By Pooja Kumbhar, Columnist
It is not every day you see a 23 year-old, Harvard graduate student as an NBA star; seldom are they devout Christians of second-generation Taiwanese descent. With Linsanity sweeping the nation, racial stereotyping and association of affirmative action comes into question. If any other white or black player were put into the NBA under the same circumstances and credentials as Jeremy Lin, their story would not have been so explosive in the media. Suppose a new television network emerged known as WET- White Entertainment; how do you think our society would react? Suspicions of racism and utter chaos would immediately rise.
Affirmative action promises to demand social equality with a set of policies that take political identity into consideration in order to give voice to underrepresented groups. One must understand that older wrongs cannot be replaced through a new set of wrongs. The foremost impact affirmative action has on our youth is through the college admissions process. Many times student with a GPA and SAT score above standard requirement will not get into a prestigous college, whereas someone who falls below the requirement would, due to an identity preference over academic ability. Choosing a minority with solely that label is unfair to those denied of the opportunity that are just as academically capable. In order to create a non-discriminative society, we are just simply switching roles and pushing the power of discrimination from one group to another.
Fortunately, here at Hofstra University affirmative action does not impact a student's admittance. A student is qualified exclusively through their scores, grades and how well they are presented through meritorious achievements. Academic achievement should be the ONLY standard of judgment in the admissions process. Affirmative action causes unprepared applicants to be accepted into highly demanding educational institutions causing eventual failure. The goal of higher education is to build a color-blind socio-economic America; yet if the very basis of the learning process begins with such discrimination, the purpose in itself becomes diminished.
The need to create numbers by division in the name of diversity makes it seem as if minorities need special treatment in order to succeed. It reduces the incentive of both the preferred and non-preferred to do their best because of the notion that it is either unnecessary to try or that they might be incapable.
Under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, the consideration of race and preferential treatment is forbidden. One may then consider the constitutional standing of affirmative action.
Hofstra University supports scholarly excellence and realizes what the essentials are in preparing students for a diverse, open-minded future. Beyond all underlying factors that divide us personally in America, equal opportunity is the most deserving no matter what background, race, color, gender or orientation of the individual. Although, affirmative action serves for a better purpose, it devalues accomplishments of people who belong to a group that it is supposed to help. As Americans, both those who favor and oppose affirmative action share a common goal- to rid our country of prejudice and to spread equality.
Let people do the right thing and learn to cooperate with one another, and maybe one day, there will come a time where "we will not be judged by the color of our skin, but instead by the content of our character."