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Why is affirmative action divisive?

Later this year, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals will revisit Proposal 2, which, as of now, bans affirmative action as a point of entry into colleges and universities.  What that means is race and gender are no longer points of consideration in the admission process.

We all know that being accepted into a top-tier university requires good grades. It is an absolute fallacy that you don’t. But there are other factors that contribute to collegiate admissions.

But let’s get real here.  While opponents of affirmative action feel that Prop 2 levels the playing field again, it actually doesn’t. Giving consideration is nothing new.  Universities -- and employers -- for that matter, have been giving consideration for all sorts of reasons, not just gender and race. Athletes and relatives of alumni and wealthy contributors reap the privileges of their position, such as preferred college admission.

So the real question is: Why can’t these same considerations be given to worthy candidates who come from disadvantaged backgrounds? Students should not be penalized if they are not born with, or exposed to, certain advantages. Diversity of thought/ideas are necessary in any environment, particularly the academic environment. Colleges and universities need to be representative of their communities that surround them.

So, why is this issue so divisive? Let’s face it -- we all win when we help others win.

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