Affirmative Action is Racist and Divisive

Author- Vladimir Zark

It’s odd to me that everyone on the Left, intellectuals included, provides apologetics and even defenses for the policy of affirmative action. It confuses me because the Left prides itself on equality, yet contradicts itself with this policy. How can you promote equality by being prejudiced against whites and Asians? How can you promote equality by making it considerably easier for blacks and women?

The problem of affirmative action lies in its initial goal, which is some sort of ‘retributive justice’ for the injustices of the past. Who measures these things? Who measures the level of ‘oppression’ received during slavery and Jim Crow, or the level of ‘oppression’ before gender equality? Who determines the party’s ability to receive reparations such as this? The arbitrariness of the program not only divides us further, but makes it clear that the Left’s intention is not to help people as much as control their freedoms: think on this, why would a government program be prejudiced towards one group and thereby against another? How can a government be tasked with such morally heavy duties in the first place? Are we to believe that our own government must deprive whites and Asians, especially men, of certain freedoms, simply because we must make room for the others?

I say ‘deprive’ because I make the assumption that whites and Asians must by default work harder once affirmative action is enforced. If we are admitting more black students, Latino students, and female students, the assumption is that fewer white, Asian, and male students are being admitted into college all across the country. This also makes the assumption that whites, Asians, and men have special privileges that place them far above the affirmative action groups, while the affirmative action groups don’t have said privileges. Those privileges include… nothing? Here’s why this argument falls apart quickly. To say that you deserve special admission because you’re ‘black’ discredits your personal story as an individual, as part of a particular family and a particular neighborhood, because your admission status is based upon your general status of ‘black’. This means, then, that your reparations are given to you even if you’re rich, even if your parents are successful, even if you’re an established American family with American roots. Let’s assume, then, that the most damaged group as a result of this policy is a poor Asian male. The poor Asian male gets nothing for being poor, nothing for being Asian (rarely do I see scholarships for being of an Asian background, though they do exist), and certainly nothing for being male – so now, he has to work much harder than the rich black male to get into the same Ivy League school.

I think this is a point of shame for the Left, whose equality narrative seems to be put under question. I’m not a racist, and do not frame race as the centerpiece of this critique: but, when you try to force equality, as the Left does, nothing good comes out of it. The Left seems so pitifully angry that there’s no equality of performance, but I just see natural law in play. Take SAT scores: Brookings reports that the demographics scoring between 750-800 on the SAT are 60% Asian, 33% white, 5% Latino, and 2% black. To paraphrase someone I once watched in a video: that’s not racist, that’s called counting. I am making no assumptions on why this is the case, but my assumption is that the Left, out of its flagrant hatred for objectivity, wants to level the playing field a little, and their way of doing so is by forcing people to change that stat to cater to blacks and Latinos. Some moralists would say that there’s nothing wrong with this, but my counterargument is simple: any attempt at manipulating the natural flow of things is going to disrupt the current, going to cause chaos, and is prone to failure.

This is my short piece on affirmative action. I asked my Marxist professor, while we were talking about this topic: “what about if a college had a diversity problem with conservative students, and didn’t have enough?” His answer left me speechless: “conservatives were never discriminated against, so they have no case.” Think about that. 

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