Affirmative Action: Should Race Matter?

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Affirmative Action has been a topic of great controversy in recent years. The Supreme Court has handled numerous cases involving colleges and jobs taking race, gender, and background into consideration when looking through applicants.

“Affirmative Action means positive steps taken to increase the representation of women and minorities in areas of employment, education, and culture from which they have been historically excluded,” according to Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

However, “when those steps involve preferential selection—selection on the basis of race, gender, or ethnicity—affirmative action generates intense controversy,” reports Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Affirmative Action allows colleges to take race, along with other factors into consideration as an admission criterion at public university.

In the 2008 case, Fisher v. Texas, a number of high school seniors were denied admission into the University of Texas. The students believed that the university could not take race into consideration during the application process, so they filed a lawsuit. However, a federal district court ruled against the students, stating that the University complied with the requirements laid out in Grutter v. Bollinger.

A  University of Texas 2002 study found that 78 percent of all individual classes had one to no African Americans enrolled in the course. It also found that 30 percent of the courses had one to no Hispanics enrolled. The court ruled that, although race neutral options have been considered, it was not viable for the University of Texas in order to keep increase diversity of the school; according to

Controversial lawsuits are not the only problem surrounding Affirmative Action. The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) hosted a bake sale that was supposed to ‘mirror’ how Affirmative Action affected certain individuals.

The prices, were according to the customer’s race were, Native Americans: 50 cents, African American: $1.00, Latinos: $1.50, Caucasians: $2.00, and Asian Americans: $2.50.

Tyler Koteskey, the co-president of the group responsible for the bake sale, explained, “Treating people differently based on the color of your skin is racist in all forms,” said Koteskey; according to

Protests against the bake sale were initiated, some students holding up signs saying, “RIP Diversity,” and some pretended to drop dead to the floor explaining, “The Death of Diversity.”