Questions on race and affirmative action for the candidates


Roger Clegg, President and General Counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity, has posted an article over at National Review Online titled “Questions for the Candidates.” In it he notes the questions he thinks we should be asking the current presidential candidates on race and affirmative action as well as supplying model answers.

Here are a few highlights:

Q. What do you think of affirmative action?

A. Americans should not be treated differently because of their skin color or what country their ancestors came from. Period.  . . .

President Obama has acknowledged that there’s something wrong when well-to-do students (he gave the example of his own daughters) who apply to college are given a preference over students from poverty-stricken homes just because the rich kids may have skin that’s a little darker than the poor kids, who happen to be white.

That’s not what affirmative action or civil rights was originally supposed to be about. Now, if a program is designed to stop discrimination, that’s great – and it should stop it for everyone. . . .

Q. But don’t we have to do something to make up for past discrimination?

A. The Supreme Court has rejected that approach, and rightly so. You create a new class of victims who have had nothing to do with past discrimination. It might make sense to have special programs for individuals who are disadvantaged, but there is no reason to use skin color as the litmus test for disadvantage. There are plenty or rich people of all colors, and plenty of poor people of all colors.

Read the rest here.