Uploaded by Aimee Monica

22 Affirmative Action Article

A Writer’s Point of View to Affirmative Action
Currently, there are over 324 million citizens documented in the United States.
Nearly a whopping 30% of those people is comprised of what you may call minorities—
black, Asian, Native Americans, etc. With such diverse cultural and ethnical backgrounds,
frictions and disagreements are bound to happen. In this article I would like to talk
about how this multicultural society affects one of the most basic human needs:
We cannot deny that discrimination is still a big part of today’s society, despite
many, many efforts that has been exhausted to discourage and eradicate such damaging
behavior, by both individuals and the government. There are many statistical evidences
that can be produced to demonstrate discrimination—the most worrisome being the
disparity in high school graduation rates. Only 60% of most minorities graduate from
high school compared to White students’ 83%, with an even lower rate of 50% for Black
The government’s attempt to minimize this gap is politically known as
affirmative action, and is currently divided into two views. I tend to side with the
liberal’s view, where they encourage the government to make policies to favor those
who suffer from discrimination.
While the conservative’s view isn’t completely wrong—they believe individuals
should be admitted to school and be employed based on their ability—I would like to
point out that not everyone has the same opportunity in order to be able to develop
those abilities, and that is the root of the problem that we must remedy. I also would
like to point out that at the end of the day, whatever a person’s racial or ethnical
background may be we all share this one land, this one country to live together
peacefully. Let’s not forget that at the very essence, we are all precious human beings
that should have equal rights and opportunity in life.
Results are important. But when you are looking to make improvements, don’t
start by looking at the results and wonder how you can better it. You first need to know
what went down during the process that eventually led to that result. You need to get to
the bottom of things. So a lot of the minorities don’t graduate from high school. Why?
Find the answer to this question, the very basic answer, and then you can start looking
for the solution.
In relation to affirmative action, I believe everything begins with the American
mindset. Decades have passed, but Americans still do not consider the minorities to be
an inherent part of the nation. Major news and media outlets continue to promote
minorities as immigrants [1], mentioning them by their race instead of what they truly
are: Americans.
It may sound as simple as semantics, but it inadvertently shapes and builds
human mindset and ultimately affects the way we behave [2]. Various subtle linguistic
cues are implanted in our brain daily by reading newspaper, watching TV, or even
talking with the people around us. The way something is being said, the terms used, and
the tone used to articulate the subject will impact our perception to the matter. This is
the nurture aspect of human development, how environment becomes a determining
factor to a person’s personality and subsequent life.
When someone continuously tells you one thing, whether it is done consciously
or unconsciously, you will finally believe that about yourself. Even more so when it is
something negative, because the human brain is prone to latch onto negativity [3]. For a
more relatable example, take the stereotypical middle child in the family. Why is it that
the middle child is characterized to be difficult and distant? Psychologists claim this
trait is the result of feeling ignored by parents who pay more attention to the older and
younger siblings, and therefore grow resentment within the child’s psyche [4]. Let us
think about this for a moment. Of course no parents will deliberately ignore their child,
whatever the birth order may be. But this situation happens anyway. That is why
parents must be constantly mindful on how they treat their children.
The same principle happens to minorities. In this case, the minorities are the
middle child of the United States. The government as the parents and White citizens
with other components of society as the sibling must beware on how their speech and
attitude affect the middle child. The middle child themselves must do some work, as
well, such as not letting negativity consume them and ultimately ruin their lives. There
are two possible outcomes of being the middle child, either you become very
independent or forever known as “the difficult one.” It needs effort to become the
independent one, but it must be noted that this effort should not only come from the
individual, but also their environment.
How can the parents (the government) help the middle child to grow? The
answer is by offering them the same opportunity they offer to their other children. It is
reported that an overwhelming number of minority students attend underfunded
schools [5]. Do you, as a parent, think this is fair? Can you expect your middle child who
goes to severely under-resourced public school be as successful and as productive as
your other children who receive top-notch private education? Let’s level the playing
field and see the result, shall we?
And what can every other citizens of USA do to help their sibling in need? Not
much, really. They only need to treat them better, as equals. According to a 2016 study
conducted by a research center [6] in America, 52% of Hispanics say they have
experienced discrimination or being treated unfairly due to their race or ethnicity. For a
nation that claimed to love progress, 52% is not progress—it’s stagnancy. And this is
just the Hispanics. Black people reported to be far more likely to be discriminated
against. Perhaps the American public needs a nation-wide counseling and a mindset
However great the government and fellow Americans’ effort at helping
minorities, no change can happen if the individual himself doesn’t want to change. A
study shows that in 2009, 4.8% of Black students and 5.8% of Hispanic students
dropped out of school [7]. There are many reasons for this number, including a loweconomy background but currently there are many other options for such cases.
Students can enroll in scholarship programs or be eligible for federal aids. The point is,
when there is a will, there is a way.
In conclusion, I believe all elements of society need to take part in order to
inspire change. This is not and will not be an easy task. Don’t expect a program to reach
success within the first 5 or 10 years. Society is a large entity and therefore very difficult
and very slow in responding to change. As a final note, I agree that using race as a
reason to favor one individual shouldn’t be done. Rather, when selecting a prospect for
school admittance or employment, one should look at them as what they are: a prospect,
a promise. No one is great from the beginning. It takes time to polish someone’s ability.
Try to see how an individual can grow to his or her maximum potential if given the
chance. And I believe that is exactly what everyone on this Earth needs—a chance to
prove themselves.