A recent piece in The Economist suggest that we should scrap “affirmative action.” Now, I’m all for reasoned argument but that requires facts. And the Economist’s piece, “Time to Scrap Affirmative Action” gets the basic facts wrong.
It assumes that 1) “innate” ability is key instead of equality of access to a quality education. In other words, it would seem the writer comes dangerously close to contending that all “people of color” are just, well, innately intellectually incapable. Really? 2) It is also factually wrong. After University of California vs. Bakke case (1978), SOCTUS held that quotas could not be allowed in admissions. Not that there’s anything wrong with them, as quotas within a qualified pools always exempt hereditary privilege (legacy admissions, etc.) or class exceptionalism in order to produce real and capable diversity. Finally, 3) it assumes an ecumenical standard where none exists. You can not compare “affirmative action” in U.S. as having any bearing or relationship to how it is understood in, say, Brazil.
The Economist’s readers deserve more than the current racism at play in times of “austerity” where easy scapegoats abound and reasoned argument is scarce.