Believing in Equality

FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2008 file photo, attorney Donald Verrilli, who argued against the use of a three drug cocktail used to
FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2008 file photo, attorney Donald Verrilli, who argued against the use of a three drug cocktail used to execute inmates, gestures as he talks to media outside the Supreme Court in Washington, after arguments about the lethal injection death penalty. The Supreme Court on Monday, Nov. 14, 2011, promised an extraordinarily thorough springtime review of President Barack Obama's historic health care overhaul _ more than five hours of argument, unprecedented in modern times _ in time for a likely ruling affecting millions of Americans just before the presidential election. Verrilli, the current solicitor general, is expected to defend the law before the justices. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Diversity is one the many things that makes America so great. More than a nationality, being American is an idea. We must try our best as a nation to live up to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream of a country where people "will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

In Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, the question is not just one of college admissions, but of our very belief in equality. Racism is a form of stupidity that should have no place in education. Regardless of the intentions, choosing one applicant over another based on their skin color -- even if only one factor of the decision -- is indeed racism.

It is unfair to white students to have their chances of admission lessened because of their skin color. Even more so, it is degrading to minority students to imply that they need a boost simply because of their race.

While racism is still a very serious problem in America, institutionalizing racial differences in our public universities is an embarrassment to anyone who believes in equality. Our schools, more than any other institution, should judge us by the content of our character and not the color of our skin.

According to The New York Times, studies have shown that ugly people are discriminated against; for example, they make less money over their lifetimes than their peers. One's attractiveness, or lack thereof, is something you don't choose -- just like race. Should we provide special treatment for less attractive applicants?

As a believer in equality, I hope that the Supreme Court overturns the 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger ruling, which ruled that as long as other factors were taken into account, race could be used a factor in the admissions process. Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin will be a historic decision. Let's hope it falls on the side of equality.