The Futility of “Colorblindness”: Equal Opportunity Alone Cannot Correct Unequal Distribution of Societal Power

David Leonhardt, in his column “Rethinking Affirmative Action,” argues that Affirmative Action supporters have lost their way because the arguments in the Fisher v. University of Texas case (among others) focus on diversity rather than fairness.

It is impossible to know whether affirmative action could have had a more enduring foundation were it based on a broader equal-opportunity approach. Proponents never tried this alternative.

Leonhardt, however, fails to mention the unequal distribution of societal power. The unequal distribution is the real reason why progress has been halting and why affirmative action is still needed.

There is a huge difference between equal opportunity and true equality. Because the society has an unequal distribution of power.

United States (population: 308,745,538) (2010 Census)

Race Percentage of population Number
White 72.4% 223,553,265
Black 12.6 38,929,319
Native American 0.7 540,013
Asian 4.8 14,674,252

In addition, the Supreme Court must demonstrate that the institution follows its pronouncements in the hiring practices for its legal staff. The positions seem to go to a limited (wealthy or socially connected) few. Yet, the Court makes rules for all citizens. Many of these citizens are not at the elite level of society.

Until power is equally shared there will always be a need for affirmative action.

About these ads

What is your opinion?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s