You’ll Never Guess Who Is Benefitting Most from Affirmative Action

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 10:  Attorney Bert Rein (L), speaks to the media while standing with plaintiff Abigail Noel Fisher (R), after the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in her caseon October 10, 2012 in Washington, DC. The high court heard oral arguments on Fisher V. University of Texas at Austin and are tasked with ruling on whether the university's consideration of race in admissions is constitutional.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

You’ll Never Guess Who Is Benefitting Most from Affirmative Action

Hint: It’s not Black people.

Published June 27, 2016

After the Supreme Court upheld a decision to protect affirmative action programs from being affected, a new study reveals that it may actually more helpful to those trying to tear it down.

In the 2014 Cooperative Congressional Election Study, 66 percent of white people between 17 and 34 claim that they are opposed to affirmative action. Surely, they probably assume that a program like affirmative action will take away from the opportunities for white people.

However, the complexities of affirmative action go beyond the assumptions that it’s just about race. The original intention behind affirmative action was to pressure institutions that take federally funded money (i.e. colleges and work place) to make sure that all applicants are employed and employees or students are treated without regard to their race.

Although it may appear that affirmative action is put into place to help people of color, it actually plays a crucial role in aiding white women. The percentage of women physicians in this country has risen nearly 20 percent, and women typically outnumber men on college campuses; however, when we talk about women gaining these benefits, we are talking about white women.

It's ironic that Abigail Fisher, a white woman who claimed that affirmative action kept her from attending the University of Texas, when in reality she is prime candidate to reap the lifelong benefits of such a program.

When a white woman is accepted into a top university and then goes on to secure a job because of the ideals of affirmative action, she is more than likely going to be making more money than most other women of color. Now, many of these women fight for monetary equality in the work place, yet the equality is based on the scale of white employees. There will have to be a longer and louder fight to elevate Black and Latina women to the same level as white women. 

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)


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