It’s time to pop the bubbles of two individuals who oppose affirmative action at the University of Michigan.
Jennifer Gratz and Barbara Grutter were denied acceptance and are using the claim of reverse discrimination to dispute the policy there.
Their case is hanging over the Supreme Court with a decision due by spring.
If the Court rules in their favor, all state universities will be affected, and Temple University’s method of acceptance stands to change as well.
On Jan. 16, President Bush said: “I strongly support diversity of all kinds, including racial diversity, in higher education, but the method used by the University of Michigan to achieve this important goal is fundamentally flawed.”
Bush went on to say that Michigan implements a form of quota system – which in fact it does not.
It is time for Bush to wake up and stop ignoring the racial problem at hand.
If he believes that diversity is important in the system of higher education, he should support affirmative action, because, in reality, minorities do not have an equal chance to attend the same schools as the white majority.
Even with affirmative action, the ratio of minorities to non-minorities at the University of Michigan is surprisingly low.
In 2001, 74 percent of the enrolled undergraduate students were white, while only 26 percent were racial minorities, proving that affirmative action is a necessary program there.
But not everyone agrees.
During the Dec. 13 trial, Gratz claims that she was rejected because she had “the wrong skin color.”
I grew up in a Dawson’s Creek-like town, where every person shared the same race, religion and views.
I was denied acceptance to many schools, and I felt that my skin color, or lack thereof, had an influence.
But while attending Temple, nationally known for its rich diversity, my opinion has changed.
If affirmative action is banned, students like Gratz and Gutter will never know the advantage of sitting in a classroom among faces of every color that bring different aspects into the classroom.
Such diversity is made possible through affirmative action, and, in the future, diversity is the key to ending the need for affirmative action.
Many feel that affirmative action is a thing of the past, and should be abolished to create equal opportunity.
Some even argue that the 14th Amendment, which grants “equal protection of laws,”supports the ban of affirmative action (ironically, it was this law that birthed one of the most pivotal movements in the U.S. history – the Civil Rights Movement).
But if affirmative action was truly an idea of yesterday, would there be so much debate surrounding it today?
Gratz and Gutter oppose affirmative action, but it is my belief that they can only benefit from it.
At institutions like Temple that embody a diverse community, students leave with a better understanding of various races.
In schools like these, students will learn, as I have, that racism is deeply rooted, and that it is up to every individual to take a stand and change that.
Nicole D’Andrea can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.