by Alex Urbina Favela
Why is it that there are no scholarships that specifically target white people?
I mean, there are plenty of scholarships out there that are designed for people of certain ethnicities, such as the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund, and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, but it is hard (or maybe impossible) to find one that specifically caters to Caucasians. I mention this in order to point out a double standard in our society.
Although it does not directly address scholarships, affirmative action upholds a similar double standard in our country.
The Supreme Court has recently decided to review a case that is tied to affirmative action, and it seems the chances for upholding racial quotas are weaker than ever.
The case in question is Fisher v. the University of Texas. Abigail Fisher has alleged that UT denied her admission due to her race.
Since the last time it ruled in favor of an affirmative action plan in 2003, the Supreme Court has become decisively more conservative.
Justice Samuel Alito has subsequently replaced the moderate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor after her retirement in 2006, marking a shift away from a liberal majority. This leaves the Supreme Court with five conservative justices out of a total of nine.
In addition to that, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, who most likely would have voted for use of race quotas in admissions, has recused herself from the upcoming review due to her involvement in the case as Solicitor General. No, things do not look well for affirmative action at all.
But we must ask ourselves if affirmative action is something we think truly represents the American spirit.
Consider this: what if you were told that you could not receive admission into a university or receive a scholarship because of the color of your skin? It would be devastating and blatantly outrageous, correct? Well, this argument used to only apply to ethnic minorities’ rights to education, but I think the same can now be said of those with a Caucasian background.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I am of Mexican descent and as swarthy as they come. But I just cannot help but call out this obvious hypocrisy in our culture.
We are all so quick to preach equality and fair opportunities for everyone regardless of race, but at the heart of the issue is a general notion to combat the idea of whites getting everything.
Accordingly, we establish that it is okay to grant scholarships and college admission to some and not to others. Is this not racism in and of itself? Is this not what the previous generations tried so hard to eliminate?
It is my opinion that affirmative action should be discontinued. It is nothing more than racial balancing with a catchy title. It purposely gives a select few an advantage while denying that same advantage to others. Racial balancing is racist and we all know it.
However, I will give our racism in this matter some credit: it does increase classroom diversity. Proponents of affirmative action could say that this increase in diversity leads to better classroom discussion and an increase in overall learning.
But I would argue that the link between classroom diversity and classroom learning is not as strong as one would think. It, of course, plays a role in greater multi-cultural understanding but we must not fool ourselves into thinking of classroom diversity as a cure-all solution for learning.
I propose that instead of continuing to discriminate based on race, college admissions should be based solely on merit.
This way, race would not even be taken into consideration and everyone would have an equal chance at gaining admission to the college of their choice. This is only fair.
Whatever the solution is, race needs to be kept out of the acceptance process. Until things like this are dealt with, racism will be hard at work in the U.S. as double standards continue to exist.