I think that we’re missing the point here, which is to help people. Affirmative action harms its own ‘beneficiaries’ by placing them in environments they cannot hope to succeed in.
Affirmative action does not increase the number of successful blacks and hispanics in college—it increases the number of unsuccessful black and hispanics in college.
Black students who could barely maintain a B average in high school are far more likely to flunk out than an Asian student with straight A’s. And yes, studies show the disparities are this large.
Blacks and hispanics deserving of a good college education suffer equally. Ivy-league affirmative action beneficiaries, who would otherwise be at mid-tier universities, will not only attain poor grades, but deprive those mid-tier universities of highly qualified minority students. In a ripple-effect, groups supposedly benefitting from affirmative action coalesce at the bottom of their respective classes. At every level of the education system, the average performance of minorities benefiting from affirmative action drops.
In a 2015 Supreme Court case about affirmative action on the University of Texas at Austin’s campus, it was disclosed that the average black student accepted into the University scored 52nd percentile on the SAT compared to 89th percentile for whites— an incredible disparity. Across the US, half of black college students rank in the bottom fifth of their class. Blacks are twice as likely as whites to abandon pursuit of a STEM doctorate.
Advocates of affirmative action rely on the supposition that if affirmative action policies are cancelled, blacks and hispanics will vanish from colleges. Such an idea can easily be discarded when schools that have rolled back affirmative action are examined. At UCLA, black and hispanic enrollment did drop— however black and hispanic students still received degrees—actually graduated—at the same rate.
UCLA received more capable minority students, many probably because they despised the stigma of ‘diversity acceptee,’ a terrible thing to be labeled. Many capable and successful minorities have been unfairly dismissed as there just because they are ‘diverse’. So long as affirmative action is in place, that stereotype will remain highly damaging, and in some cases, even true.
Affirmative action is not the solution to fixing inequality. It fails in its objective to provide more minorities with beneficial education, and instead of healing racial divides, widens them. To borrow the language of the Progressive left, affirmative action is a prime example of institutional racism.
The solution to diversifying the upper echelons of society is obvious: actually improve the broken educational apparatus, so that regardless of race or financial status, the opportunity to thrive in a top university exists.
TL;DR: Affirmative action doesn’t help minorities. It thrusts many unprepared applicants into places they aren’t fit to be, increases dropout rates and drains decent universities of good minority students.