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Affirmative Action Mistakes Reality for Racism

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Black Student Holds Protest After Getting Rejected From University of Michigan

I’m a person with a million ideas, and little to no work ethic or ability to prioritize. I was one of those effortlessly smart kids during my early education, but when I entered my rigorous, elite high school and could no longer rely on my intellect alone, I started drowning. I barely graduated high school, because I didn’t manage my time wisely. I was lazy, and I was focused on all the wrong things (IE boys and MySpace).

Senior year was one of the most stressful and depressing times of my life, as I watched my classmates get accepted to prestigious university after prestigious university. What hurt the most about my predicament wasn’t that I felt inferior or inadequate, it was that I knew I was just as brilliant as some of my classmates going off to Ivies and other distinguished schools, but I had failed myself and my parents by refusing to get my shit together.

Brooke Kimbrough was a far more outstanding student than I ever was. She had a 3.6 GPA, was involved in several extracurriculars including the debate team and was president of her school’s National Honor Society chapter, as well as achieving a 23 out of 36 on the ACT. I don’t doubt that there are plenty of universities that would have been happy to have her, but to her disappointment and outrage, U Mich was not one of them.

The college selection process is not straightforward in any way, shape or form. Students that appear more than qualified are often rejected from the universities of their dreams, and are overwhelmed with frustration and anguish. However, U Mich has an acceptance rate of around 30 percent. It’s not Harvard, but it’s not exactly Arizona State.

As harsh as it may sound, it’s quite frankly ridiculous in this day and age for people of color to think that they are being denied acceptances to colleges because of their racial backgrounds, with universities left and right so desperate to boost their diversity ratings. The inequality that needs to be corrected is education in predominantly black neighborhoods, so that they are more able to meet the standards of esteemed institutions of higher education.

As noble as the intentions of affirmative action may be, it can never truly be justified. When you start imposing quotas on schools and other institution, you are no longer looking for the most qualified candidate and quite honestly setting students up for failure. An institution shouldn’t be forced to lower its standards to create an illusion of diversity.

If you can’t get into a school or get a job on based on your credentials, you don’t belong there. The fact that people would rather lower the bar than rise to the occasion is just another manifestation of everyone thinking they deserve a trophy for showing up, and how crippling that mentality is.

Brooke Kimbrough was not denied admission to the University of Michigan because she’s black, she was denied admission because as notable as her accomplishments were, they were below the standards of U Mich. This is not a worthy cause, or a cause at all; it’s a temper tantrum. This is not racism, but reality.

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