Affirmative Action Quotes

It’s easy to speak against affirmative action from a privileged position. Its easy to talk about equality when you are the benefactor of inequalities.

The notion of racial quotas is so obviously an expression of racism that no lengthy discussion is necessary. If a young man is barred from a school or a job because the quota for his particular race has been filled, he is barred by reason of his race.

President Bush is against racial quotas for admission to the University of Michigan. An applicant should be judged like he was back when he went to school: Based solely on his father’s money.

The benefits of affirmative action accrue not simply to the individuals for whom opportunities are expanded, but to the entire university community, which derives much of its vitality from the perspectives of different cultures, races and individual points of view. While neither Cornell nor America has yet realized the full potential of an ecumenical society, […]

Affirmative action is critical to minorities and women in this society… But for affirmative action laws, God only knows where I would be today. These laws and their proper application are all that stand between the first 17 years of my life and the second 17 years.

Some people believe that racism is a matter of feelings and behavior. In this view, a racist is anyone who treats others differently based on race. You can be a racist no matter what your race is. Under another definition, “Racism equals prejudice plus power.” In this view, racism requires social and institutional structures that […]

The Constitution is both colorblind and color-conscious. To avoid conflict with the equal protection clause, a classification that denies a benefit, causes harm or imposes a burden must not be based on race. In that sense, the Constitution is colorblind. But the Constitution is color-conscious to prevent discrimination being perpetuated and to undo the effects […]

The measure of a just society is not whether a demographically proportional share of any group succeeds, but whether an individual of talent can succeed regardless of what group he belongs to.

Here’s what white privilege sounds like: I am sitting in my University of Texas office, talking to a very bright and very conservative white student about affirmative action in college admissions, which he opposes and I support. The student says he wants a level playing field with no unearned advantages for anyone. I ask him […]

Affirmative action is the attempt to deal with malignant racism by instituting benign racism.