Comments about ‘Affirmative Action still needed, argues Harvard's Natasha Warikoo’

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Published: Monday, June 24 2013 1:35 p.m. MDT

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Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

Dr King wanted people to treat his kids NOT by the color of their skin

Liberals have twisted that to "Dr king wants us to treat his kids by the color of their skin"

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

So its racism when a white guy is given preference for being white over a black guy

But its admirable when a black guy is given preference for being black over a white guy?

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

I'll start supporting affirmative action when Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton start calling the NBA and NFL racist organizations for their clear discrimination against white on the playing field/court.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Affirmative Action laws may still be "needed". But I just don't agree it's the government's role to require some people get preference over other people... based just on the color of their skin.

Laws may be needed to help people who are born into poverty. But it's harder to make the case that we should give preferential treatment based on the color of skin (because blacks have a higher probability of being born into poverty). Help people in poverty... not just those with black skin.

ANY judgement based on the color of a man's skin... is profiling and racist if you ask me.

Help people in poverty by all means. But not just based on the color of their skin.

Dietrich, ID

Affirmative action is a slap in the face I think. Would be saying I can't make it on my own you need to give me an advantage someone else does not have do to my race.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

The whole idea of equal opportunity gets confused with equal probability

Want to know how to get out of poverty?

Go to school, come home and study hours each night, be worthy of admittance into a college/university, learn skills there to make yourself a wanted employee.

Want to know what helped me pass math classes?

Going to math class and studying my tail off

My skin color did nothing to help. I asked the pigment in my skin to help many times. It refused. It just stood there and looked back at me.

We "need" affirmative action like we "need" slavery

casual observer
Salt Lake City, UT

Martin Luther King's dream of a color blind society cannot be achieved with the current affirmative action policies. If society really wants more engineers, physicians and businessmen/women of color, they should supplement their education in early childhood, not when they are admitted to medical school and begin to flounder.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Chris B,
No... it's "Racism" when ANY guy gets preference over another guy based on the color of his skin (white or black).

And no... you don't fight Racism with institutionalized Racism.

You fight Racism by changing society (not with laws that give preference to one skin color (white or black).

We won't be free of Racism until we no longer see the color of a man's skin and assume that tells you something about him (like if he's black he must be living in poverty, etc).

When we don't see the color of a man's skin we will be where Dr King wanted to go. Affirmative action is the opposite of Dr King's vision.

It will take awhile for Society to adjust to not seeing skin color, but once we do... we will actually be there to stay. If we get there using laws that look at the color of a man's skin... it won't last.

Tooele, UT

Re: "Race-based affirmative action . . . symbolizes a deep commitment on the part of colleges and universities to the pursuit of racial justice . . . ."

Hmmmmmm. So, "racial justice" can only be achieved by a vicious, liberal-enforced racial inequality? Where people ARE judged by the color of their skin, rather than by the content of their character?

Sounds like the liberal concept of "racial justice" is anything but.

And would be absolutely anathema to Dr. King.

Salt Lake City, UT

With all due respect to previous commenters, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was quoted several times supporting what he called compensatory programs. A direct quote from his writing:

“A society that has done something special against the Negro for hundreds of years, must now to something special for him, in order to equip him to compete on a just and equal basis.”

In a 1965 interview, he said:

"Within common law we have ample precedents for special compensatory programs.... And you will remember that America adopted a policy of special treatment for her millions of veterans after the war."

The US has a centuries' long history of discriminating against persons on the basis of race. Crafting policy and programs to undo the effects of that history seems to me a matter of justice, of doing our best to right historical wrongs.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

It seems like some people just want to pretend that 400 years of American history never happened.

Salt Lake City, UT

Institutionalizing racism or sexism or any other "ism", is simply the worst kind of discrimination.

There has unquestionably been detrimental and long-standing racism and sexism in this and many other countries and these have had detrimental effects on the descendants of those who suffered that racism/sexism. There have also been other forms of detrimental discrimination on the basis of social caste, religion, language, etc., all of which had similar detrimental effects on their descendants. The best way then of taking compensatory action that doesn't simply discriminate on the basis of race, sex, social caste, religion, etc., would be to help **people** in need.

Because of the detrimental effects mentioned above, such indiscriminate help to those in need will certainly have a disproportionate effect on people in need and who are descendant from those detrimentally effected by racism, sexism, etc., but it would **not** reinforce the same completely inappropriate discrimination based those utterly irrelevant characteristics.

After, can anyone honestly say it would make any sense to provide preferential treatment to the child of, say, a billionaire who is also a female of some racial minority? Or, to the billionaire themselves? Oprah, for example?

salt lake city, utah

For once I don't disagree in principle with 2bits. However, and it's a big however, in the end racism, rape, and many other despicable acts against humans is about power, and that is a built in deficiency. modes and process change but one person seeking power over others is human and unfortunately race is easily recognized and used as a differentiator. Long winded way of saying 2bits I agree but not in our lifetime, or anybody else's.

I do think affirmative action does need to change as society has changed. Fortunately we are not the America of the 1960's. Opportunities don't need to be given strictly on the basis of ones skin color, or residence. However, when considering the applications of qualified students, schools have the right (SCOTUS says)and the societal responsibility to seek diversity based on factors other than academics. I personally know two very successful lawyers who met the admission standards to two very elite law schools but who were accepted based on where they lived. So while they were accepted some other student (probably white male), with a potentially higher LSAT score was not accepted.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

IF we still need "Affirmative Action" by law... then it's a very sad commentary on us as a society.

If Affirmative Action laws are the only way out, it won't last. Any gains will only be an illusion of progress. But as soon as the law goes away... the illusion of progress goes away.

You can't change people's heart by law. They have to change from the inside for it to last. The new attitude Dr King dreamed of needs to start from the bottom up and be handed down generation-to-generation (not from administration-to-administration). This change CAN'T be forced from the Top-Down, even if well intended it doesn't work (long term). It just causes more resentment and more discrimination (on both sides).

the old switcharoo
mesa, AZ

Oh stop tearing up over "reverse" discrimination. If you can find a college in which white people are a minority and under represented it will work in YOUR favor just like anyone else.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The point isn't to find a way to get the program to work for you and YOUR color of skin... the point is... COLOR OF SKIN doesn't matter!

Cris B.
Sandy, UT


You could not be more wrong. There are many "historically black colleges"

White people with poorer academics will not be given preferential treatment over blacks simply due to the fact they are white and underrepresented.

Did you really not know that?


Tooele, UT

Re: "It seems like some people just want to pretend that 400 years of American history never happened."

Liberals, on the other hand, strictly out of cynical, disingenuous concern for their own political and pecuniary interests, like to pretend that the same 400 years of American history is STILL happening.

It's not.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Liberals, on the other hand, strictly out of cynical, disingenuous concern for their own political and pecuniary interests, like to pretend that the same 400 years of American history is STILL happening."

It is still happenning, obviously not as severe as it used to be, but we have plenty of studies that show things like having a name on a resume that sounds more like an African American name rather than a white name (everything else being equal) would reduce the rate of being called in for interviews.

Christopher B
Ogden, UT


While I dont argue a study or two may indicate what you suggest, I dont exactly feel as bad about it when that African American was given racist preferential treatment over a white person when they both applied for college several years before said interview.

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