Response to a Defense of Racial College Admission

  • Print

Dear Editor:

In "Racism by degree: Protesting end of affirmative action," (Opinions, May 19), Saul Sarabia says that despite his low scores, he attended UCLA as an undergraduate because of affirmative action. He also says that he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude.

There is no dispute that some applicants, of all races, will perform at a level beyond what the evidence available at the time of their admission indicates. The issue is whether low-scoring white and Asian applicants should be given a lessor opportunity than black and Chicano applicants simply because of their race.

Sarabia is silent about the fact that simply because of race, low-scoring white and Asian applicants were not given the same opportunity as he. His silence about the unfairness done to them indicates his willingness to treat people primarily as members of racial groups, rather than as individuals. This diminution of individual dignity is at the heart of today's racial preference policies.

The California Civil Rights Initiative will eliminate race, ethnicity, sex and national origin as admissions factors. Thus, no low-scoring applicant will have a racial advantage over any other applicant. That's a policy that honors the dignity of the individual -- a value that Sarabia subordinates to that of racial identity.

Los Angeles Daily News, May 24, 1996