Letter: Fighting fire with fire

“The main goal of affirmative action is … to do away with the racism that is still alive and well today,” says Yelena Grinberg in her April 14th letter to the editor. She states that affirmative action isn’t the same as racism, but a tactic used to fight for equal treatment of minorities. However, if racism is “discrimination based on race” and affirmative action is “preferential treatment based on race,” then can one honestly say the two are any different?

There are many problems with affirmative action. But the biggest one is that every time a minority is admitted to a university despite the fact that they didn’t meet standards, it means that someone who did meet university standards was knocked off the admissions list to accommodate the minority applicant. And in that world, one would be right to question how a minority member got to where they are. That’s not racism, but a logical assumption based on the fact that we currently live in a world where race can unfortunately sometimes be substituted for competence. And then people like me, who did get into their fields through merit, pick up the tab when we have to deal with those who are skeptical of women/minorities in difficult fields after ending up on the wrong end of affirmative action policies.

I’d never pass over the better man because he was born black. But what affirmative action asks me to do is pass over the better man because he was born white. So if that’s what you call racism, then I guess you’d have to call me a racist, because if the new definition of racism has become “refusal to grant special favors based on race,” then quite frankly “racist” would be a heading I’d be proud to fall under.

Brianna Aubin

freshman in engineering