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Affirmative action reasonable

By Christian Jason Bell
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
February 24, 2000
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To the editor,

When I first read Michael Eskue's letter regarding Sheila Bapat's commentary "A plan that fails on its merits," I laughed and shook my head. Then, realizing how seriously Eskue took himself, I decided that maybe someone should address his letter and clear up some of his misunderstanding.

For starters, to believe that everyone is created equal is a nice remnant from most everyone's elementary school days, when life was less complicated. At the very basic level of creation people are equal; however, after being born into the world that stigmatizes people for their human characteristics, to argue that everyone is still equal would be ridiculous and naive. White people, particularly males, are born into advantage, just by virtue of their being white. This is because whites have nearly always dominated the world at large.

Affirmative action is merely a program designed partly to ensure that qualified individuals from all backgrounds are given the chance to represent themselves in the workplace. This was a necessary course of action, considering how minorities were systematically rejected from the job market, and that it was endorsed by pretty much all parties with any say in the matter. Now, it would not be difficult to reason that people who are completely unqualified rarely, if ever, get the job, but that if it does happen, they never keep the job. And to those whites who are clearly qualified but have been passed over for a position: take it as a sign that you were overqualified and the employer did you a favor by not holding you back from your potential.

Nathan McCall wrote in his autobiography "Makes Me Wanna Holler" that "Some white people are so accustomed to operating at a competitive advantage that when the playing field is level, they feel handicapped" (352). Because nothing in this world is free, there are those who have to work a little harder to get what they need and want, but, Michael, more times than not this demographic most likely does not include you. I also think that if you truly believe that everyone is created equal, you would not feel personally compelled or obligated to offer your apologies to those who have been victimized by society and the system.

But I did not dislike your letter entirely. I can say this: at least you did not directly use the phrase "reverse discrimination".

Christian Jason Bell

Media arts major

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