Affirmative Action changes are necessary in today’s society

Neal Casper

I have seen a little bit of a buzz about Affirmative Action going on here in the Daily Kent Stater as of late. Seeing as how Affirmative Action has affected me and my family directly, I thought I would try to comment on the matter effectively but at the same time be as politically correct as possible, so the race card is not thrown at me. Let me also illustrate that I understand there is a need for Affirmative Action, and what I am arguing for is changes in the program, rather than entirely abolishing it.

First off, Affirmative Action has affected me through my academic career. As a current junior, I have a 3.8 current accumulative GPA, a 4.0 in my major work and I plan to head on to law school after I am done here at Kent State. One would think someone with my “qualifications” would be a shoe-in for, at the very least, an academic scholarship.

Most with these qualifications would be, however, with Affirmative Action in place, it all falls back on race and gender, and due to the fact that I am a white male, I therefore have received zero dollars in scholarships to date. I honestly do not know what is rising faster, Kent tuition or my $50,000 in student loans.

As for my family, my father is known throughout northeast Ohio for what he does, and when he lost his job a little over two years ago, some well-known companies wanted him to work for them. When he decided which company to go with, the owner told him that they had wanted him to work for them for over two years, but they had to let a woman and a black man try first. My heart completely sank when he told me what that man had told him. I could accept my father being denied a job based on his skill and qualifications, but denying a man who leaves at 6 a.m. and sometimes does not get home until 9 p.m. because of his race and his gender, to me, is just downright depressing.

These flaws show that we not only created a program that hires based on the color of one’s skin and what reproductive organ one possesses, but we also created a program that is one dimensional. Call me racist, sexist and/or crazy, but stopping racism and sexism in the hiring process by instituting a process of hiring by race and gender is not solving the problem. There are many students like me that are deprived of well-deserved scholarships and many hard workers in the work force being deprived of well-deserved jobs because they are not a minority (and honestly, can we really call white males a demographical majority anymore?)

I guess the question to ask is this: Is it fair to deny scholarships to students or jobs to workers that present high qualifications but are not the correct race or gender? I personally cannot wait to battle for a job based on my race and gender after eight long years of building up my “qualifications” and being denied financial aid thanks to good ole’ Affirmative Action.

Neal Casper is a junior political science major and a guest columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].