Friday, November 24, 2006

The B.U. scholarship and Affirmitive Action

There's been a fair amount already written in the blogosphere about the "Caucasian Achievement and Recognition Scholarship" that has been created by the College Republicans at Boston University. It's clear that this is an elaborate political stunt whose express purpose is to challenge the idea behind affirmative action, but I think there's more to discuss here beyond what's on the surface.

I have to admit that I have supported the current system of affirmative action with little reservation for some time. However, for reasons that are both prudent and fair, I now believe that considering socio-economic status as the primary (though not only) basis for awarding this particular type of aid makes more sense. On a purely practical level, it's much easier to build a coalition behind the idea of helping the poor than it is to have disparate groups unite under the banner of helping lift one race over another. Additionally, many of the same people who would be helped under a race based system would also benefit under a system that targets family income levels.

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