Pernicious preferences

I applaud the decision of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to curtail affirmative action in its admissions process, and I encourage GW to do the same.

Affirmative action rests on the assumption that people of non-white ancestry cannot compete on a level playing field with whites. This is, of course, absurd. Affirmative action is discrimination. As surely as segregated schools and restricted clubs are repugnant to the principle of the equality of all people, affirmative action is an anathema to the idea that all men are created equal.

Rather than being a tool of egalitarianism, affirmative action instead fosters resentment among many whites, sowing the seeds of racism and intolerance in a new generation. The day of affirmative action has passed. I suggest we lay it aside with prohibition as a noble but failed experiment in social engineering.

Instead, I propose a policy of excellence first. This University, and all others in my opinion, should remove questions of race and gender from its admissions materials. Applications for admission should be considered on the basis of scholastic achievement, academic promise, extracurricular activities, personal statements and recommendations.

Racial diversity at the expense of turning away otherwise more qualified applicants cannot be justified. Let us as a University and as a society unfetter ourselves from policies that favor one group of people over another because of the color of their skin.

Let us instead judge others by the content of their character.

-Joseph Daniel Ura
junior

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