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Most white Americans will never be affected by affirmative action. Why do you hate it so much?




Protesters support Harvard University's protest process near the campus. (Adam Glanzman / Bloomberg)

When applying for college, one rarely encounters racial approval policies. Despite the dismay over what today's selective colleges look like, most four-year institutions accept more applicants than they reject.

But one would never suspect that one is aware of the fear of affirmative action, a subject that has ignited emotional debates. Since 1965.

This week, a federal court in Boston began arguing in a case brought by a group called Students for Fair Admissions against Harvard University. The group accuses Harvard of being able to take into account the fact that the school discriminates against qualified Asian and Pacific Islander applicants when registering for races. Harvard counters that there is a holistic approach approach in which racing is one of many factors used in assessing an applicant, including the rigor of the school's curriculum and commitment to extracurricular and leadership activities.

While the case focuses on Asian applicants, views Affirmative Action vary greatly within this broad ethnic group. Almost 60 percent of Asians and Pacific Islanders think positive action is a good thing, according to a recent poll. Looking at the subgroups, not all agree on the same level. For example, 80 percent of Japanese Americans are in favor of positive action, but only 38 percent of Chinese Americans. Overall, Asians and Pacific Islanders tend to disagree on positive action rather than believing it to be bad.

White Americans, on the other hand, have stronger views on the subject. They are more likely to approve than any other ethnic group, and nearly two thirds reject such policies, according to a 40-year public opinion poll. By comparison, only 10 percent of blacks rejected a policy of positive action.

But the vast majority of Americans will never be directly affected by this policy. Of the approximately 2000 four-year nonprofit colleges and universities in the United States, only 352 race [sociologicalscience.com] consider in admissions, or about 18 percent. Only 124 "highly selective" colleges like Harvard consider race as a factor. Thus, these highly selective racial institutions represent only about 6 percent of the four-year institutions in the United States.

Most students do not consider applying for these colleges, either because of their geography or their academic background Competitiveness or their elite status and high tuition fees. So why do so many white Americans vehemently refuse racial college admissions?

In general, whites prefer a class-based "color-blind" college admission policy. This will allow them to minimize difficult discussions about how the history of racial exclusion and ongoing discrimination in the United States affects inequality.

Jurisprudent Elise Boddie and more than 500 other scientists have recently described how race-neutral approaches can aggravate racial and ethnic issues inequalities in university admissions. The limited information that would be used in these approaches could erase applicants' childhood experiences, including whites, and turn the admission process into a simple approach that educator OiYan Poon compares to popular dating apps.

It is important to remember Institutions have been inherently marginalized since their creation. Highly selective colleges, and most colleges and universities in general, have been built and focused on the education and employment opportunities of white students. Racial and ethnic minorities were excluded from these spaces, regardless of how qualified they were. This story explains why racially neutral admission procedures do not lead to more diverse campuses.

Without racial awareness, these racist historical systems continue to influence who has access to highly selective schools. Think about the benefits, for example, of the children of alumni, known as "legacy students". In college admissions, they receive some of the biggest benefits when they are considered for a place in the next year class. These benefits developed from the long history of racial exclusion to accommodate a small segment of white families regardless of academic ability. You can not have a legacy at an institution if your parents or grandparents were never eligible.

White Americans are interested in maintaining the status quo. The elite college sector has a strong sense of the opportunity to enter high-paying, high profile US firms. Often, the markup on whether you qualify for one of these positions becomes an elite institution like Harvard. They are the gateway to the elite sector of society, which is filled with financial security and prestige.

These schools provide the power to do more for one's family and avoid financial insecurity, power to gain a foothold in a more competitive labor market. A prestigious college degree can provide this power for generations as children of alumni continue to receive strong benefits in college admission procedures.

Yet, a majority of white families and their children seldom consider these elite institutions as college trainers. In some cases they despise these colleges and refer to them as "elitist". Nevertheless, they reject more than any other the affirmative action policy, such. They cling to a social legacy of racial exclusion that has enabled generations of white Americans to find their way to financial security.

There is an inconvenient truth that whites must consider when it comes to affirmative action: they are conflicting policies to consider how historical and persistent inequalities affect other people's children. The support of color blind views of history allows them to blame "biased policies" for their own difficulties instead of recognizing how racist exclusion has shaped the winners and losers of today's society. In fact, it is policies like affirmative action that keep them from enjoying the full racial privileges of the past.

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