Thursday, April 24, 2014

With More Than 50 Years Of Affirmative Action, Have Blacks Benefited Economically?

To those on the political left, the recent decision by the Supreme Court to side with the will of the Michigan voters to ban Affirmative Action quotas for college admissions is tantamount to promoting state-wide racism.  But, to many others, Affirmative Action unfairly uses racial discrimination to fight racial discrimination; especially in college admissions where some well qualified non-Blacks can be denied enrollment because the college must meet a Black enrollment quota.  So, in theory, by broadly forcing quotas for education and employment, African Americans should have greatly improved their economic stations in life.  But, is this the case with more than 50 years of active Affirmative Action behind us?  To that question, one need only look at this chart:

Click on Chart to Enlarge
What this clearly shows is that, while all median incomes by race have improved since 1965, Black  incomes have consistently remained at roughly 65% of what all races, combined, are being paid.  Of course, some would argue that this only proves that racism still exists in America. On the contrary, this just proves that Affirmative Action is a complete failure.  A failure because Blacks are still falling behind in their incomes.  As I have written before, education is the only true key to erasing income inequality. 

To that point, one need only to look at a few statistics.  When it comes to race and educational attainment rates, 84% of Blacks hold a high school diploma and 19% hold a college degree.  Compare that to Whites statistics of 87.6% and 30.3%; respectively.  Then, too, when Blacks do go to college, the graduation rate is only 32% as compared to 50% for Whites.

Forcing colleges to enroll less qualified students, who are more likely to not graduate, while rejecting more qualified applicants, who are more likely to graduate, is not only unjust but a waste of our country's limited college education availability.  To solve income inequality among Blacks, we need to address why there are higher percentages not graduating from High School. At the same time, we need to improve the quality of education so that Blacks, entering college, can have a reasonable expectation of graduating.  Otherwise, simply sending them to college without the proper educational background is a totally fruitless endeavor.

To me, the Supreme Court's decision may actually turn out to be a positive for African Americans because no longer can they depend on Affirmative Action to get them into college.  As a result, if they truly want to go, they will have to seriously work harder to achieve that goal.  Thus, a better educated Black America should emerge with more sharing in the American Dream.


U.S. top court upholds Michigan ban on college affirmative action:

Median Income Falls For 5th Year, Inequality At Record High:

Failing Education: The True Cause Of Income Inequality:

Education Attainment By Race:

U.S. College Graduation Rates By Race:

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