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Readers Write: Affirmative action is still needed in the US

Letters to the Editor for the November 19, 2012 weekly print issue: Affirmative action helps eliminate the ignorance of racial bigotry and animosity. It is needed as much today as it was in 1968. The notion that the races are fighting over a scarce number of places is a shallow argument.

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Affirmative action is still needed

Regarding the Nov. 5 editorial, “A race lift for campuses”: When I read the question “Is official discrimination against white applicants justified if a state-run school finds a compelling interest for racial diversity in campus learning?,” I thought back to 1968 when my university was engaged in the program of affirmative action.

There was one upperclassman and a few athletes who were African-Americans. I don’t think any of us could have foreseen the day affirmative action would be called “discrimination against whites.” Back then, discrimination against minorities was overtly institutionalized. We’ve come a long way – or have we?

It’s essential to base arguments on correct premises. The need to integrate schools for racial diversity is education, just as much as foreign student exchanges and cultural immersion to learn a new culture or language is a part of education. The notion of scarcity of places available at universities, causing competition between the races, as the editorial argues, obscures and confuses the fundamental purpose of affirmative action. 


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