Affirmative action no longer necessary
Published: Sunday, June 10, 2012
Updated: Sunday, June 10, 2012 14:06
President John F. Kennedy first established affirmative action in 1961, and since then, it has been seen as a monumental controversial move for minorities. Affirmative action was originally meant to level the playing field not just for racial minorities but also for women and the gay community.
However, when affirmative action is brought up today, it is largely seen as a way for racial minorities to receive priority in college admissions or employment. The irony of this is that racial minorities are quickly becoming the new majority and, with racial blending at an all-time high, America is truly living up to its melting pot reputation.
I was born in India, but have been raised in America my entire life. Despite being 100 percent Indian, I always strongly identified with American culture much more than my Indian side. Unlike many immigrant families, we were not determined to live in our own cultural bubble. Instead, we blended the best of both cultures and embraced the fact that we were Americans and Indians.
When an elementary school teacher told me about affirmative action, I was confused — why was she telling me? I had been in America for a decade now! At the time, my brother explained it to me like this: If a white female and I were both applying to a university and had identical GPAs, SAT scores and recommendations, I would get in.
When it came time to apply to colleges, I found I got into every in-state and out-of-state university I applied to. Additionally, a plethora of financial aid was available simply because of my race. While I was pleased with my choices, I was also extremely bewildered — why was I receiving priority over somebody else? How did affirmative action even apply to somebody who has lived here her whole life?
Simply put, it doesn’t. Affirmative action was at one time seen as a way to right a wrong. However, after 50 years of civil rights movements for minorities, women and gays, it’s time to realize that affirmative action has once more brought way to discrimination. Racial and gender equality do not exist in a world where employment and admissions industries are so eager to look for ways to fill their diversity quotas. If it is discriminatory to reject somebody based on race, religion, sexual orientation or gender, then it is also discriminatory to give priority in hiring or admissions based on the aforementioned criteria.
Minorities are important in maintaining cultural preservation. However, why should minorities include those who are also American citizens? The only exceptions in affirmative action should be for international students, since those students would truly be a minority. If a prospective employee or student is an America citizen, then he or she is not a minority. They need to embrace that they are part of something bigger. Being an American citizen means maintaining one’s cultural minority while being a part of the majority.