Editor, Daily Nexus:
I’m writing in response to the letters submitted by Ray Smith and El Congreso (Daily Nexus, “Affirmative Action Brings Positive Consequences,” and “Do Not Vandalize MLK Day With Racist Words, Deeds,” respectively, Jan. 23) regarding the “Reverse Racism in Education” Jan. 16 opinion column by James Black.
El Congreso implicates Black as a racist, loosely using the term simply because his opinion doesn’t parallel its own. Personally I give little value to claims unsupported by evidence, as was the case in point. In fact, Black is calling for unbiased equality in admission decisions, whereas El Congreso is hypocritically begging for decisions based on race. Now who’s the bigot?
My main concern in writing this letter, however, is to address Smith’s self-degrading arguments regarding Affirmative Action. Smith contends that Affirmative Action doesn’t let unqualified students into the UC system, which is true. However, what it does do, is let less qualified students take the place of more qualified students based solely on race. This is fundamentally wrong and practically defines the term racism.
Smith’s next argument regarding who Affirmative Action will allegedly help the most – white women – is off topic and irrelevant. Just because it would allegedly help white women more than minorities doesn’t make it any more moral or right. Smith’s very own “lamest of the lame” comment should be applied to his own argument.
I agree that simply switching schools isn’t quite as easy as Black makes it out to be. That’s like saying just switch your social class. I fully understand that the lower class isn’t given the same opportunities in education as the upper class, but there are white kids in the lower class and black kids in the upper class. Because this is the case, shouldn’t we change Affirmative Action so it helps the underprivileged, rather than using arbitrary racial guidelines?
The bottom line is that life isn’t fair, nobody ever claimed it was. Some people will be inherently disadvantaged, so why make it less fair by judging someone’s potential based on the pigment of his or her skin – two wrongs most certainly don’t make a right. I say that the UC shouldn’t even ask what ethnicity you are on the application. If your ultimate goal were equality, why on earth would you try to achieve it with a racist plan dressed up in the name Affirmative Action? At least be honest and change the name to “negative action.”
SCOTT W. MITCHELL