It is time to end racial intolerance and preferences. Just ask conservatives Walter Williams and Armstrong Williams. Each of these respective commentators feels that affirmative action policies emphasize that minorities are victims above and beyond anything else. They believe the time has come when white, black, Hispanic... all American citizens must rise or fall based on their own merits in this country. Walter Williams and Armstrong Williams happen to be African-Americans.
I agree. Affirmative action was a needed response to a by-gone era of blacks not allowed to vote, “whites only“ signs in businesses, forced segregation of schools in the South, and much worse. Today, blacks and other minorities succeed in all areas of society. That doesn‘t mean racism has been eliminated, far from it. Yet, unquestionably, our country has made great progress in providing a more equitable society over the last 50 years.
To continue affirmative action indefinitely is to conclude that minority groups in this country are inferior to whites. The few Americans who still believe in such hogwash are beyond help, anyway. The rest of us can all agree that affirmative action has to eventually end - the question is when? There is a crescendo of voices from minority groups who say - end it now, this very moment. Martin Luther King‘s dream was for a color-blind society. That can‘t be achieved in an environment where race is the focus of government.
Presently, many federally funded organizations must comply with a host of so-called affirmative action programs. When President Bush spoke out against affirmative action in a lawsuit against the University of Michigan system of providing special preferences for minority student applicants, he was on the right track. Yet, the idea that whites who are not admitted to the college of their choice somehow equates to the discrimination that African-Americans have endured in this country is ludicrous. If white students were lynched for applying to a university, maybe some comparison could be made. In the meantime, if you can‘t qualify for U of M there are always hundreds of other universities blacks or whites can attend.
What we really need is a system that gives more preferences to need. Studies have shown that only 3% of students in the top colleges are from the poorest 25% of the U.S. population. Columnist Jonathan Alter points out that UCLA, USC, and the University of California all have done two or three times better than other top-rated colleges in enrolling poor students. The reason is that California eliminated all racial preferences allowing these universities to give more preferences for the economically disadvantaged.
The time has come for a big step toward a color-blind society in America. In my travels to Latin America, it was eye-opening to see people of all skin colors living and playing together. We are the greatest country in the world but can be greater. Eliminating affirmative action would help achieve that end.
“I have a dream that my four children little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.“ - Martin Luther King