Last April, a group of Asian American students refused to accept what they felt was unfair treatment from one top university in the country. Each had received a rejection from Harvard University despite being some of the most qualified applicants in the nation. After years of such trends in Asian American applicants, these students decided to take action. First, they demanded that Harvard publicly release admission records on hundreds of thousands of applicants. Unsurprisingly, the data showed continuous patterns of discrimination against Asian Americans for years (as seen on the graph below). With this evidence, the students claimed that Harvard was penalizing their high achievement as a group while favoring certain racial and ethnic minorities. This Modern Injustice is called Affirmative Action and is prevalent throughout the US in college admission.
Affirmative Action is the practice of favoring certain individuals over others because they were part of a group that was discriminated against in the past. This includes women, racial minorities, and historically excluded groups. This practice is very popular in college admission because the colleges want diversity among their students. This creates a very negative effect on Asian Americans when applying because most of the time colleges discredited of their achievements in high school to level out the playing field for the other applicants to have a better chance of being accepted.
The term "affirmative action" was first coined by John F. Kennedy in his Executive Order 10925 signed on March 6, 1961. It stated, "affirmative action ensures that applicants are employed and are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin." This allowed for African Americans and other racial minorities during this time to have equal opportunity to be on the workforce, so Affirmative Action did have good intentions at its roots. And as time passed, colleges also adopted this practice and has been used ever since. Affirmative Action in College Admission is seen as a modern injustice to many people today, as it is being overused. This overuse causes reverse discrimination, which is essentially where the groups that were discriminated in the past get the advantage over everyone else, including Asian Americans. This means that Asian American students have to work harder than this favored races just to be seen as the same as them. For example, the National Study of College Experience stated that Asian Americans have to score 140 points more than whites, 270 points more than Hispanics, and 450 points higher than African Americans on the SAT, just to be seen as the same as them to the college admission officer. Because affirmative action does not give equal opportunity to everyone regardless of race, gender, and ethnicity, it is considered to be unjust. Colleges justify the use of Affirmative Action by saying it promotes diversity among the students, which is true because they can admit however many students that are of a certain race to make the school seem diverse. But this will defeat the purpose of colleges which is to have the most intelligent and qualified students to be in one like-minded community regardless of race.
So how can we possibly stop this Injustice in America if it has not been fixed for over half a century? Well, one solution is removing the personal information section of the college application from being reviewed by the college admission officers. Instead, those parts of the application can be replaced with a number that corresponds to the applicants' information. This way the race, gender, or ethnicity of an applicant will never be used as a determining factor to admit them into the college. But instead, the experiences, the awards, the leadership positions, and academic achievement of the student will be the only determining factor when admitting a student. A way for the average citizen to help stop this modern discrimination is to bring awareness to affirmative action, and actively talk about it, because the more people that are educated about affirmative action, the more people that will realize the unfairness and discrimination that it causes.
So, in the end, why would any of you care about the potential effects of affirmative action. At least for me, I am just a sophomore, so I don't have to worry about college for another 2 years. Wait 2 years, and my peers and I and anyone else a part of the Class of 2021 at their schools are going head to head against each other, and one person will choose if I am worth being admitted to my dream college. But it is really fair when you worked hard throughout your high school career, yet you are rejected just because of your skin color. No, it's not. So we can no longer stand back and be content with colleges discriminating against Asian Americans, but instead, we have to fight this discrimination once and for all.