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Affirmative action promotes diversity, not discrimination

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By Tolu Salako
Editorial Page Editor

I plan on going to Southern Methodist University to major in biology and journalism, but the only thing that is in the way of this dream I hope to obtain comes down to one thing: money.

We all need it, and we all hope to receive acceptance from our top colleges and grad schools but there are times when the selection process is often skewed, usually by racial circumstances. Some may deem this unfair or purely ridiculous, but as an African-American that is also thrown into the college selection and scholarship process, one can obviously assume that I am perfectly fine with this system.

Though I am Nigerian by blood and have not underwent the financial circumstances as severely as the norm of the African-American population, I do not see why others are so against this system. People may say that it is causing reverse discrimination, or making it easier for those with a darker shade of skin to get into college, but not only is this mindset close-minded, it is also quite offensive.

It is as if the students who happen to not have “favorable” racial circumstances automatically assume that students, such as I, do not have to work as hard. Meaning that I can get lower SAT scores, not take as many AP classes and still have a good shot at getting into top schools.

This is not the point of the system or accurate.

The point of the system is to promote diversity in schools and programs. It is to help those from other races that are more likely to have a lower income than the standard Caucasian students applying to receive an education.

People tend to automatically assume that any African-American or Hispanic student can get accepted into any school of their choice or receive full rides, which is definitely not the case. As someone who hopes to attend SMU with its high tuition, I have yet to receive the “Congratulations! You’re black and you’re accepted! Here’s a $55,000 scholarship per year,” letter. I wish it were that easy; however some think this is how it works. In fact, if this were reality and I received such a letter, I would not only feel disgusted, but I would more than likely not attend a school that did not look at my achievements and the hard work I put in throughout my high school experience and solely accepted me for my race.

I am not saying that there are white families that do not need financial help, but on a national scale, the African-American and Hispanic race are usually at the financial disadvantage. According to U.S. Census Bureau, the average African-American family income was $38,409 in 2009, while the average Caucasian family income was $44,512. It is obvious to see why such a system would favor other races that tend to have lower incomes. However, finances are not the only reason why one should be for affirmative action, but it also enforces diversity among the student body. Students need to be exposed to others from different cultural backgrounds and affirmative action makes this possible. It broadens people’s horizons and so much can be learned about the world from simply interacting with others from different ethnicities. Why would anyone be so against a system that promotes this?

So people need to stop thinking that those who have some ethnic background have some major advantage to get into colleges. I still will not and cannot get into Harvard just because I am black, just as I will not get into Yale for the same reason. People need to stop blaming other races and using us as scapegoats when it comes to the “skewed” college selection process


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The student news site of Coppell High School
Affirmative action promotes diversity, not discrimination