The Voice is why I’m against affirmative action. When NBC premiered The Voice, reality singing competitions were not new. American Idol had already been on air for 9 years by that point. What The Voice brought to the table was a new way in which judges assessed an audition. If you’ve never seen the show, the judges don’t get to see the singer until after they have heard them sing. In other words, they judge people based on their performance, not their appearance. This is the obvious point against affirmative action.
The less obvious, more crucial point is: Affirmative action has not worked. The goal of affirmative action was to reverse the effects of discrimination in order to advance economic interests of racial minorities. The result has actually been a boomerang effect: Students who normally wouldn’t get admitted into a more advanced school tend to fare much worse than they would if they had been admitted to a more appropriately matched school for their skill level. This often leads these students to drop out.
It’s important to take a step back and ask what the goal of college is. The point of college is to advance the student to greater heights, resulting in a better job. Think of it in terms of a baseball farm system. A student starts out his education at the Rookie level. When he/she meets certain criteria he/she is allowed to advance to Single A, followed by AA, and AAA; with the major leagues being the actual work force. If the goal is to help students reach the majors and thrive there, it is counterproductive to give them more than they can handle. The good thing is, we have ways to measure if someone is advanced enough to move up. This is the point of admission standards.
It’s also important to consider the effect on society of student successes and failures in college. Just like baseball teams, colleges have a limited number of slots for the best and brightest to advance. What benefits society is when people who go to college succeed. When students don’t succeed, it is wasted time, money, and academic real estate. Like minor league baseball, if slots are given to those who haven’t earned it, those slots are wasted and the overall organization suffers the loss of future gains that would have occurred had someone else gone on and succeeded. Don’t take that lightly… the “organization” in this analogy is society. The more we can prepare our best and brightest minds, the more we will reap from their success when they reach the work force.
Therefore, if the goal is to blindly promote those who are most ready for the next level, we are better off choosing them via The Voice’s method rather than American Idol’s.