www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-affirmative-action-letter-20121012,0,5988872.story

baltimoresun.com

Race-based admissions still discriminatory

2:15 PM EDT, October 12, 2012

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As the Supreme Court once again takes up the issue of affirmative action in college admissions, The Sun's view that this discriminatory practice should be preserved is wrong in both theory and practice ("Race and admissions," Oct. 10). At its core, affirmative action discriminates against a group of people based upon the color of their skin, presumably with the noble goal of helping another group of people with a different skin color.

The problem with such a practice is that it legitimizes discrimination. You cannot eliminate one injustice by inflicting the same injustice on a different group of people. The Sun's view that race-based admissions is a common practice at many universities is not persuasive. Jim Crow was once a common and well accepted practice but that didn't make it right. Furthermore, race-based admissions have the unintended consequence of demeaning minorities whose accomplishments had nothing to do with affirmative action. They carry the stain, inflicted by this perpetuation of discrimination, that they only got to where they are because of the color of their skin.

The fact that the plaintiff ultimately was accepted and received a degree from Louisiana State University as opposed to the University of Texas where she originally applied doesn't make her any less of a victim. Is it acceptable to reject an otherwise qualified African-American because he could simply go to a different university and get a degree there? Of course not. If, as a society, we want to become truly blind to race then we must purge ourselves of the remnants of racism wherever we encounter it. Race-based college admissions only serve to thwart the most noble goal of all, a truly race-blind society.

Robert A. Brocato, Fallston