Category Archives: Education

Negative Action: Why Affirmative Action Needs to go

Racism is the act of singling out a person because of the color of their skin, treating them differently, and acting in ways or making decisions toward them that one would not make if not for the color of their skin. Of course racism exists–denying this would be naive. Racism stems from each race being different than another, and racism will exist as long as this is the case. The most obvious difference between cultures is race, and so race is blamed for the differences. But institutional racism can be ended in one simple decision: take the race question off of all legal forms. True equality would mean making all races equal and indistinguishable under the law, the way the 14th Amendment specifies when is dictates equal protection under the law. Affirmative action is a law that does not grant equality; Affirmative Action is racism.

The Supreme Court has heard the case of Abigail Fisher, a white student who was denied admission to the University of Texas in favor of minority students despite being more qualified. This means that the university singled out minority students and treated them differently than they would have had they been white. Affirmative action is racism. Racial preference means that minorities are not treated as equals. Affirmative action, by its very nature, infers minorities are inferior to whites, and thus need an unfair leg up. If there were ever an institution that gave whites preferential treatment even if they were less qualified for a job, admission, scholarship, or so on, then we would have a need for affirmative action. But in this day and age that rarely–more likely, never–happens. Does our society believe minorities are Inferior?

Not only does affirmative action suggest that minorities are inferior, but there is evidence that affirmative action may actually be detrimental to minorities. Proposition 209 was a California ballot initiative on affirmative action. The citizens of California voted to end racial preference in their state. What happened afterword gave an interesting insight. Minority enrollments into the state Universities declined, but the number of minorities graduating stayed the same, while the rate of graduation grew. This means that Affirmative Action was not helping minorities graduate, in fact, it was hurting them. Because they were given preference in schools, some students were being admitted to schools they were not qualified for. Because the graduation rate stayed the same this means many of these students did not finish college. Affirmative action was getting them into a school that, for one reason or another, they could not finish. This is not a racial thing, white students similarly qualified, if admitted to these schools would expectedly have the same result. What this does mean, however, is that these minority students left college with no degree, most likely large amounts of student loans, and a bad experience with higher education. How does any of that help minorities?

Now, of course there are many minorities that have graduated from college and become very successful. Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor has even referred to herself as an “affirmative action baby”. Now, how this does not create a bias on her part that should cause her to recuse herself from the case is beyond me; however, we will have to play that song another day. Either way, the evidence suggests that she would have graduated from a great school—even if that school was not Princeton or Yale—and gone on to a successful career regardless. But if affirmative action is granting admittance to students who will only be harmed by attending that university, the racial preference should be done away with. The evidence suggests Justice Sotomayor is the exception, not the rule.

Consider this: in his own 2011 State of the Union address, President Obama stated that it makes no sense for immigrant students to get a world class college education, then be sent home to their country to compete against the United States. Affirmative Action furthers that problem. Not only are some immigrants being given admission over citizens, but minority citizens are being given admission over more qualified citizens. This means that we are giving more immigrants degrees, and sending them home to compete against less qualified Americans. Summing it all up, we are giving other nations an economic advantage over our own, but we are shooting ourselves in the economic foot. The best candidates–no matter what race they happen to be–should be the ones admitted to schools. For the less qualified students, there are less prestigious and demanding schools to fit their needs. If every student goes to the right school we will have more graduates holding more degrees in every race. This helps minorities, the education system, and the economy.

True equality does not have racial preference; moreover, it has no preference at all. This nation was founded on the idea that all men are created equal; not that all men become equal. Being created equal means we all have the same rights, and that we achieve based on our own capabilities. Becoming equal means minorities need help to earn equality–inferring that they are inferior as people to the white race; this is racism. Not only was our nation not built on the idea of becoming equal, but the champion of civil rights, the great Martin Luther King JR–one of the greatest men in our history–did not support the idea of becoming equal. Being born equal and being treated equal was his vision. His dream was “that my four little children will 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.”  The very purpose of Affirmative Action is to judge people first and foremost by the color of their skin.

Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are the three basic human rights repeated from kindergarten to doctoral theses, but Affirmative Action limits liberty, and hinders the pursuit of happiness for thousands of whites who are not granted admission to schools they have earned the privilege to attend, and for thousands of minorities who are not able to finish at the school because they were not as qualified their peers. Race discrimination is rampant in college admissions. Affirmative action not only hurts minorities, but it also hurts whites, and the entire nation and economy as a whole. It is time we took Dr. King’s dream, and the 14th Amendment for what they are. If races are really equal, Affirmative Action needs to end. There is no place for racism in America.

–Matt Young

15 October, 2012

Reforming American Public Education

In the middle of all the political tantrums and petulant partisan battles in Washington, one issue has been mutually agreed upon by all sides; improving our education system. President Obama, in last year’s State of the Union address illustrated perfectly the need for a better education system:

“Over the next 10 years, nearly half of all new jobs will require education that goes beyond a high school education.  And yet, as many as a quarter of our students aren’t even finishing high school.  The quality of our math and science education lags behind many other nations.  America has fallen to ninth in the proportion of young people with a college degree.  And so the question is whether all of us –- as citizens, and as parents –- are willing to do what’s necessary to give every child a chance to succeed…When a child walks into a classroom, it should be a place of high expectations and high performance.  But too many schools don’t meet this test.” Read the rest of this entry

Pennsylvanians Witness Heroism, as Teachers Work for Free

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things in unordinary circumstances. Every so often we are graced with seeing a hero do their work. Sometimes they have names, like Pat Tillman or Dakota Meyer; but most often they are faceless. The FDNY and NYPD who raced into the burning twin towers, random bystanders in Utah who pushed a flaming car off of a motorcyclist, and teachers working to educate students…for free. The last is the case in Chester Upland school district in Pennsylvania, where due to state budget education cuts of $900 million, teachers began to volunteer their time beginning Wednesday, when the school district ran out of money to pay their salaries. Each teacher committed to work and provide an education to their students for as long as they could individually manage living without pay. This has sparked an intense debate in the steel state over the budget cuts made by Republican Governor Corbett. Corbett ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility and government accountability in last year’s elections, and has made a few drastic reforms to the state budget proposed in the first fiscal year beginning under his leadership. Pennsylvania is under massive debt and state government strains; their $4 billion dollar debt is the largest state debt in the nation, and Corbett is determined to do something about it, unfortunately it comes at the expense of education. Read the rest of this entry

The Truth: For Our Nation, Our Children, and Our Future

26 April, 2011

Every morning millions of parents in the United States send their beloved children off to school. When those children come home these caring parents ask what was learned that day at school. Imagine a child coming home from a middle school science class one day, and telling its parents they learned that washing hands was harmful to health. These parents would certainly have to be concerned with the educational integrity of the schools. Even if the child explained that washing hands transmits germs when the sink, soap dispenser and faucet are touched, and also that it weakens the immune system, a parent would still understand that though these may in fact, be true, the benefits of hand washing FAR outweigh these minor consequences. It is therefore my question to ask why parents are not concerned when a child comes home and regurgitates what was taught in a history or social studies class when it is this same case: Small truths that manipulate the real truth. Truth, as the author will be concerned in this paper, is defined as things as they really were, as they really are, and as they really will be. Read the rest of this entry

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