Affirmative action must remain illegal

In a major victory for opponents of affirmative action, a three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals last Friday declared a measure that allows the consideration of race in Michigan’s public college admissions unconstitutional, thus beginning the process of reinstating a prior ban against affirmative action for applicants to public universities.

Edwin Rodriguez | Daily Trojan

Many proponents of affirmative action will claim that the judicial ruling is a step back for American diversity and race relations. Such a claim is far from the truth.

Californians have also faced the same issue. With Proposition 209, California voters passed a ban against affirmative action in 1996, which made it illegal to give preferential treatment to women and minorities in public university admissions, contracting and hiring for government jobs.

California Gov. Jerry Brown voiced his support for repealing the ban on July 8, when he questioned the constutionality of the state’s ban on affirmative action in college admissions to public universities.

The bans are promising, but an omnipresent drive for political correctness and Brown threatens the progress California has made toward real equality in the public university system.

Affirmative action is a form of artificial equality — a numbers game which has disguised itself as a method to keep schools diverse and equal. Applicants to public universities should be admitted based on qualifications instead of skin color.

America has always proudly projected an image of an enlightened meritocracy, of a nation where people can advance themselves based on achievement. A return to pro-affirmative action policy in California, however, would do more harm to this already tarnished image, in turn bringing reverse discrimination back in full force.

If a university were to reject a qualified minority student because of his or her skin color, the public would be up in arms. But if it did the same to a white student, it would be called affirmative action and an advancement of diversity and equality.

California and the nation should continue to move away from the damaging mindset supported by affirmative action. In eliminating race from the college admissions process, universities ensure a new generation of hard-working students will positively contribute to society regardless of their race.

Public education, particularly higher education, is one of the state’s most influential means of producing good citizens. It can be just as influential in the promotion of a negative authority of racism masked by the deceptive nature of affirmative action in the admissions process.

Some believe that a causation between race and poverty exists; this belief should not be used to reward or punish people without considering their merits and contributions on a deeper, intellectual level.

This state-sponsored racism should continue to be banned. As a society, we should reward merit rather than look at admissions categorically using demographics.


Sarah Cueva is a sophomore majoring in political science. Her point runs Fridays.

12 replies
  1. Racist Legislature
    Racist Legislature says:

    WHY does the California legislature want to know my skin color? Why do UC administrators want to judge me based on the color of my skin, rather than the content of my character? Why to liberals hate MLK, Jr.’s dream so much?

    If you make an assumption about a person based solely on their skin color — as admissions offices always do — you are engaging in racism and promoting stereotypes.

  2. Reggie Greene / The Logistician
    Reggie Greene / The Logistician says:

    There are many complexities associated with affirmative action programs and policies. However, one issue which we continually ignore, as is the case with most government related programs and initiatives, is whether it is effective in addressing past wrongs. Think about this: How many beneficiaries of affirmative action programs have actually shared their good fortune with other members of their particular ethnic group, as opposed to using their increased opportunities and wealth to distance themselves from the masses of minority citizens?

    • Racist Legislature
      Racist Legislature says:

      The “past wrongs” argument is completely bogus, of course. A Latino who just waltzed across the border a few years ago gets bonus points, although he obviously has no connection to American society whatsoever. Same for any immigrant — yet if the immigrant is the right color, he gets bonus points for a “past wrong” with which he is not remotely associated.

  3. leo cruz
    leo cruz says:


    How about for the men and women of Troy asking the federal government to deny public levy tax money to
    ‘ SC for practicing alumni legacy preferences, preferences for the children of the wealthy and famous,children of professors and administrators, geographical preferences, preferences for athletic admits for the swim,golf,tennis and volleyball teams of ‘SC etc. ? Public levy tax money means money for student loans and research among other things. All the above mentioned preferences are the same evil Geminid twins of race preferences. All of the above named preferences are illegal, vile ,sick and demented just like race preferences.’SC is not a non-[rofit organization.
    It is a business like Starbucks or Mcdonald. I hit a raw nerve did I not? A tax exemption from the IRS is most certainly not in order.

    • Racist Legislature
      Racist Legislature says:

      Sure! We should definitely get rid of legacy admits. Sports is a more complicated measure, because at least there, people are being judged on their athletic merit.

      But do you really want an admissions board treating people differently based solely on racial reasons?

  4. John A Silvi
    John A Silvi says:

    Sarah: Race will become the subset of the selection process for law school based on need for the under-represented. The DOJ, ABA, The DoE (including the Section of Legal Education) The US and Texas Attorney General Offices all have the matrix (non-bias) in resolving the selection process for law school as mandated by the Grutter decision. Case no# DJ 169-73-0 dated April 5th 2005. Articles in print: Rough Ride for Law School Accreditor (Inside Higher Ed) and Fixing Law School Admissions (Wesleyan University/Argus Paper). Google and click on web for both articles.

    What the courts need to instruct us on is: Can race be utilized within the selection process ?? Once the matrix is modified to include or not to include race for the law school selection process, we can then build the matrix for the Undergrad, MBA, Medical and other educational platforms should we/they wish to do so. In-short, we must ensure that no one is left out of the admissions process and as just as important, the applicant can do the work once they are offered a seat within the universities (at any level of education) ensuring academic performance and graduation.

    Note: Prof Sanders of UCLA outstanding research on analysis of the LSAT test score and the Law School Admissions Council/Services (LSAS/LSAC) analysis on the adjusted GPA for all law applicants in respects to their Class Room Academic potential…….

    Once the process is defined (Race or not to Race), the matrix will be re-built triggering admissions on supply and demand for law school which will permit proper funding for the law grads and employment (with pay) ensuring the repayment of loans. Each educational platform has its own unique characters for selection. They too will be built into the matrix, should we (this nation) choose to do so……..

    As for contracts and hiring, No judge is willing to implement AA. The process nor the actual triggers for contracts and/or hiring can be inforced……

  5. Jake Lawson
    Jake Lawson says:

    Ultimately, while racism — even “the subtle racism of lowered expectations” — still exists, affirmative action must exist. It is far from the ideal, but we do not live in an ideal world. Hopefully, given 50 years, the American higher education system will have progressed. For now, we take baby steps.

    • Alexis Kasperavicius
      Alexis Kasperavicius says:

      The “subtle racism of lowered expectations?” – from whom? Who would be the arbiter on whether or not this is occurring? Would we have a ‘subtle racism investigation panel’ or inspector general?’ If so, how would these investigators be picked? What would be their qualifications? Who would pay for it all? It’s a hot mess. Give it up.

      Forced correctness doesn’t work unless one has a very bright and clear line. Using “I know it when I see it” rationale and wishy washy arguments on idealism doesn’t work either.

      You’re arguing for an ideal that cannot exist. There will always be racism and facism – as a society we must work to reject it, but “rewarding” groups against whom sleights have been committed is messy, messy work and causes more problems and sleights than it’s worth.

      • Racist Legislature
        Racist Legislature says:

        Re: “racism still exists.”

        Yeah, it’s being institutionalized by race-obsessed legislators and admissions boards.

  6. Lindsay Rapkin
    Lindsay Rapkin says:

    There are many minority students that work hard in order to attend universities but are not accepted because their public schools do not provide them with the same opportunities and advisement they need in order to be an applicant equal to someone from a high-achieving public or private school. I think that today, in 2011, this has definitely become more of an economic issue, but we cannot ignore the fact that many of those who come from low-income backgrounds and attend low-performing schools are minorities. Although I wish race were not a factor in college admission, without affirmative action our universities would be dominated by those with “privileged” backgrounds and would lack the diversity needed to create the best learning environment possible. Instead of attacking affirmative action, we should investigate primary and secondary education to see how we can provide all students with better opportunities so that when they do apply to college all students can be at a similar starting line.

    • Clickit
      Clickit says:


      You have made an excellent argument for diversification of admissions based on geographic locations of primary schooling. Giving someone preferential treatment based on the color of their skin remains immoral.

Comments are closed.