A lot of people (usually white people) joke about how laws for affirmative action make it harder for them to find success in America today. Well, one rejected University of Texas applicant took that joke one step further by suing for racial discrimination.
As reported by CNN, University of Texas applicant Abigail Noel Fisher has filed a suit against the university after she was rejected in 2008. As she claims in the suit, she felt as though she was excluded due to her race (white).
University of Texas officials immediately fired back, stating that the race of applicants is only one of multiple factors leading to admission. Other factors include test scores, extracurricular activities, leadership roles – you know, all the things that everyone has always told you to develop in high school.
Now here’s where things get pretty interesting. On one side of this argument I’m with Fisher. The fact that race had anything to do with her rejection is questionable. After all, aren’t we all supposed to collectively work toward a more ‘colorblind’ society?
You can’t very well say you’re colorblind when race is an admitted criterion for applicants, U of T.
University of Texas claims that they consider race to help make their campus “more diverse.” But again, if you’re factoring race as a formal requirement for applicants, that isn’t promoting diversity at all. That’s simply forcing diversity, not rewarding the best applicants for their merit.
Now let’s assess the other side of this argument. As CNN continues in its article, “The state of Texas provides automatic admission to its flagship university for in-state students finishing in the top 10-percent of their high schools. Fisher just missed that opportunity…”
Again, Fisher’s own merit was not good enough to merit an immediate acceptance. Had she worked slightly harder in her high school academics, this case would never have become an issue in the first place.
In several ways, then, Fisher just seems like a sore loser who is angry that she didn’t get accepted to her first choice and did what every able-bodied American does when they’re mad – sue.
In the end, it seems like both sides of this argument have lost sight over what’s important. Factoring the race of candidates into admission detracts from the merit of those candidates. A non-white student should never get accepted to a university simply because of their race.
On the other hand, Fisher has set her sights on the factor of race as the primary reason for her rejection from U of T, which simply isn’t true. What led to her eventual rejection was that she wasn’t good enough to make the first cut. Race had nothing to do with that.
Let’s focus on what’s important here – to get into a good school, you have to work hard and have something to show for it. Race should never factor into that equation.