Diversity has seen a huge explosion in the past few years. With the election of Donald Trump, corporations have sought to reaffirm their support of diverse populations by ramping up their investment in diversity programs and expanding their range. But with the recent call to re-evaluate programs such as Affirmative Action and Immigration by the government, is this the first step to downright banning or making diversity programs illegal?
The major issue about the benefits of diversity is that it’s complicated. Explaining diversity to people who don’t agree with it from the start is hard. It’s like trying to explain what it’s like growing up in Detroit to a person from the south who isn’t interested in ever visiting the city due to media portrayals. No matter what you say about the positives of the city, the person will never believe you.
Diversity is needed, and its not as simple as requiring corporations to track it or to eliminate diversity programs entirely. The trick is getting everyone to understand its purpose. For example, as a male, why should I buy into a program that benefits women? In theory programs supporting women directly decrease my opportunities to success (although this is not exactly true). Now imagine that on an ethnic level.
On the educational level, removing affirmative action is an interesting call when seeking to reset the admittance rate which is currently out of balance. According to the New York Times, “Data from the Association of American Medical Colleges indicate that race is a substantial factor in medical school admissions, not one of many. For example, from 2013 to 2016, medical schools in the United States accepted 94 percent of blacks, 83 percent of Hispanics, 63 percent of whites and 58 percent of Asians with top MCAT scores of 30 to 32 and grade-point averages of 3.6 to 3.8; for MCAT scores of 27 to 29 (G.P.A. of 3.4 to 3.6), the corresponding figures are 81 percent, 60 percent, 29 percent and 21 percent. For low-range MCAT scores of 24-26 (G.P.A. of 3.2 to 3.4), 57 percent of blacks were admitted, 31 percent of Hispanics, 8 percent of whites and 6 percent of Asians.”
The immediate question I have is this; what is the appropriate breakdown of percentage between race in this case? In looking at the stats above, what are the total number of African Americans for example that are applying for Medical School? If 100 African Americans are applying versus say 1,000 Whites, then it makes sense. Taking race out of it, if 100 people from western America apply to colleges but 1,000 from eastern America apply to the same amount of colleges, if I take 50 from each, I’d be accepting 50% of western applicants but only 5% from eastern applicants. While I will admit the numbers to score is off in terms of acceptance from high school to college, for this I’d need more data. Yet in still, I do agree that education acceptance does need to be revamped, but then again I believe the entire education system needs to be refocused (i.e. potential students with low test scores can get into a college due to a family members attendance also needs to be dropped) so…there’s that.
But the Trump administration does seem to be planning on decreasing both immigration and affirmative action in the near future. Ironically statistics prove that the biggest beneficiary of diversity programs like affirmative action are white women, so this will affect them the most. How white women react will be interesting in the coming weeks.