the narrative that some may try to paint, minority students are in college because they are able to stand on their own merits and no amount of twisting facts and distorted history lessons can change that.

This particular affirmative action controversy is back. Abigail Fisher, a 22-year-old white woman, who was denied admission to the University of Texas at Austin, has sued the school, claiming that its consideration of race is unlawful.

To note, Fisher graduated in the top 12 percent of her class, which is outside of the top 10 percent of Texas students who are granted automatic admission into UT.

I feel that her comments reflect a sense of entitlement that subconsciously puts her academic dreams above others.

“I dreamt of going to UT ever since the second grade,” Fisher said in her Supreme Court appeal. “My dad went there, my sister went there, and tons of friends and family. And it was a tradition I wanted to continue.”

That may be a heart touching statement, but we have all dreamt about getting accepted into our dream college– key word is dreamt.

However, I view us as lucky, Miss Fisher. We had the ability to dream about college and complain when there are thousands of minority students who are at a disadvantage when it comes to education. You and I dreamed about college, while minority students dream about new textbooks, clean classrooms and holes in the classroom ceiling closed.

Furthermore, it’s important to realize that affirmative action promotes diversity, benefits all minorities and helps to level the playing field.

It wasn’t until 1954 that segregation in public schools was ruled unconstitutional. And before then, African Americans were attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities because we weren’t allowed to attend predominantly white institutions. So the playing field is not and has never been equal when it comes to education.
Even though I disagree with Miss Fisher’s complaints, she has the right to complain. According to an article by Evette Dionne, Fisher graduated 82nd out of a class of 674 with a 3.59 GPA and had an SAT score of 1180. That is pretty impressive, too. Fisher’s achievements were good, but not good enough for her to get automatic admission into a highly competitive university.

And even though it seems like Fisher’s argument is that her race is the reason why she wasn’t accepted to UT, UT spells out what they are looking for on “What we Consider” application review factors page: class rank, test scores, coursework, written essays, activities information, letter of recommendation and special circumstances that include socioeconomic status of family, single parent home, language spoken at home, cultural background and race and ethnicity.

So death to the argument that the UT is just turning down white applicants to accept minority students for the hell of it. And congratulations to Miss Fisher on her success as she graduated from Louisiana State University and is currently working as a financial analyst. It doesn’t look like affirmative action held her back any, and if not getting accepted into UT is her only failure, I considered her to be lucky.

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