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The Content of a Character

12 Oct

The Supreme Court is again hearing a case about discrimination in university admissions. A white applicant is suing the University of Texas, claiming that she was denied admission based on her race. She believes that if denying admission to a black student based on race is unconstitutional, then denying admission to a white student based on race should be as well. However, many universities’ and colleges’ admissions programs don’t follow this line of reasoning, and give added preference to minority applicants.

In the admissions year in question, 216 minority students were admitted through an admissions program that gave them preference over more qualified students because of their race [1]. They were admitted, not because of greater merit or potential, but because of the color of their skin. In the same year, 1,714 other minorities got in on their own merit, making up 23% of all new freshmen, therefore it is obviously possible for minority students to work hard and get in without an artificial boost.

Yet there are still people that support Affirmative Action as fair and necessary. The University of Texas President Bill Powers said that a ruling against his school “would be a setback for the university and society”[2], but he fails to explain how. Minority students have the ability to be just as smart and hard-working as any white student, and they are already getting into the school on their own merit, so why should the bar be lowered for some applicants and others excluded for what should be nothing more than an irrelevant physical characteristic?

Martin Luther King, Jr. said that he dreamed of a day when his children would “one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”[3], but the sad truth is that his dream is not yet a reality.

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Posted by on October 12, 2012 in Equality

 

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