Brian X. California

Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action should be changed so that it allows for true equality in America.

Dear Next President of the USA,

In this day and age, discrimination still exists in the US, despite efforts to weaken its effect on society. Affirmative Action is a series of presidential orders that were intended to stop this discrimination and provide equality. The idea first popped up in the US around the 1960s, during an era of civil rights and equality. During this time, many people believed that the American dream was true for all Americans, no matter what ethnicity they were. Due to the many calls for equality during this time, the president at the time, John F, Kennedy, decided to enact Executive Order 10925 to lessen discrimination by not allowing employers to use race as a factor in deciding who to hire. Over time, Affirmative Action has expanded to include women in the list of people who would be protected. However, contrary to its original aims, Affirmative Action in education now allows for a form of inequality in colleges, despite giving minorities better opportunities. 

Currently, Affirmative Action in higher level education works by allowing colleges to use race as a deciding factor in whether or not they decide to accept a person. This idea has been a point of controversy for many years, as it could be considered unconstitutional. The current Supreme Court ruling from the case Grutter vs. Bollinger in 2003 declares that it is constitutional, but there's more complicated background to this ruling. Affirmative Action goes against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and part of the 14th Amendment, both of which generally state that the government can't use race for or against a person. In higher level education, this is shown as colleges are allowed to favor those who come from a minority that could be considered at a disadvantage. Due to the nature of higher-level education, letting more of one ethnicity join that institution lets less of another ethnicity join due to limited space. In an ideal world, everyone would be free to get a college education. However, this is not the case, and the way to fix this is not to give one ethnicity more of an advantage to get into a college. Instead, the issue of inequality in education should be focused more on grade-school education, as that is the root of most possible differences in education. 

Several states have already outlawed Affirmative Action in colleges, such as California, but allowing race to be a deciding factor should be nullified in all 50 states. Racial discrimination is a very real issue in America, but Affirmative Action isn't the ideal solution to the problem. It has been shown that people of color and women are at a disadvantage when it comes to education, but the best way to solve it is to nip this problem in the bud. In order to do so, the public education system must be improved. By doing so, many of the problems of racial discrimination in higher education will be solved due to more equal educational achievements being available to all people, regardless of race or gender. Changing Affirmative Action may seem like a relatively insignificant way to combat discrimination, but it's a stepping stone on the path to a truly equal America.

Thanks for reading,


Newbury Park High School

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