In today's job market, education is what counts. Having a college degree will make or break a resume. As demand for higher education rises, so does the difficulty of getting it, everyday, colleges are flooded with thousands of applications, the majority of which they must sadly decline. The criteria for acceptance has varied over the years, today it is those with the most attractive background who get accepted. While this is very good for encouraging diversity in the classroom, it is actually a discriminatory act. By only accepting a certain number of students from each category, they are denying students from each category the chance at getting in. Colleges should look at the resume of a student before viewing the name or race, so that there is no bias based on the applicants background.Discrimination has many different forms. It can manifest it as something open like bigotry, or as something subtle, like ignoring a resume based on a name. Names mean more than most would like to think., they are associated with a certain culture, so if whomever is viewing the name is biased towards that culture, than that applicant will have a difficult time getting into that college.“White names got about one callback per 10 resumes; black names got one per 15. Carries and Kristens had call-back rates of more than 13 percent, but Aisha, Keisha and Tamika got 2.2 percent, 3.8 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively. And having a higher quality resume, featuring more skills and experience, made a white-sounding name 30 percent more likely to elicit a callback, but only 9 percent more likely for black-sounding names.”(Pope) While most would not like to admit it, names that seem “normal” appeal more to the people who look over college resumes. It isn’t just those who have unique or culturally distinctive names that suffer though. Many people associate a name with somebody they know’s personality who shares that name. and any feeling towards them might come out in the review.
Accepting or declining students based on background does more to discriminate than it does to level the playing field. It strips individuals of their story, deciding instead to throw everyone in with their own “huddled mass”. It actually creates a tremendous inequality.
“One definition of racism is the idea that "individuals should be treated differently according to their racial designation." Every February, we do exactly that. I'm not saying that we shouldn't honor these individuals, but we should honor the individual, not because of what color he or she happens to have.”
Like Black History Month, intentionally taking from minorities does not put them on a level playing field when it comes to college applications. What it does do is make it easier for people from one minority to get in over people in another. This kind of prejudice is the greatest burden, especially for minorities who hold the “slacker” label. If an applicant from one of these minorities makes a screw up, they are thrown back to the “masses”. Having the ability to overlook these differences and being able to look at the student purely based on their resume would mean that applicants who worked hard would have a better chance of getting into college, no matter what their background is. One could argue that by not acknowledging their background of the student, you are still discriminating based on who can afford the best education. This is true to a point, but any educational discrimination would still be reflected based on background.
It is important to understand that discrimination is not always bigotry, It comes in many forms. As a society, we can eliminate prejudice by giving everyone the “blank slate”. Being discriminatory is part of human nature, it is how we decide wether or not someone is a threat.
Pope, Justin. "'Black' Names A Resume Burden?." ABC news. ABC news. Web. 19 Oct 2012. <http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-201_162-575685.html>.
Camaely, Clint. "Letter: Black history month is racist by definition." Collegiate Times. Collegiate Times. Web. 19 Oct 2012. <http://www.collegiatetimes.com/stories/8589/letter-black-history-month-is-racist-by-definition>.