Feb 182004
Authors: Robert Lee

America has developed a psychological obsession with equality,

much in the same as Jan Brady had about Marcia. Screaming

“equality, equality, equality,” citizens in our country scowl

anytime somebody is preferred over another. Like Jan spiting Marcia

by becoming the most popular girl in school, we’ve begun to smite

racism and sexism by becoming – well, a little more racist and a

bit more sexist.

Our government does a marvelous job at misconstruing laws such

as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to coalesce with cases

like University of California Board of Regents v. Bakke filed under

Title VI. The law says that federal funds will be withdrawn from

and federal lawsuits allowed against programs that discriminate on

the basis of sex or race; the court case says that race can be one

of several factors in the context of affirmative action programs.

The two appear incommensurable, but somehow the courts found a way

to justify them. Funny how unequal equality can be.

The other form of prohibition against discrimination, plain ol’

social mockery, isn’t quite understandable either. The problem lies

in that those criticizing such policies, like myself, are

considered racist, sexist and homophobic (the current insult of

choice). But those that champion such policies are socially

conscious, considerate and are just plain good people. Critics of

affirmative action are, unjustifiably, lumped with members of the

Klu Klux Klan.

Proponents argue that affirmative action rights the wrongs of

the past. However, two wrongs don’t make a right and three don’t

either. The irony would be so laughable, if the results weren’t so

dangerous, that a reverse discrimination is used to solve the

problems of racism and sexism.

There are ways to institute policies that don’t discriminate

based on immutable characteristics and still achieve the goals of

programs that claim to equalize opportunity. Texas, in response to

UT-Austin Law School’s affirmative action policy struck down by a

federal appeals court, instituted a “10 Percent Rule.” This

six-year-old law gives the top 10 percent of every graduating class

in Texas guaranteed admission to state colleges.

As long as schools maintain demographic segregation, there is

the affirmative action of selecting the top scholars from

predominately minority schools. The important distinction is that

this program only involves race because of the constant

self-segregation by communities in Texas.

The most notable trend to keep in mind, too, is that groups of

people just discriminate all the time, and quite a bit on the basis

of natural characteristics. Social circles are sometimes formed and

maintained on race or student groups on the basis of gender. And

for liberals who are starting to cringe, that’s OK. We shouldn’t

feel ashamed if we discriminate a little here and there.

While it’s something we should manage in terms of employment,

education and opportunity in general, we don’t have to develop an

anal retentive fixation with being “diverse.” As a male, I

shouldn’t expect to have an equal chance at employment in

institutions that may be dominated by women, and as a Caucasian

those dominated by minority groups.

The best end we can come to expect from affirmative action is

the production of angry citizens, not opportunity. Individuals

benefiting from affirmative action will always have an asterisk by

their name on the payroll or classroom roster. A sign is taped to

their back and they become the target of ridicule, more harassment

and even more discrimination.

I’m sure I may have a sign after this column, too. The words on

that sign are racist and sexist; if I left any out, then by all

means write to the editor. The hope is to accumulate enough

designations that I am a minority group unto myself. If that

becomes the case, I’ll just abuse this affirmative action thing

while it’s around. I’ll be in next week to pick up an


Robert is the vice chairman for the Colorado Federation of

College Republicans. He is a guest columnist for The Collegian. He

is a senior majoring in political science.

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