Editor, Daily Nexus:
As a white American I have grown up with all the privileges that are associated with being part of the majority culture. When I watch TV, most of the characters have the same skin tone as I do, similar facial features and the same hair texture. When I go to the supermarket, the foods that I have grown up with are there in abundance. When I go to class, most of the professors are white and teach their classes from a white perspective. Because I, along with most white Americans, have lived my whole life with these privileges, it is hard for me to imagine life being any different. When we are confronted with an issue such as Affirmative Action, we immediately reject it because, from our experience, everything has always been on a level playing field and, for the first time, we are faced with loosing some of our privileges. But these privileges that we hold on to so tightly were gained by years of slavery followed by years of laws that prevented minorities from having the same advantages that white Americans did. We were born with privileges because other races were forced down.
We cannot expect minorities to suddenly be on the same level as us simply because in the last generation we have passed laws that prohibit outright racism. My white friends and I are not racists, but because we were born into the majority culture, we do have privileges. Because we have received these privileges in such a terrible manner it is only right and fair that we should give some of them up in order to give minorities the ability to come onto the same level as those of us in the majority culture. Affirmative Action may not be the best solution, but if we are to make restitution to those people who have been harmed by so many hateful acts since Europeans first came to the Americas, we will have to give up some of those rights we gained from those acts.
I must apologize to the many different minority groups that are a vital part of our country. I have long lived in ignorance and expressed many of the same views that James Black did in his recent article. I must ask for forgiveness because I have long sat on the sidelines and said nothing while you have fought for equality. I urge other Christians on this campus to stand up and fight for those people who have less than you do. Our God has called us to be a people who stand up to injustice, and it has become far too easy for us to sit quietly on the side. When Christians of all ethnicities and cultures stand together and fight it will be a beautiful thing to our God.
ASHLEY TEYA WHITE