Furthering the discussion surrounding Affirmative Action

Recently, the scandal of celebrities buying their children spots in elite colleges has come into the media. Famous actors and actresses such as Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman spent thousands of dollars to make sure that their children would have a spot in colleges as their kids could not get in themselves. These events have brought to light the discussion of affirmative action. Many people who oppose affirmative action use the excuse that it is unfair to white students, many who work extremely hard, to not get into a college because a student of color took their place. While this makes sense, where was the uproar when rich people bought their children’s admission into a school?

Affirmative action was the outcome of the civil rights movement and the want for equal opportunities for every American no matter the color of their skin. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, affirmative action “intended to provide equal opportunities for members of minority groups, and women in education and employment.” While many may argue that this process favors minority groups over white students and that this is “reverse discrimination,” it is still a fact that minority groups are at a disadvantage due to the color of their skin and therefore oftentimes miss out on opportunities due to their race.

These celebrities are not the first people to buy their way into the education system, this is an issue that has been going on forever but is now just coming to light because these individuals were caught. Saying that giving minorities a chance at opportunities is wrong but keeping quiet about wealthy people bribing college admission teams is completely hypocritical. Our education system should never, ever be abused for the economic interests of individuals. Is it only wrong for someone to be given an edge when they are a person of color? While there are flaws with the affirmative action process, such as lowering standards in order for minorities to get in, the idea in itself isn’t wrong.

As sad as it is, minority groups are at a disadvantage and while we may want to strongly believe that ethnic groups and whites are equal, they are not. There should be programs that help them achieve the goals that everyone wants — to succeed and further their education. There are students, typically minorities, who simply don’t have the resources to get to college, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t working hard enough.

The matter of the fact is that this country makes it easy for those who are rich to succeed. Money talks. This being said, those who can’t afford to pay 500 thousand dollars to get into their top school shouldn’t have to miss out on a hard earned education. We as a society need to recognize that valuing money over integrity is wrong and that no one should be left out of opportunities that they have worked hard for.