I am not a fan of Affirmative Action, but if it has to exist, it should be based off of class.
Imagine this – a talented, hardworking white kid with good grades of a poor single mom loses acceptance into a University by an upper-middle-class minority student. Why should this happen? Because the grandparents of the minority student suffered discrimination decades ago?
When Affirmative Action was introduced by President Lyndon Johnson a half-century ago, minorities could expect to face humiliating economic and social discrimination. But today, affirmative action should be focused on class, not race.
Today one in six Americans now marries a person outside his or her own race which makes the job of determining racial preferences more convoluted. Does the child of a dark-skinned Bolivian with an Anglo father qualify? What about the mixed-race child of an African-American college professor and a white millionaire?
Skin color is no longer a clear indicator of privilege, but wealth certainly is. 92 percent of black students at elite colleges come from families in the top half of income distribution. Clearly, black (and white and Hispanic) at the bottom of the economic scale are being left behind.
Original talking points “Should race still matter?” featured in The Week, May 9, 2014.