America is a melting pot of cultures, not a buffet. We can't pick and choose who is offered advancement and who is left behind based on outward appearances and origins.
According to the Sanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "Affirmative Action means positive steps taken to increase the representation of women and minorities in areas of employment, education and business from which they have been historically excluded."
The idea of affirmative action sounds pretty swell, but when employers and colleges select individuals who will gain admittance to their programs based primarily on the applicant's gender or race -- or even lower their standards to let more of the desired group through the preliminary round of examination -- they cross the line from trying to promote racial equality to engaging in reverse discrimination.
Affirmative action policies are a thing of the past. Such policies were valid solutions decades ago, when racism and discrimination were at all time highs and something had to be done to prompt interracial assimilation. Thankfully, our society has now broadened its acceptance of people of different backgrounds and has reached the point where affirmative action policies are no longer needed to promote diversity.
Now, these policies are only working to perpetuate the use of race in situations such as being hired for a job or being accepted into college. Race should have nothing to do with the opportunities presented to you.
Applicants should be accepted based on their own achievements, skills and reputation, not where their ancestors came from or the color of their skin. Once in school or on the job, personal accomplishments should be the determining factors for advancement and triumph.
Those admitted by lower standards will struggle to keep up with others and will suffer from the policies that were meant to help them prosper. Jobs and college admissions should be given to the individual who possesses the expertise best suited for the post, not who would look best in the institution's statistics or on its recruitment posters.