At a recent student walkout at the University of Washington (UW) campus, Sarra Tekola, described the many forms of discrimination faced by African Americans and Native Americans including historical slavery, modern day violence, and exploitation. She went on to strongly advocate affirmation action policies to redress these wrongs and promote diversity. Sarra is a project intern with Washington Leaders for Conversations about Climate and an activist with Divest UW.
I agree wholeheartedly with Sarra’s condemnation of slavery, violence and discrimination. However, I disagree more with her solution, affirmative action. Affirmative Action racism perpetrates discrimination for another generation by denying qualified white and Asian Americans access to education. It perpetuations negative racial stereotypes about African American, Hispanic and Native American professionals who apparently needed special treatment in order to compete with their majority peers. In short, I disagree with Sarra’s circular logic that discrimination is a justification for discrimination.