Why Does It Even Matter?

The pointlessness of race.


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I may get some flak for this, but I don’t like affirmative action.

Let me explain why.

 

I want to get into college, grad school or land the job based on who I am and what I have done. My education, accolades and work history should determine my candidacy, not the color of my skin.

 

Being Hispanic (and mixed at that), female, and LGBT, I make quota seekers very happy. Think of how good it looks that they have accepted me or hired me since I am a minority of a minority of a minority. However, neither my race, gender, nor my orientation will determine my aptitude. The pigment of my skin does not reflect my intelligence (or lack thereof). My gender does not decide my qualifications. My orientation does not determine my humanity. Regardless of those, I could be a tremendous humanitarian, or an absolute sloth. I could do great things, or I could do nothing. Those labels do not define me as a person.

 

I am not a label. I am not a bunch of labels. I am a person. A person who thinks, and feels, and does. I am someone who is invested in my work and my passions and my causes. These external labels do nothing to reflect that.

 

I want to get into that college or get that job because I am qualified for it. Because I have worked diligently to do so. Because I deserve to do so. Not because of my heritage. Not because of my gender. Not because of my orientation. Just because of me. Because of who I am. Because of what I’ve done.

 

So no, I am not a fan of affirmative action. It reduces us to labels. It boxes us into categories.

 

The problem is that we don’t live in a perfect world. If we did, affirmative action would not exist. Racism wouldn’t exist. Bigotry of any kind wouldn’t exist. Unfortunately, we live in a world of prejudice, stereotypes, and ignorance. So sadly, affirmative action is needed in the hopes of giving everyone an equal chance.

 

I hate that that is true. But it is. Call me utopian, but I would love for it to be anything but true. My greatest hope is for a day where people are no longer judged by their skin tone, gender, orientation/identity, or by any other label. My utopia is one that is completely label free and judgment free. However, our society is far from utopia. So for now, we must accept affirmative action as it is. Perhaps one day, we will live in a world where color, gender, orientation, or any other “defining label(s)” are just a distant memory.

 

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