In June of 2023, the Supreme Court of the United States effectively ended affirmative action in college admissions. The Supreme Court ruled that affirmative action violated the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, the equal protection clause. Their claim was that using race in admissions gives an advantage to people of color to get into institutions. This ties into the color-blind ideology where people often say “I don’t see color.” By practicing this ideology they are ignoring discrimination and not allowing themselves to discuss race and their own biases. It is important to see a whole person, race included to provide greater equity. Schools, such as Harvard, used race on applications that claimed to have resulted in fewer white and Asian Americans being accepted into these institutions. In class, we have learned and discussed the ways in which people of color are disproportionately affected with regard to the education system. Especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, students of color are at a greater disadvantage when it comes to greater opportunities in education. Students of color, and those living in predominantly underprivileged communities, statistically have a harder time getting into college as their opportunities and funding are limited when it comes to tutors, college counselors, application fees, cost of schools, etc. With the strike down of affirmative action, people of color who are statistically already put at a disadvantage when it comes to higher education can now be seen to be put at an even greater disadvantage now that race is out of the equation.
There are many ways in which the strike down of affirmative action will negatively affect people of color and their chances of success of getting into college. This decision will ultimately cause a decline in racial diversity amongst people of color in not only undergraduate programs but law and medical schools as well. In turn, our healthcare and judicial systems will become increasingly less diverse, putting people of color at another disadvantage. Institutions have already argued that the absence of affirmative action will heavily decline their Latino and black student population. A Forbes article talking about Harvard quoted that, “taking race out of the admissions process would reduce enrollment of black students at the school from 14% to 6% of its student body, and Hispanic enrollment from 14% to 9%.”
When applying to colleges, they say that they want to understand and get to know you as a person, your identity, what has shaped you, and how you have grown. For a large majority of people, their racial identity plays a huge part in who they are as a person and how they have grown. I think that talk about racial identity in applications can not only increase diversity, but open the conversation about racial awareness. By erasing race from the equation, how are schools going to get to know students on the level that they claim they want to?
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