I’m a rather outspoken opponent of racial preferences, euphemistically known as “affirmative action.” Under this policy, the government purports to admit/hire/promote members of “protected” racial and ethnic groups–typically black, Hispanic, American Indian, and certain Asian descents–to make up for past discrimination or “increase diversity.”
It might sound good and fair to the beneficiaries, but it’s certainly not to anyone outside it. Why would I, a person intended to benefit from such policies, care? Because a government with the power to discriminate in my favor has the power to discriminate to my detriment.
America is a country that respects and seeks to protect the individual, not groups of people. Equal protection under the law applies to every individual American, regardless of sex, race, or religion. Equal protection is a right, and the practice of racial preferences, no matter the reason, violates this principle. By necessity, the government entity must discriminate against one individual for another based on skin color. At least in colleges and universities, the government lowers standards to admit the “underrepresented” minority.
Individuals aren’t colorblind. They don’t have to be. That’s an ideal that is outside human nature. We couldn’t ignore differences and contrasts if we tried. But laws and government policies must be colorblind.
Although voters in California barred their government from discriminating on the basis of race in 1996, tax-supported universities continued to do so under “holistic review” of applications, a practice that fooled no one. Every now and then, some lawmaker or group attempts to bring back racial preferences to state government. The latest effort failed after three lawmakers of Asian descent asked California Assembly Speaker John Pérez to stop the measure.
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