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I'm fully against discrimination in all its forms and I believe that affirmative action is one form of it. However, I feel like a hypocrite because at the moment I'm reaping its benefits. As a female choosing to major in Computer Science, I am definitely a minority, and the university calls my house when I'm in high school. I'm not around, but someone talks to my parents, saying that they definitely want me to come and what can they do to make sure that I come to their university. They added to the already substantial scholarships I had already earned, because I'm a smart girl who wants to be an engineer.

One of my good friends in high school was from one of the richest families in my town, and she's also half-Cuban. Her parents have a substantial amount socked away for college, she has no financial need whatsoever. On the PSAT, she scored 10 points lower than I did, and I was National Merit Commended. She now gets to claim the title of National Merit Scholar simply because she's Hispanic.

I can't say anything, since I'm receiving similar benefits myself.

Not that I'm going to turn down money, that wouldn't be smart. At that point in my life, my family was really stretched for cash, I needed all the help I could get. But this kind of policy is unfair. If any kind of affirmative action should be used, it should be based not only skin color or sex, but on financial need and circumstance as well.

Affirmative action does benefit members of minorities, but it benefits the greater majority more. In exchange for the tiny, trivial amount of money spent sending a member of a minority to school, or for the miniature average impact on business due to affirmative action-related hiring practices, the majority members of the same body (students, employees) are given a chance to interact with someone that they otherwise might never encounter on an equal level.

To me, this is the only reliable argument in favor of affirmative action, simply because it is impossible to quantify the results of prejudice and discrimination. Just having a particular surname is enough to uncover the prejudices of others even if one is not a member of a given ethnic group. It is literally better for everyone if more members of the majority encounter more minority members. The gain is even larger if they are encouraged to work together, which can (potentially) teach both of them that such a thing is possible.

Affirmative action is about more than just "making up for slavery" (as if you ever could) by getting someone a job. Monocultures are fragile, and thus segregation hurts everyone whether it's government-mandated or self-imposed.

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