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A New Age of Discrimination

Many upcoming high school graduates have dreams of continuing his or her education at a major university. In order to become accepted into a college of one's choice, he or she must dedicate time and effort to achieve the grades required. People have been taught that through hard work and dedication the reward of a better future is obtained. This system seems to be fair and just however our nation put in extra effort to give equality to the minority groups through affirmative action. At the time affirmative action seemed to be a good idea and it was put into action but now our society is feeling the repercussions of this act. Affirmative action is now acting as a road-block for the students who are working hard to receive a good education, more than it is helping minority groups. Affirmative action was adopted to create opportunities for minority groups but, in turn, has created reverse discrimination and favored treatment in college admissions.

There is evidence to show affirmative action has not met its expectation, but first, what is affirmative action. Affirmative action by definition, according to WordNet 2.0, is a policy designed to redress past discrimination against women and minority groups through measures to improve their economic and education opportunities.

History lets us know the purpose behind affirmative action, but evidence proves its failure. "Reverse discrimination" is often the choice phrase many people use to describe affirmative action. In an attempt to eliminate racial preference through college admissions, the government, unintentionally, created a new age of discrimination. An example of the reverse discrimination is in the case of Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, in which a white applicant was denied admissions because of race.

". . . when colleges judge an application by which box is checked under race, this is distinguishing the feature of each applicant's race, which is by definition, racial discrimination, . . ."

Furthermore, evidence to show affirmative action isn't working effectively is the research done to prove it is preferential treatment. Before the affirmative action law was passed, the percentage of minorities enrolled in college was 4.9 percent. The percentage grew about 2 percent every ten years after 1970; however, in 1995, the portion of black students attending college had dropped to 25 percent below that of white students.

A study published in the November 1992 issue of Academic Medicine shows that minorities with low grade point averages and low Medical College Admissions Test scores will in most years find a medical school that will accept them about 30 percent of the time, whereas whites with the same credentials will get in about 15 percent of the time.

There are several different forms of affirmative action, practiced by different colleges. The most general guideline is, when minorities get preferential consideration, in being accepted into colleges, when other qualifications have been met. Another more rigid guideline is based on quota. This is setting aside a specific number of admission positions for minorities. I feel affirmative action in college admission should be abolished for several reasons.

First, affirmative action in college admissions has been in effect for over thirty years. This has given a generation of disadvantaged minorities an opportunity to make up for past discrimination. Now it is time to give all students equal opportunity based on merit rather than race. There are several factors that a college should take into account to determine merit, such as grades, test scores, and extra-curricular achievements. However, an applicant's race is not a legitimate factor to take into consideration because it is outside of the student's control. It is impossible for a college to consider every aspect of a student's background when making admissions decisions. Roy Wilkins, a former Executive Director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, stated to the congress, on May, 1984, "Our association has never been in favor of a quota system. We believe the quota system is unfair whether it is used for or against blacks...We feel people ought to be hired because of their ability, irrespective of their color...We equality, equality of opportunity and employment on the basis of ability."

( ADD IN THE FACT THAT MINOTIRTIES ARE BRING PUSHED TO SCHOOLS WERE THEY GEAT C D AND NOT ANOTHER COLLEGE WERE THEY GET A BS.) Second, those in favor of affirmative action argue that it levels the playing field for minorities who face obstacles such as poor schooling and lack of role models. While I agree that

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