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The
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... University of Michigan and Racial Preferences

By Mark Charalambous, January 18, 2003

(Also published in the Sentinel & Enterpirse, Jan. 21, 2003, under the title:
"Affirmative action is nothing more than politically correct racism")


The Fundamental Issue in Racial Preferences

Apparently, people's minds have been so hopelesly muddled by years of political correctness that they can no longer think clearly and logically. There is only one real, fundamental issue at stake in the current debate about racial preferences.

At issue is the Supreme Court case challenging the admission policy of the University of Michigan that gives 20 points for being black--compared to 12 points for a perfect SAT score--toward a total of 150 possible points. The following arguments in favor of the racial preferences are all false arguments designed to avoid the fundamental issue:


Apparently, people's minds have been so hopelesly muddled by years of political correctness that they can no longer think clearly and logically. There is only one real, fundamental issue at stake in the current debate about racial preferences...  Supporters of affirmative action and racial preferences cannot logically be opposed to racial discrimination in principle, only selectively in its practice.

These are all arguments justifying racial discrimination, which is, by definition, racist: Classifying people based on their race. The only real question here is this: Do you believe that race should be a factor in evaluating people, irrespective of the justification for it and which groups benefit and which are harmed? Martin Luther King didn't think so. He dedicated his life fighting the very notion.

The supporters of the University of Michigan's flavor of racism do believe in racial discrimination. Guess what? So did the slave traders. So did the segregationists. They also had their reasons and beliefs justifying racism, just as U. Michigan has its. They share the belief that people should be treated differently because of race. The significant operational difference is that U. Michigan's racism is considered good, and slavery's is bad. Supporters of affirmative action and racial preferences cannot logically be opposed to racial discrimination in principle, only selectively in its practice.

How do we know that the justifications for the present day affirmative action racism will not eventually be judged differently by history? And more importantly, if racism can be a good thing and only depends on the specifics, whose to say that there won't be some future yet-to-be-imagined incarnation of racial preferences that justifies itself by something that we can't even guess at today?


It boils down to this: Is racial discrimination wrong, or isn't it? Or is it only sometimes wrong? The supporters of affirmative action obviously believe the latter -- it depends on who is benefiting.

It boils down to this: Is racial discrimination wrong, or isn't it? Or is it only sometimes wrong? The supporters of affirmative action obviously believe the latter--it depends on who is benefiting. They claim it is necessary to achieve a level playing field and equality. If you buy into this, I suggest you look up the words "equal" and "egalitarian" in a good dictionary and think long and hard about the difference between the two.

A society of complete equality in all things for all people is not a utopia--it would be the ultimate nightmare. It's what George Orwell was warning about. All people are not created equal, but in their wisdom our Founding Fathers determined that they should be treated equally under the law. Equal opportunity is indeed a worthy objective, but equal outcome (egalitarianism) can only be achieved by the most totalitarian of governments. It would not be a society worth living in.

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