One cannot talk about affirmative action without considering the effect of poverty on the type of education that one receives. Affirmative action simply alleviates the symptoms while doing nothing to eradicate the root of the problem. What is happening today is the unwanted side effect of affirmative action. Therefore, we now need a much stronger medicine -“the Supreme Court”- to tackle the problem once more. I can guarantee you, whatever the Supreme Court’s decision, nothing much will be done. Nevertheless, eliminate poverty and affirmative action would be a thing of the past.
I have decided to write this post just to respond to a claim that I have read in multiple news media. I find this one from ABC News: "She (Abigail Noel Fisher) said she was denied admission, even though her academic credentials exceeded those of some of the admitted minority candidates."
I do not think that admitting minority students would have affected her admission to UT. The fact that Abigail Noel Fisher didn't meet the requirements to be among the admitted top 10 percent, it just becomes more competitive for Fisher because the admission committee would have to consider other factors to admit her. I am certain that the top 10% is not only composed of White students. There would be some minority students who fall under this category.
On the basis of race, Fisher would have to compete against the other 90% of non-top-10-percent applicants. I do think it is a mistake to say that her credentials exceeded those of some of the admitted “minority” candidates. It is important to mention that Fisher credentials, for certain, exceeded those of some of the admitted “White” students.
Let us now consider an admission committee reviewing Fisher’s application and that of another White student. Let us now assume the other student grew up in chronically underprivileged community. The admission committee could have used that parameter to admit that White student over Fisher. The university could also decide to grant admission to a minority student over Fisher because that student came from a community where the school system is well known for its mediocrity.
Whether a student is White, Black or Hispanic, financial hardship does affect the quality of education that he or she receives. As a result, a student who grew up in poverty might not perform well in standardized exams just because his school did not have access to certain pertinent academic resources. Folks, poverty is a real weapon of mass destruction. Studies have found that poor students perform 13 percent lower in mental tests than those living in affluent communities. We also must not ignore the fact that poor students do not have access to affordable and adequate health care and do not eat a well-balance diet.
I am patiently waiting for the Supreme Court ruling. I do believe that the University of Texas has the right to opt for a diverse student body. I am siding with UT because I do believe that it wasn’t their intention to reject Fisher’s application. The university is simply trying to promote racial diversity. Fisher should also understand that not all the non-top-10% applicants are minorities. The media should also avoid referring to this statement because it is a claim of fallacy. Regardless of the Supreme Court decision, we can all agree that diversity is healthy and does belong in our schools.