Should race be taken into consideration when deciding college admissions?

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MADISON (WITI) -- Should those who apply for college be required to reveal their race on their college application? Affirmative action has been banned in Michigan -- meaning race cannot be taken into consideration when deciding college admissions. The Supreme Court says affirmative action is constitutional, so what could that mean for racial minorities applying to college in Wisconsin?

At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, sophomore Amanda Porter says affirmative action helps to level the playing field against historic racism and systemic inequality.

"Everyone is not as fortunate as the average white Caucasian student," Porter said.

19-year-old freshman Jalen Anderson disagrees. He says merit, and nothing else should decide admissions.

"I think you should get into college based on your education, what you did in high school -- not the color of your skin," Anderson said.

Race is again dominating conversations on college campuses after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Michigan constitutional amendment that bans affirmative action.

The ruling effectively gives similar measures in other states the green light.

Republican state Senator Glenn Grothman is leading the effort to ban affirmative action in Wisconsin.

"These preferences are illegal in the first place. As far as universities are concerned, it puts a pale over the accomplishments of people of color because people wonder, did they just get admitted because of where their great, great, grandparents are from?" Sen. Grothman said.

Wisconsin U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin says the decision to ban affirmative action in Michigan is troubling.

"I've been disappointed sometimes when minority rights are left to the popular will," Sen. Baldwin said.

Back at UWM, Amanda Porter says until racism is gone, the preferences should remain.

"It may seem unfair, but I feel like kind of now, it's evening the playing field just a little," Porter said.

So far no other Wisconsin lawmakers have agreed to co-sponsor the Grothman measure.

What do you think? Should Wisconsin follow Michigan and ban affirmative action?

We invite you to share your opinion by voting in our poll below.

9 comments

  • Sheila Moyet

    Nobody no matter what race should have any special privileges. It should be based on your educational scores. I don’t know where people get the idea that all whites are “privileged”. Isn’t that racial profiling?

  • Michelle

    “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”. MLK

  • Yesenia

    If we lived in a world where racism didn’t exist then this would be no issue but unfortunately we don’t. We hear about it everyday on the news how people of color are judged by the color of there skin. I have experienced this first hand. Once racism doesn’t exist then we won’t have to take race into consideration but until then people of color need affirmative action.

  • Edith Johnson

    Affirmative action was developed for a reason. That reason being that historically people were not judged by the content of their character, but by the color of their skin. The owner of the Clippers, Mr. Sterling, reminds us that racism is still very much alive. Times are hard, money is tight and you can see that the Tea Party/Republican are trying to change laws and revert back to the Old Boys’ School of Thought. Those hiring practices that created the Johnny Jones lawsuit is alive and back in practice. Stand your ground is nothing more than a go light for white people to kill blacks legally and claim they feared for their life, and it has been shown repeatedly, that stand your grond don’t work for minorities. Leave affirmative action as is, for it levels the playing grounds for minorities. I guess next they’ll take back the rights for minorities and women to vote.

    • cynic

      Sterling is a Democrat, so there goes your Tea Party argument. And affirmative action is a joke. If you look at a list of test scores and pick the top 10 to admit to your college, what’s wrong with that? Why do you need to look at that list, and make sure you pick enough applicants who checked the “minority” box. So maybe you bypass applicants who have worked harder and achieved more, but aren’t a minority. How is that “affirmative?”

      “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character…unless it helps them get into college with only average grades”. MLK

      • Edith Johnson

        I didn’t state that Sterling is a Republican. I was referring to his comments about a race of people in general. When you generalize about a race of people, that is stereotyping and that is racism. The sad thing is he don’t feel that he said anything wrong or that what he said was hurtful. Yet like the slave master, he thinks it’s okay for him to have extramarital relations with a biracial woman, who happens to be half black, the very people that he despise. It’s that Willie Lynch, making of a slave mentality, control the woman by ripping her man in half with horses in front of her, thereby, instilling fear, placing her in a frozen psychological state, where she will offer up herself and her children to you;making for economic growth for the slave master. Pit the young slave against the old one, house slave against the field slave, the mulottao against the darker skinned and you can control them for 400 to 1,000 years. That was back in the 1700 and people still spew the same hatred.

    • Edith Johnson

      What do rappers have to do with this? You have rappers of all races and ethnicity. Commercials and jiggles borrow from rappers. Not all rappers give verse to negativity or garbage music. If you don’t like what you hear, change the station.

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