Affirmative Action for the Rich

Affirmative action opponents always calls up pictures of smart, talented white students, kept out of top universities because the government gives special treatment to minorities. They casts fears of underachieving blacks and Latinos taking jobs from more deserving, harder working white students. And then they try to recruit Asian Americans to reject affirmative action, as well, since we are, by definition, a race of overachievers.

Never mind that affirmative action is in place because smart, talented people of color couldn’t get jobs and university acceptances. Never mind that women have been some of the biggest recipients of affirmative action. Never mind that the G.I. Bill was the biggest affirmative action bill in US history, and that mainly helped white G.I.s go to college and move their families out to the suburbs.

And legacy programs. Top universities giving preferential treatment to the children of alumni, the children of the elite. Richard Kahlenberg makes his argument against legacies.


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