The Daily Iowan

Jaimes: Affirmative action perpetuates racism

With the Trump administration influencing new affirmative-action policies, too many ‘resisters’ have missed crucial points in the multifaceted debate.

Columnist+Marina+Jaimes
Columnist Marina Jaimes

Columnist Marina Jaimes

Columnist Marina Jaimes

Marina Jaimes, [email protected]

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In response to a DI column, “Support affirmative action; end racial divide in the classroom,”by Nichole Shaw, I think it is important to look at the other side of affirmative-action policies without immediately labeling them as racist or bigoted.


It was recently reported that the Trump administration would reverse Obama-era affirmative-action policies, which have allowed universities to favor minority students in the name of diversity. In her op-ed, Shaw contends that this will lead to even more struggles for minority students as they enter college.

This is the thinking that has driven the left to push its affirmative-action agenda ​… The idea that minorities must absolutely rely on others in order to succeed. The implication set forth is that the standard must be lowered for minorities. In other words, minorities aren’t worthy of an even playing field.

Shaw’s basis for labeling Trump’s new policy as wrong and unjust are supported by the fact that Obama-era policies were upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court.

But what the Supreme Court says should not always be seen as moral or legal for example, the court’s Dred Scott decision. As the affirmative action case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, was heard in court, Justice Antonin Scalia gave his thoughtful insight into exactly how detrimental those policies can be. In short, he avered that basing students’ college-admission decisions on skin color and not merit would ultimately lead them to fail if their grades do not meet the university’s standard, the exact opposite effect that the left claims affirmative-action policies have.

This agenda is celebrated on the backs of Asian-American students. Students for Fair Admissions Inc. is in the process of suing Harvard University, alleging that the university caps the number of admissions for Asian American students. Race-blind admission testing would allow the students, with top test scores in the country, a place at a prestigious university. Instead, they are marked down on “personality trait” testing, in which they coincidentally and consistently score low.

Students for Fair Admissions also contends that Harvard proved its discrimination against Asian-American students in an internal investigation and then did nothing to act upon the findings.

It is important to also remember that the idea behind these policies, which are unable to be fully vetted, have allowed Rachel Dolezal, Elizabeth Warren, and others the opportunity to prosper based on a lie. Dolezal’s and Warren’s declaration of minority status was most likely a direct response to a society that blindly champions diversity. This means the majority will do what they can to appear competitive.

More than anything, it is the way we look at affirmative action that must change. We must stop seeing ourselves, policies, or universities as minority people’s heroes. We have to change the idea on how we discuss diversity and how we view minorities. We need to stop creating policy that increases a statistic for a university or employer and recognize students for their merit.

I am not saying any of this from a place of hate or fear. Rather, I say this all as the Hispanic daughter of a single mother. I am saying this because I deserve an even playing field. I deserve to be praised for my intellect instead of my genetics. I deserve to know that every college admission I accept is based on my success and not my skin color.

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