Affirmative Action doesn’t have to be divisive

Today the Supreme Court will hear arguments for and against the constitutionality of using race as a determining factor for admissions to higher education institutions. Regardless of the verdict, the basic truth is that there is still a great deal of racial inequality and socioeconomic disparity in this country.

Affirmative Action was first created from an executive order from President John F. Kennedy, who sought to try to rectify the mass injustice and discrimination present in the workplace and at every level of society and help fight against institutionalized racism.

Since the implementation of Affirmative Action, our society has made great strides toward leveling the playing field for future generations. It has helped to ensure that underrepresented minorities are given an opportunity to excel and are given the tools and education to bring back to their local communities and affect some tangible change.

We’ve progressed as a society since JFK’s pronouncement, but we haven’t progressed enough. Our system is still designed to favor members of a particular socioeconomic and racial status over others and affirmative action — our primary tool to affect this change — is imperfect.

The current allowance of using race as a determining factor for higher education admissions has been put in front of the Supreme Court because some believe it directly contradicts the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

While Affirmative Action may soon be ruled unconstitutional, inequality in our society will remain. We must create solutions that do not divide us, but solutions that further the cause of freedom and equality for every member of society, regardless of the color of their skin.