If affirmative action is continued, everyone will live in a racist society

To the Daily:

Let’s assume that Nathan Broyles is correct in his letter (Majority of affirmative-action opponents are racist, 11/01/2005) and that those who oppose affirmative action, with a few exceptions, are racist. Broyles also states that those who don’t care one way or the other about affirmative action are also racist. His position seems reasonable enough, so I’ll accept that to be true.

Now let’s also assume that Residential College Prof. Carl Cohen is correct in saying that the proponents of affirmative action are racist, because it gives preferential treatment based on race. Because that also seems like a plausible argument, I’ll accept his position as well.

So now we have three groups of people: those who support affirmative action, those who oppose it, and those who don’t care – and they’re all racist. Congratulations, you’re a racist, and you didn’t even know it! Therefore, as long as affirmative action exists, everyone is a racist, regardless of his position (or lack thereof).

I doubt any reasonable person thinks that the system of affirmative action is perfect. However, as long as this system continues, we are forced to admit that race in our society is a deciding factor. Is that what we really want? A system based on socioeconomic status, which places importance on need, rather than color, would avoid this problem. It would ensure that those who need help to pursue higher education still receive it, without continuing the tradition of racism existing today.

Ben Tucker

Engineering sophomore



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