So I graduated third in my graduating class of 800, I've logged over 350 hours of community service, scored a 2280 on the SAT, I'm an Eagle Scout (and Senior Patrol Leader of a troop of over 100), and did a ton of extracurricular activities to boot. However, I was rejected from Stanford. The rejection alone was not a surprise at all, because there are many other very well qualified applicants like myself. Yet one of my close friends, an African-American, with a somewhat underwhelming record (under 85th percentile gradewise, no outside activities to put on a resume aside from band) was admitted. (I'm white.) Stanford proudly proclaims that it practice some form of affirmative action. What the heck is this? Do we, as a culture, really need to have equality of outcome for all races, rather than simply equality of opportunity? Should universities (and employers and other organizations) really be so pressured to appear politically correct that they slip into reverse discrimination? I may be inferring too much from too little information, but I don't that's likely; what factor, other than race, could have admitted him and rejected me? Racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. are all very serious problems in America (see the Presidential election..), but how is affirmative action or anything like it ethical or just? Both racism and affirmative action (intentional or not) influence someone's judgment on the basis of prejudice, that minorities should be given extreme abnormal disdain or privilege. Instead of fighting prejudice with prejudice, wouldn't it be better to address the root causes of the problem? That is, address harmful internet sites, inadequate education leading people to mis-infer that correlation implies causation, certain environments and subcultures that encourage children growing up to become racist (certain small Southern towns), and of course ensuring equality of opportunity for as many people as possible. But enforcing racial diversity for diversity's sake behind force of law, institutional ruling, or simply underlying prejudice is wrong, for the same reason that enforcing a single "pure race" behind the KKK or a Hitler is wrong; diversity or non-diversity are not underlying principles that should be appealed to. Rather, justice, and individual merits, skills, accomplishments, and talents are what should be taken into consideration. Otherwise, if we as a culture continue to judge people based just on what group they can be classified into, we will just become ever more divided, which will further unjust prejudice, to the detriment of the nation. Oh, and to presuppose an objection, I'm not looking for sympathy. I got into a good school anyway, and besides, my own personal circumstances mean very little in the broad scheme of things. Rather, I'm looking for someone to give a good logical defense of why affirmative action may be a just policy.