Leveling the playing field

Affirmative action provides many benefits for minorities and is essential to the global economy

The Supreme Court has overlooked the importance of integrating different cultures into the education system. Minorities continue to increase in the United States and are not given the same education opportunities due to the socioeconomic barrier. Therefore, affirmative action should continue, as it levels the playing field and allows minorities to succeed.

Affirmative action is an admission process that takes into consideration an individual’s race. If two individuals are of the same qualifications, the individual of color is favored. This process doesn’t provide an unfair advantage to minorities, it simply removes the barriers they face.

In a case from Bill Schutte vs. Coalition earlier in April, the Supreme Court upheld Michigan’s ban on affirmative action. However, I adamantly believe this decision should be reevaluated.

Minorities are crucial assets to the work force. The unique experiences minorities possess, bring in creativity and initiate new ways of thinking. In order for minorities to get into the work force, they must be given the opportunity to receive a respectable degree in college.

Many states in the United States have banned affirmative action, and statistics show the negative impact they caused. After California abolished its affirmative action programs in 1998, the minority student admissions at the University of California Berkeley fell by 61 percent and fell by 36 percent at the University of California, Los Angeles. Due to this setback, minorities will find it difficult to improve their socioeconomic status.

The funding and training individuals receive at grade school plays an important role with affirmative action. Many minorities are forced to attend a school that receives low funding and receive inadequate training.

“We need to take into consideration and also see that the standardized tests that people need to take, like the SAT and ACT, are biased to our white culture,” sophomore Annmarie Moolenaar said. “This means that minorities may not do as well on these tests. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t smart and they wouldn’t do well at classes in college.”

With constant stagnancy, minorities need affirmative action to become successful.

“I actually think [affirmative action] is beneficial for those minorities that are the first people in their family to attend college,” sophomore Afua Ofori-Darko said.

The minorities that are the first in their family to attend college must work significantly harder to achieve the same standards as a white person. These minorities must become independent learners as their parents lack the experience, time and money to significantly help them. As a result, if we encourage minorities to attend colleges, this cyclic behavior can be discontinued and more minorities can start attending college.

The bureau of labor statistics of 2013 shows that the unemployment rate for African Americans is 13.4 percent and 6.7 percent for white people.

If affirmative action continues to be banned, these numbers will plummet even lower. The impacts will be detrimental not only to minorities, but also the global economy. White individuals will become dominant players in the economy and limited positions will be accessible to minorities.

The United States consistently strives to get involved in the global economy and improve immigration reform. It is not enough for the United States to have diversity amongst its residents. The United States must work to ensure that these culturally diverse individuals can improve their socioeconomic status and become active players in the workforce. As a result, in order to fuel the future, it is essential affirmative action should continue.

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Sindhu Manchiraju

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