Creating & Confronting Affirmative Action Myths

In addressing the broad issues, and personal experiences and stakes during this time when affirmative action is attacked, I offer questions such as: Is this case really about Asian Americans defending elite institutions? Are people of color actually “stealing” white applicants’ spot in college admissions? Is race a “problem” to be solved? These questions are especially important when white folks create and confront myths about affirmative action. White arguments against affirmative action tend to follow a visible pattern. I agree with scholars and individuals who lean on answering ‘no’ to my questions, and claim that fostering equity starts with defending the consideration of race in policies. I contend that this case is about our values, a long history of violence against people of color as well as educational inequality tied to race. So what should we accomplish when inequality is present in how some students acquire higher education? I conclude that we must all face the engraved racism and revoke the myths that white folks create out of comfort. Indeed, we must identify those who hold onto antiquated values, heir lines and perhaps legacy students. We should stand in solidarity with students of color such as Asian Americans who succeed in spite of the odds in colleges across America.

University of Chicago student standing for affirmative action and acknowledging white supremacy

University of Chicago student campaigning that history already has made this about race

White women are the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action, but no one calls that “special treatment”

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