Opponents of AA certainly overstate the damage done to the people who
don't qualify for AA. For example, at an elite university like UM-AA,
several thousand whites get rejected who would have been accepted if
they were black. However, in rejecting those several thousand whites,
only a few hundred blacks got accepted. The rejected whites are
correct that, "I would have been accepted if I were black." However,
if AA were eliminated, only the best few hundred of the several
thousand rejected whites would have been accepted.
A similar fact works at big companies like Ford. There are not huge
numbers of black professionals working at Ford. Eliminating AA at Ford
would not create a huge vacuum of open positions for whites.
On the other hand, proponents of AA just as drastically overstate the
benefits to AA-qualifying groups, and understate drawbacks.
As stated above, in this age of AA, there remain drastic
underrepresentation of blacks at big companies and elite universities.
So AA has certainly not solved the problem of underrepresentation.
Meanwhile, several other non-white groups have succeeded in
drastically getting themselves *over*represented at these
institutions, and they have done this *WITHOUT* AA!
This fact proves both that white racism is not stopping non-whites
from accessing and flourishing at these institutions, and that AA is
unneccessary for this to happen. Furthermore, since non-AA minorities
are doing so much better than AA minorities (in many measures, the non-
AA minorities are doing even better than whites!), this strongly
suggests that AA actually *hurts* those that it targets!
There is also the stigma associated with qualifying for AA, and the
studies showing that minorities at elite universities who get in due
to AA have much lower GPAs and graduation rates than their fellows who
had qualifications that would got them accepted without AA. Also: at
the elite schools where AA is an important tool, the majority of
blacks getting in are from very affluent families. Is it really
important to have a huge program just so Bill Cosby's kids don't have
to study as hard as his neighbor's kids for the SAT?
AA has become a big government program, and like all big government
programs, it causes more problems than it solves. Most of the
beneficiaries are white women, and white men who have "rent-a-negros"
fronting for them. A famous example would be the special AA
accomidations that enabled black Detroiter Don Bardon to get ownership
of Compcast, which he then quickly sold at a huge profit to a white
company. OK, so Don Bardon got to own Comcast for a year and make a
few hundren million bucks. That doesn't seem to be a good use of
For these reasons, I have taken my hero Frederick Douglas'
postion: "What shall we do for the negro? Nothing! It is the doing
that has caused all the michief. If the negro cannot stand, let him
fall." Douglas believed, as I do, that blacks will succeed better if
there is not a huge government mechanism that lables them as
handicapped and provides them special treatment.