Reader Comments on School Vouchers Issue

My thought on 'Reverse Discrimination'? Everytime I see or here this term I get 
upset. Why? First of all, discrimination is DISCRIMINATION. Just because a white 
person is discriminated, is that reason to call it REVERSE Discrimination? Thats 
like saying only minorities can be discriminated.We dont say REVERSE SEXUAL 
HARASSMENT if a man is harassed by a woman. Lets forget about this word REVERSE.

I am a high school junior in Queens, New York. I am very concerned about the issue of 
affirmative action.  I agree that some minorities, such as Hispanic Americans and African 
Americans who aren't well off and come from bad neighborhoods and backgrounds, 
etc. deserve the oppurtunity to be successful in life. However, not all 
minorities are faced with such situations. I know so many minorities that are of 
excellent social status with great families and support. Why should race have 
anything to do with one's mental ability and capacity? In my school this year, 
college acceptances were very disappointing. The only successful acceptances 
were achieved by minorities with 85 averages and very poor SAT scores. One girl 
I know, who is African American, got into Columbia University with an 87 
average! She had no extra curricular activities nor a decent SAT score. I 
sincerely believe in ethnic diversity, but I dont think colleges should accept 
students based on lower standards due to race. For example, a college admissions 
officer would say something like "Oh she has an 87 average, but she is african 
american..hmm so I think that can measure out to a 97 average. HARVARD! HERE SHE 
COMES." While, students who dont happen to be a minority, but who have worked 
hard all their life, are being rejected from top schools! My parents immigrated 
from India not long ago. We face discrimination too, but we aren't receiving any 
special priveleges. We are working on our feet and being successful without aid. 
I think that Hispanics and Black Americans should do the same. They don't need 
special attention. All humans are equal. I thought our country learned a lesson 
from the era of slavery. Everyone has their own capablity regardless of race. 
I'm just afraid that since I'm not a minority, and supposedly considered "ASIAN" 
because I'm from India, which is in Asia, I'm scared that I might get shut out 
from the college of my choice due to affirmative action. I've been working hard 
all my life. I've been maintaining a good average and many extra curricular 
activities. Based on the college acceptance rates in my school, I'm scared that 
a minority with an average 15 points below mine will get into a good college and 
I'll have to go to Suny or Cuny! After reading your site, I firmly feel that 
Affirmative Actions just leads to more racism because essentially, under all the 
fine print, it is saying that minorities arent as capable as majorities. I think 
these minorities should prove them wrong! They should work hard and not settle 
for just a 3.2 and strive harder like the rest of us. 

My response to Nick A.  
saying he gets upset everytime he sees the term Reverse  
Discrimination is this....

It is called reverse discrimination because it is discrimination in  
response to discrimination.  Not because it is whites being  
discriminated against.

First, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to give feedback
on your webpage.  A lot of times, we get so overwhelmed with trigger
phases like "affirmative action," that people often walk away without
a clear cut idea, as to what it is.  For example, your ellipsis as to
what affirmative action is ("preferential treatment based on minority
status") is wrong because it fails to account for women, who are not
minorities but is the population who has benefited the most from
affirmative action.  It also implies that some kind of favoritism, as
a result of minority status, is at hand. A more accurate description
might be that it is a policy that aims at giving minorities and women
an honest chance at education and labor opportunities.

Often, when talking about affirmative action, we are misguided to
believe that it is a policy aimed at giving the undeserving, lazy
minorities ill-deserved opportunities.  I do not think this is the
case, although I will agree that this is the way that affirmative
action is presented to the masses.  As a result there is a fear of
lowering standards of accountability.

I appreciate your presentation of affirmative action platform in a
nutshell, especially the fact that you highlight both argument.
However, I do feel like your presentation is a misleading as it seems
to highlight racial politics - as most of the propaganda surrounding
the issue does.  Words like "color-bind", "minorities" and "slavery"
help to contribute to this.  In the context of your webpage, rather
than "color-blind", you could say "just". This is ultimately what
opposers of affirmative action are trying to argue.

Also, you could eliminate the word "slavery" from the discussion
because although people use it to argue a pro-affirmative action
argument, it often is only used as an example (not a platform) as to
how we, as Americans, have not historically demonstrated a "just"
society.  Furthermore, arguing the need to follow-up these "unjust"
policies, such as slavery and racism, society with "just" one seems a
little absurd.

You could admit that women as well as minorities benefit from
affirmative action.  Actually, when you look at the historical
increase of women in education and labor markets, it seems that women
(especially white women) have benefited from affirmative action the