Affirmative action (AA) was started with the best of intentions; but as practiced in many, if not most, colleges/universities, the costs of AA now outweigh the benefits. AA divides Americans by race and ethnicity. It helps to institutionalize a ‘victim’ mentality among racial and ethnic minorities, the idea that minorities cannot achieve without the de facto racial quotas, and that all standardized testing reflects white culture. I agree with UCLA Professor Richard Sanders that the 1996 ban on AA pushed UC campuses to heavily invest in their academic preparation and helped raise the graduation rates of black and Latino students. We should all continue the hard work of raising the academic standards of all children, instead of returning to de facto racial-ethnic quotas.
Hanyang University (Seoul)