The Supreme Court announced on Feb. 21 that it would hear an appeal from a white student who claims she was denied admission to the University of Texas based on racial discrimination.
The Supreme Court first approved affirmative action in 1978, giving colleges and universities limited racial preference to achieve a more racially diverse campus.
Considering the racial injustices that the United States has perpetrated in the past, there is no doubt that extending an extra hand to racial minorities was seen as a good idea. However, basing admissions on a student’s ethnicity makes race a continuous issue.
Justice Clarence Thomas has previously stated that “there is a moral constitutional equivalence between laws designed to subjugate a race and those that distribute benefits on the basis of race(…) in each instance, it is racial discrimination.”
Universities want the best for their establishment, which means that turning away a highly qualified student because they are considered a racial majority and accepting a lower qualifying racial minority student is not a beneficial move for the school.
Furthermore, it should be noted that universities flourish on the quality of students they admit and not the quantity of a particular race.
“The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said in a Los Angeles Times article.
This may sound like a circulatory statement but affirmative action is a circulatory notion. Trying to provide an extra boost of admissions for one race simultaneously overlooks another.
Today the issue may not be so much a racial gap in universities but an economic and class gap.
“These campuses pride themselves on being liberal and racially diverse, but there are huge class inequalities,” Richard Kahlenberg, a scholar at the Century Foundation in Washington, said in an article with the Los Angeles Times. “They should redirect their [affirmative action] efforts to focus on economically disadvantaged students of all races.”
Changing the topic from race to economic standings does not dissuade the fact that extra aid is being given to a select few while others are being left out.
Trying to obtain a collection of each color and difference of a person does nothing for the school other than show that a quota was followed. This number does not show the acceptance or respect for a group simply because that group can be found at the university.
Universities should not play Noah’s ark and want a variety of each kind but instead look for those that best emulate the school’s particular goals and values.
Students should be accepted on their merits of a learner in the classroom and a citizen outside of the class.