Perspectives on Race

A Discussion about Events Concerning Race

Reverse Discrimination when Applying to Colleges

with 4 comments

In my high school, Boca High, my graduating class had two valedictorians, they shared the title. One was a guy and the other was a girl, and they had the exact same GPA and HPA as well as their SAT test scores (they both got a 1600) . The girl was white and the guy was mostly white too except he was less than an eighth mexican.  Both were involved in just as many activities and groups in and out of school and equal in pretty much everything so I thought this would be good to talk about affirmative action. They both got into Duke and they both applied to Harvard however the girl didn’t get accepted but the guy who was less than an eighth mexican did. He made sure to put down that he was mexican in the application, whether or not that was the deciding factor I don’t know, but everything else was pretty much all equal. In my opinion I believe that his being mexican definitely was beneficial to him getting accepted although I don’t think it was the only reason why he got into Harvard and she didn’t. If the being part mexican really was the deciding factor I don’t think thats right considering he can hardly call himself a mexican when he is overwhelmingly white and he doesn’t follow any mexican cultures.


Written by derekjwood

September 16, 2009 at 8:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. While I tend to agree that being of a minority race should not be the only factor that contributes to one outstanding student gaining access to a school over another outstanding student, I do believe that despite your tireless efforts to show equality between the two students, there may have been a lot more to determine the difference between the two. For instance, the application and essay process for gaining admittance to Harvard has to be one qualifier. Plus, there is also volunteer work to consider and how the two students separated themselves on paper. Additionally, the fact that the male was one-eighth Mexican could have played a role, despite the fact that his appearance may not have shown that line of Mexican descent. In the case of Plessy v. Ferguson, which decided the “separate but equal” clause for the United States, Plessy was only one-eight black when he boarded the whites only railcar in Louisiana. Despite this being a set-up, both the state of Louisiana and the U.S. Supreme Court considered Plessy black. (side note: Happily, the decision was overturned in 1954, with Brown v. The Board of Education)


    September 17, 2009 at 5:32 pm

  2. Being a minority probably helped him out but that might not have been the only reason. You didn’t really explain what their extra curricular activities were plus their application essays were different. As a woman, the girl valedictorian was also a minority, so there must have been something different that separated them.


    September 17, 2009 at 10:56 pm

  3. I definitely understand that this seems unfair. But the truth of the matter is when there are two applicants and one spot whether one applicant is 1/8 Mexican or not there is still only one spot. Therefore one person was going to denied regardless. If they accepted the white girl one could have argued that they only accepted her because she is white.
    You can’t deny the guy from claiming his Mexican heritage. Even if he didn’t do it for the right reason he is still Mexican in some way (think about the one drop blood rule).
    Honestly I don’t think anyone should really be blamed. The only reason that the guys was more likely to get accepted than the girl in that situation is because of affirmative action and affirmative action only came about because people weren’t treated equally. So is it really fair to point fingers? That’s how the system is; jacked up yes but that’s how it is.


    September 18, 2009 at 5:19 am

  4. I agree that this situation was unfair. But the purpose of affirmative action is to make up for the lack of opportunities and advantages that the majority of minorities face. Like in every other system designed to help those in need, people who don’t need it abuse of it. But we can’t deny the fact that many students who are disadvantaged have benefited from affirmative action. The program is necessary because we cannot control many of the situational factors that make up our lives.


    September 19, 2009 at 2:54 pm

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