Racial Discrimination

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It is exceedingly odd to me that anyone would think a policy that says "if you are of a race X you get preferential treatment in admissions to the university" is not racial discrimination, on its face. If race X is "white," no one disagrees. If race X is "black," some people say it is not discrimination. Please stop being silly. Really.

That's not to say I think the University of Michigan should be forced to change their policy; they are a private institution and should be allowed to have racially discriminatory admissions policies, if they so choose. But to say the policy is not racially discriminationatory is baffling to me. It is, by definition, discriminating based on race. That it is not a race you think it is bad to discriminate against doesn't change that fact.

That's my main point. I also want to add that I don't understand the purpose of it anyway. They say it is for the sake of intellectual and cultural diversity, but it seems to me both insulting and wrong to say that your culture or ideas are either determined or strongly indicated by the color of your skin. I have a lot more in common with most of the black people I know than I do with white people from South Central L.A., Oklahoma farms, or the West Virginia mountains. If you really want diversity, it should be based not on race, but on economic status, geographical location, and other factors that actually do mean something.

I had a funny thought tonight. We are told that discriminating against people based on race is wrong. We are also told that it is reasonable to discriminate against people based on their ideas (such as, for example, Nazis [oops, I did it now!]). But if your race is a determinant or strong indicator of your ideology, and if I don't like an ideology that is strongly identified with your race, then, at that point, isn't racial discrimination (in some cases) merely a practical and reasonable application of ideological discrimination?

Hm, maybe that is just overthinking things, but I was driving for many hours tonight, and I got bored. Still, the notion that you are different from me in any interesting way based on the color of your skin is just insulting and wrong. It could very well be that you are a boring surburbanite who drives a Honda, doesn't care about politics, watches The Bachelorette, and eats Twinkies, just like half the white people around here. OK, if it is true, maybe noting those facts would be insulting too, but at least it wouldn't be wrong. use.perl.org

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