Being Right: Abolish Affirmative Action



Kyle Gavin

All eyes will be on the Supreme Court this summer when the highest court in the land decides whether the individual mandate of Obama’s healthcare monstrosity is constitutional.

However, that case may not be the most controversial case on the Supreme Court’s crowded docket, since the court on Wednesday announced that they would hear the case Fisher v. University of Texas-Austin.

This case will decide whether race-conscious admission in public higher education is constitutional or not.

It is believed that race-conscious admission procedures will be declared unconstitu­tional, since liberal Justice Elena Kagan has decided to recuse herself from the case, thus giving conservatives a majority.

The premise of affirmative action deals with the concept of underrepresented minori­ties. An underrepresented minority is an individual who is African-American, Hispanic or Native American, whose representa­tion in an institution is less than their representation in the general population.

This is opposed to overrepresented minorities, like Asians, whose repre­sentation in an institution is great­er than their representation in the general population.

The idea behind affirmative action is to correct these imbalances. Affirma­tive action tries to increase equality of opportunity. Although we do not al­ways live up to it, this ideal is as old as America itself.

In 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equally.”

However, many people confuse this with meaning that there should be equality of results.

The NBA All-Star Game was on Sun­day and 20 of the 24 participants, or 83 percent, were underrepresented mi­norities. 4 of the 20, or 17 percent, were white. Should the NBA change their All Star rosters to better reflect the population of America?

Should Commissioner David Stern tell LeBron James next year, “Sorry, but you can­not be an All Star this year, we have to make room for Brian Scalibrine in order to make the game more diverse?” Anyone who says yes to either of those two questions also prob­ably believed that the election of Barack Obama would pay for their heating bill and their mortgage.

There is no question that slavery and Jim Crow segregation that followed it are disgraces to our country’s history.

However, how does discriminating against one generation somehow pay for discriminating against a past generation?

It is time to modernize affirmative action to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. Any use of race in determining admissions should be thrown out and replaced with economic-based factors.

There is no reason why a rich underrepresented minority who goes to Phillips Exeter Academy should get an advantage over a poor Asian kid who goes to a dilapidated public school in Detroit.

Affirmative action in its current form is nothing more than reverse racism. It is time for the Supreme Court to put an end to this antiquated system, so this country can move one step closer to living up to Martin Luther King Jr.’s ideal of “not judging people by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Contact Kyle Gavin at [email protected].