Is Affirmative Action Still Needed?

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Here’s a little background of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin:

In 2008, the University of Texas at Austin denied Abigail Fisher and Rachel Michalewicz, two white students. Then they filed suit against the university claiming that it had rejected them based on their race which would technically violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Michalewicz withdrew from the case in 2011 leaving Fisher as the sole plaintiff. Because Fisher was not in the top 10 percent of her class at Stephen F. Austin High School, her admission would still be based off her credentials including grades, extracurriculars, family circumstances and race.

Although Fisher was not accepted to University of Texas, perhaps her most favored college, she enrolled at Louisiana State University and graduated in 2012 with a degree in finance.

Eventually, the case reached the Supreme Court in June 2015 for the second time. During oral arguments in December, Justice Antonin Scalia said his own opinions on the fact.

Here’s what he had to say.

“There are those who contend that it does not benefit African-Americans to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a less — a slower-track school where they do well. One of the briefs pointed out that most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas.”

“They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they’re– that they’re being pushed ahead in classes that are too– too fast for them.”

“I’m just not impressed by the fact that the University of Texas may have fewer. Maybe it ought to have fewer. And maybe some you know, when you take more, the number of blacks, really competent blacks admitted to lesser schools, turns out to be less. And I don’t think it it stands to reason that it’s a good thing for the University of Texas to admit as many blacks as possible.

Responding to Scalia’s comments and the ongoing court case, the Twitter #StayMadAbby was created.

In my opinion, affirmative action is still needed in the education system. It was created in the college admission process to achieve equal opportunity.

In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson said, “You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say you are free to compete with all the others, and still just believe that you have been completely fair.”

Many people argue that affirmative action only creates more racism. But the truth is that racism does exist. Without affirmative action, colleges might not look into the accessibility and opportunities of students of color, with handicaps and even female.

Fisher should be thankful that she was able to graduate from college while some students do not even graduate from high school. Even if the University of Texas at Austin was her dream school, plenty of people do not get accepted into their top choice school.

Instead of blaming her race or affirmative action, Fisher should look towards her future but acknowledge that racism is still prevalent in today’s society. As a white female, she should recognize that she has white privilege.


– Maria Harrison – Asst. Perspectives Editor

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Maria Harrison

Maria is someone who likes to eat soup in the summer and gelato in the winter. If you look at her computer, the page might be open to a game of Solitaire, a new film or dogs up for adoption.

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