This process essay discusses the desire to end affirmative action with the regards to college admissions based on racial characteristics. Using the critical thinking skills from the materials in this class, I will apply the critical thinking skills to evaluate the writers’ belief to end affirmative action for professional schools. This paper will also include the opinions and thoughts from other writers that are against ending affirmative action policies. In addition, my thoughts and opinions on the writer’s beliefs and assumptions on reverse discrimination are included in this paper.
Some of the ground rules to critical thinking can be used to either defend or evaluate and revise your initial beliefs. The issue surrounding the desirability of using racial characteristics for admitting nonwhites to professional schools must be evaluated. This issue is a direct impact on ethics, moral, and social responsibilities in America that raises questions about what is right or wrong, good or bad. Because of affirmative action, some whites are claiming reverse discrimination, this because of that (Browne & Keeley, 2000, p. 15-16).
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One would like to say that there is equality and fair market in America. If this was true than contracts should be available for everyone. Minorities compete for approximately 5 to 10% of contracts because whites already have the majority. If contracts were so available, whites would not have 90 to 95% of contracts (Smiley, 1998, p. 110). Without affirmative action, they would be entitled to 100% of the contracts. Currently, there has been no law to prevent what everyone already knows. The bottom line is some people, with or without affirmative action, will always be eliminated from competition. Affirmative action gives those individuals an opportunity in America in order to balance unequal scales. It is a “fair and necessary remedy for the still-lingering effects of historic injustice, which ultimately benefits all Americans” (Smiley, 1996, p. 104).
According to Bond & Schmoke (1998), who interviewed Loury said that “merit is not just something people are born with, it is the product of social processes that, because of our history and the ways we choose to associate with each other, have a racial dimension.” Contrary, Bond & Schmoke (1998), quoted Connerly who said, “giving people benefit simply because they are part of some arbitrary group determined at the point of their birth is about as un-American as anything imaginable. Second, this practice harms a lot of innocent people.” In this argument in which the writer is against affirmative action, refers to innocent people. This is a very ambiguous statement, and one must define, who are the innocent people, and what makes them innocent. Since we can argue that Connerly is not talking about the ‘innocence’ of America being the Latinos, Native Americans, Women, and Gay and Lesbian groups. It is therefore, assumed that he is looking at keeping the “glass ceiling” intact. Consequently he and others like him would renounce the idea of affirmative action. Affirmative action does not disrupt the hopes of whites. Rather, it has paved the way for other minority groups such as the Latinos, Native Americans, Women, and Gay and Lesbian groups (Smiley, 1998, p. 108).
Debating the issue to end college admissions based on racial characteristics is a difficult task. Affirmative action merely allows those small amounts of people a valuable opportunity to be included, where they would otherwise be excluded. The writer wants to end affirmative action for admissions to college because nonwhites are unqualified. The fallacy here is that not all whites meet the qualifications for professional schools on their merit. But because of the ingrain sense of privilege on behalf of some whites, their perception is that they should be admitted since they are among the majority.
The alternative to create more nonwhite professional schools is not the answer. The creation of nonwhite professional schools is suggesting to bring back segregation in America based on race. Instead of cutting college assistance programs for nonwhites, we should concentrate on ways of getting our children back into the classroom. The quality of education is the best investment that this nation could make. With the rapid growth of technology, the labor market requires technical, math, and science skills at very high levels (Smiley, 1998, p. 90).
One would also argue that the writer assumes hostility between whites and nonwhites if affirmative action policies continue. It is important to maintain the value of social equity. Equal opportunity and affirmative action programs have provided a means of access to better education, and employment for minority groups. When discrimination, conflicts, and turmoil cease and become uncommon in America, than and only than, we can declare the victory (Patterson, 2000).
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