Affirmative action helps balance scales
Posted: Friday, April 5, 2013 7:00 pm
By THE POST-INTELLIGENCER
The law ought to be colorblind, no doubt. It’s not right to treat one person differently from another because of the color of skin.
Except that the nation isn’t colorblind. Not yet. Not by a long shot.
The persistent existence of racial prejudice in American society requires the law to try to balance the scales. It’s called affirmative action.
The issue is of concern just now because the U.S. Supreme Court is getting ready to rule on a couple of pivotal cases.
Statistics tell part of the story. An Associated Press report says black poverty had declined by half since 1959, but is still nearly three times that of whites. For four decades, the unemployment rate for blacks has been twice that of whites.
The income gap continues to widen. In 2009, the median net worth was $113,149 for whites, $6,325 for Hispanics and $5,677 for blacks.
About 40 percent of whites age 25-29 graduate from college. For Latinos, it’s 15 percent; for blacks, 23 percent.
AP polling results suggest that Americans’ attitudes show increasing racial prejudice.
Given those conditions, it’s hard to see how the high court might decide to do away with affirmative action rules that seek to balance the scales.
Published in The WCP 4.4.13