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Affirmative Action: 4 Reasons to Eliminate It

Affirmative Action: 4 Reasons to Eliminate It

Ankan Roy

Affirmative action has been debated for many years but is it justified? Dive into this article on what we, teenagers think about it! 

Affirmative Action 

The politically charged term “affirmative action” relates to racial preferences that have 
been used in education and recruitment in the United States since the 1960s designed to atone for the injustices of past discrimination. President Lyndon B. Johnson intended for Executive Order 11246 to create an equal playing field for everyone regardless of sex, race, etc. However, after nearly 60 years after the order was passed the question arises: does affirmative action even work

To analyze the effects of affirmative action one needs to look at the occupations of minorities. It’s ingrained into our brain after taking one US history class that even after the American Civil War ended in 1865, the Jim Crow Laws/Black Codes made it very difficult for African Americans to better their position in society. As a result, they were stuck with the lowest paying jobs such as cattle breeders, parking lot attendants, and dry cleaners. 

Affirmative action at first seemed like a path to euphoria for these poor souls who were sucked into the tornado known as White Supremacist America; this would be the way they would better their lives and finally live out the American Dream. There’s a saying, a picture is worth a thousand words, the upcoming pictures only tell us 4 words; “it did not work.” 

Statistics of Affirmative Action 

In 1954 the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that the unemployment rates for African Americans were nearly double that of White Americans, 9.9%, and 5% respectively. Affirmative action was passed in 1965 and excluding 2020 (due to COVID-19) the unemployment rates are still far apart from one another. As recently as July 2019, African American unemployment is 5.8% which is nearly double the white unemployment rate of 3.3%. 

Affirmative action has failed to deliver an equal playing field for minorities with whites and it has been nearly 60 years. They have fallen under the control of a handful of autocratic white men who have enslaved them for centuries and continue to be exemplified by the recent acts of police brutality towards them. Not only does this massive disparity exist in unemployment, but the income disparity is also much 
more shocking. 

Affirmative Action & Employment 

Around the time affirmative action was passed the average black median household 
income was about 25,000 USD compared to the white median household income which was 50,000 USD. If we compare it to 2010, the household median income of whites is still nearly double that of African Americans. Has affirmative action worked or have we simply fallen to the media’s projection that affirmative action has worked

Affirmative action does not only apply to jobs and income, but it also applies to our 
education system. From Alexander Lucius Twilight, the first black man to graduate with a degree, student activism has spearheaded the education movement for minorities. It genuinely brings joy to anyone’s eyes to see such an influx of minorities being 
admitted into college. This is exemplary of what the minority community can do after such hard work in a nation that has been spearheaded by white supremacy. However, this picture, like the other attempts of media not showing the full picture, does not show the full image. The chart above represents the trend of each race admitted into the top 100 universities 

affirmative action

The chart above represents the trend of each race admitted into the top 100 universities 
in our nation. The fact that after affirmative action was passed the admissions of Hispanics and Blacks went down is simply appalling. Affirmative action has not delivered on a major scale to improve the lives of these minorities. It is more the result of hard work that these minorities have put in to better their lifestyle and social standing. 

Affirmative Action in High Schools and Universities 

affirmative action

Not only has affirmative action failed to live up to its expectations, but it also creates a 
racist nature and incompatibility with the basis of merit during the college admissions process. This executive order allows admission officers to judge the possibility of acceptance based on race as opposed to one’s accomplishments which create a toxic and racist nature. A study done by Princeton University revealed that African-Americans received a “bonus” of 230 points. 

With this boost, an Asian-American applying to university has to score higher on standardized testing, have more achievements, and more extra-curricular than African Americans because affirmative action allows for discrimination against them only because they are Asian-American and therefore they have to work harder to get into college. Hispanics received a “bonus” of 185 points, and Asian-Americans were penalized by 50 points. Nobody can deny that African-Americans had injustices done towards them, however, it also cannot be denied that 
 
Asian-Americans have also felt the brunt of America’s racist system. I do believe African Americans and other minorities should get a boost but it should not come in the form of embellishing their achievements; it should come in the form of financial aid. African Americans have the highest poverty rate at 20.8% which is nearly double the population poverty rate. This comes as a result of the redlining implemented during the New Deal issued by FDR; in 1933 there was a housing shortage and the government placed the whites into the suburbs and pushed African-Americans into the urban projects. In addition, the Federal Housing Administration refused to insure mortgages in and around African-American neighbourhoods. 

The houses that the whites had produced equity and as a result, as time passed on they earned more money whereas African American owned homes did not receive equity and thus did not have nearly as much money as their white counterparts. By the time President Lyndon Johnson passed the Fair Housing Act in 1968, the houses they could have bought in the 1930s were no longer affordable in the 60s and 70s. 

African-Americans have left no choice but to go live in the neighbourhoods which had less expensive homes, less funding, fewer opportunities, etc. This is where the issue lies in society, African Americans are not “lazy” or “useless” rather the system has never favoured them and this legacy still exists to this day. 

Although redlining has been outlawed for a long time now this economic disparity still 
exists in our society. A study done by the Washington Post found out that predominantly white school districts received a whopping 23 billion USD more than predominantly non-white school districts. 

I don’t have a degree in finance but when you invest a substantial amount of money into a program, you expect results. This surplus amount of money into white school districts makes sure that they have access to the best technology, best teachers, more opportunities, and ultimately a higher quality education. If our non-white school districts received the same amount of funding as our white school districts they would receive the same quality of education. 

 
In New York City students can gain entry into some of the elite high schools into the 
school via the SHSAT granted that they perform well enough. Black and Latinos make up about 42% of the population taking the exam yet only about 10% receive an offer to these schools. I attended a school in a predominantly black neighbourhood and the school did not tell us about the SHSAT until 2 months before the exam date. If schools don’t notify their students in advance of this exam they will not have any time to thoroughly prepare for these exams and thus will not be able to attend these elite schools. 

My white friend who attended a school in a white district was notified about the SHSAT during the 7th grade. It’s clear to see the disparity in funding leads to a disparity in opportunities for students. Funding these impoverished minority dominant neighbourhoods would only see a jump in African Americans in the best paying jobs, best colleges, and best lives possible. 

I don’t believe affirmative action is the correct way to give justice or relief to the 
minorities who have been treated poorly for centuries now. Not only is affirmative action an ineffective and racist policy, but it also has negative consequences by creating more divisions and toxic environments in the world of higher living. It is time that the government open their eyes to the real solution instead of leaving minorities in the dark like they have continued to do. 

Read more such Op-Ed (opinion-based) articles such as A Beginner’s Guide to voting In the US, Gen Z Voices Their Opinions on Tik Tok, Is Social Media making us more Narcissistic and Is Generation Z Trying to Change the American Flag or the World. 

The politically charged term “affirmative action” relates to racial preferences that have 
been used in education and recruitment in the United States since the 1960s designed to atone for the injustices of past discrimination. President Lyndon B. Johnson intended for Executive Order 11246 to create an equal playing field for everyone regardless of sex, race, etc. However, after nearly 60 years after the order was passed the question arises: does affirmative action even work

The politically charged term “affirmative action” relates to racial preferences that have 
been used in education and recruitment in the United States since the 1960s designed to atone for the injustices of past discrimination. President Lyndon B. Johnson intended for Executive Order 11246 to create an equal playing field for everyone regardless of sex, race, etc. However, after nearly 60 years after the order was passed the question arises: does affirmative action even work

The politically charged term “affirmative action” relates to racial preferences that have 
been used in education and recruitment in the United States since the 1960s designed to atone for the injustices of past discrimination. President Lyndon B. Johnson intended for Executive Order 11246 to create an equal playing field for everyone regardless of sex, race, etc. However, after nearly 60 years after the order was passed the question arises: does affirmative action even work

The politically charged term “affirmative action” relates to racial preferences that have 
been used in education and recruitment in the United States since the 1960s designed to atone for the injustices of past discrimination. President Lyndon B. Johnson intended for Executive Order 11246 to create an equal playing field for everyone regardless of sex, race, etc. However, after nearly 60 years after the order was passed the question arises: does affirmative action even work

The politically charged term “affirmative action” relates to racial preferences that have 
been used in education and recruitment in the United States since the 1960s designed to atone for the injustices of past discrimination. President Lyndon B. Johnson intended for Executive Order 11246 to create an equal playing field for everyone regardless of sex, race, etc. However, after nearly 60 years after the order was passed the question arises: does affirmative action even work

See Also

The politically charged term “affirmative action” relates to racial preferences that have 
been used in education and recruitment in the United States since the 1960s designed to atone for the injustices of past discrimination. President Lyndon B. Johnson intended for Executive Order 11246 to create an equal playing field for everyone regardless of sex, race, etc. However, after nearly 60 years after the order was passed the question arises: does affirmative action even work

The politically charged term “affirmative action” relates to racial preferences that have 
been used in education and recruitment in the United States since the 1960s designed to atone for the injustices of past discrimination. President Lyndon B. Johnson intended for Executive Order 11246 to create an equal playing field for everyone regardless of sex, race, etc. However, after nearly 60 years after the order was passed the question arises: does affirmative action even work

The politically charged term “affirmative action” relates to racial preferences that have 
been used in education and recruitment in the United States since the 1960s designed to atone for the injustices of past discrimination. President Lyndon B. Johnson intended for Executive Order 11246 to create an equal playing field for everyone regardless of sex, race, etc. However, after nearly 60 years after the order was passed the question arises: does affirmative action even work

The politically charged term “affirmative action” relates to racial preferences that have 
been used in education and recruitment in the United States since the 1960s designed to atone for the injustices of past discrimination. President Lyndon B. Johnson intended for Executive Order 11246 to create an equal playing field for everyone regardless of sex, race, etc. However, after nearly 60 years after the order was passed the question arises: does affirmative action even work

The politically charged term “affirmative action” relates to racial preferences that have 
been used in education and recruitment in the United States since the 1960s designed to atone for the injustices of past discrimination. President Lyndon B. Johnson intended for Executive Order 11246 to create an equal playing field for everyone regardless of sex, race, etc. However, after nearly 60 years after the order was passed the question arises: does affirmative action even work

The politically charged term “affirmative action” relates to racial preferences that have 
been used in education and recruitment in the United States since the 1960s designed to atone for the injustices of past discrimination. President Lyndon B. Johnson intended for Executive Order 11246 to create an equal playing field for everyone regardless of sex, race, etc. However, after nearly 60 years after the order was passed the question arises: does affirmative action even work

The politically charged term “affirmative action” relates to racial preferences that have 
been used in education and recruitment in the United States since the 1960s designed to atone for the injustices of past discrimination. President Lyndon B. Johnson intended for Executive Order 11246 to create an equal playing field for everyone regardless of sex, race, etc. However, after nearly 60 years after the order was passed the question arises: does affirmative action even work

The politically charged term “affirmative action” relates to racial preferences that have 
been used in education and recruitment in the United States since the 1960s designed to atone for the injustices of past discrimination. President Lyndon B. Johnson intended for Executive Order 11246 to create an equal playing field for everyone regardless of sex, race, etc. However, after nearly 60 years after the order was passed the question arises: does affirmative action even work

The politically charged term “affirmative action” relates to racial preferences that have 
been used in education and recruitment in the United States since the 1960s designed to atone for the injustices of past discrimination. President Lyndon B. Johnson intended for Executive Order 11246 to create an equal playing field for everyone regardless of sex, race, etc. However, after nearly 60 years after the order was passed the question arises: does affirmative action even work

The politically charged term “affirmative action” relates to racial preferences that have 
been used in education and recruitment in the United States since the 1960s designed to atone for the injustices of past discrimination. President Lyndon B. Johnson intended for Executive Order 11246 to create an equal playing field for everyone regardless of sex, race, etc. However, after nearly 60 years after the order was passed the question arises: does affirmative action even work

The politically charged term “affirmative action” relates to racial preferences that have 
been used in education and recruitment in the United States since the 1960s designed to atone for the injustices of past discrimination. President Lyndon B. Johnson intended for Executive Order 11246 to create an equal playing field for everyone regardless of sex, race, etc. However, after nearly 60 years after the order was passed the question arises: does affirmative action even work

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