Affirmative action is a tool to celebrate diversity

6235421713_a6a6d948e5On Tuesday, the Supreme Court upheld a Michigan law that bans the use of racial criteria in college admissions, bringing the heated debate over affirmative action into the nation’s view once again. This means that affirmative action is in the hands of the states and voters. The Court voted 6-2, expressing a deeper issue with affirmative action and race in general in America.

At CSU, 16 percent of students identify as a minority, a number that hardly represents equality. If this is our diversity count, then affirmative action may not be the most efficient option. That means that we need to explore other options to better promote diversity and address the pressing issue of inclusiveness and equal opportunities. Of the first of those new techniques to stop discrimination we must speak openly, candidly and realistically about race in America. We can not sweep our identity under the rug. College applicants are applying to colleges to be considered as an entire person. To take away portions of someone’s identity promotes shame and ignorance. We go to college to flourish as individuals, broaden our horizons and become well-rounded human beings.

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There is already a lack of diversity on most college campuses, and taking away affirmative action lessens chances for minority groups to receive equal opportunities and for entire student bodies to reap the benefits of learning from new experiences and unique individuals. If that is the tool we have now, we should use it in the interim as better techniques develop to promote and celebrate diversity.

There is a stark reality that race matters because of historical discrimination. As a society we should recognize and accept the differences we have in order to create a rich and diverse learning environment. A color blind society is just that — blind.