Two wrongs not right

Matt Kuhns

In her recent column, Sara Ziegler defended racial preferencing in college admissions, citing what she perceived as its benefits to all people, and suggested that Proposition 209 will lead to the disappearance of minorities from many universities. Ms. Ziegler’s column was thoughtful and well-written, but I’d like to offer an alternate interpretation of the situation.

When I was little, my mom imparted a useful bit of wisdom to me: two wrongs do not make a right. This is the most basic problem with using racial preferencing to help minorities; it’s still discrimination and it’s still wrong no matter how noble the intent.

Of course, compromises sometimes have to be made in the name of practicality. Opponents of Prop 209 argue that many minority students have lower GPAs as a result of their low-income backgrounds. So standards are changed to compensate for this.

But this tactic fails to really solve anything. All it does is change the racial proportions of the people who get screwed to better match the overall population.

Non-minority students are denied equal opportunity instead of minority students, but the real problem of students getting sub-standard education earlier in life remains.

This is why racial preferencing is such a hollow solution: people are people. It’s no more fun to be denied entry to college if you’re white than if you’re another race.

Proposition 209 will not mean more discrimination, rather it will bring us one step closer to ending it. It’s time we forgot about race and focused our energies on finding a real solution that helps everyone get the opportunity for a better education.

Matt Kuhns


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