To the Editor:
As paid liars for employers, professional Conservatives attack Affirmative Action (AA) in order to mount a disguised attack on ALL workers, whites included. I'll concentrate on exposing the basic dishonesty of the "Conservative" argument, and use only one example: College Admissions, leaving more detailed references to the end.
1. Racism Raises Employers' Profits. Because of racism, non-whites have always been a source of cheap labor, and of super-profits for their exploiters ("employers"). Employers use this pool of cheap labor to pull down wages and working conditions for white workers, increasing profits still more. Racism also serves employers' interests by dividing white and non-white workers against one another, blaming each other rather than the corporations who are really responsible for exploitation and inequality. Pushing racism is essential for capitalists, and their "conservative" mouthpieces!
Gutted by pro-employer court decisions, during the 1970s Affirmative Action did lead to a real increase in income among black workers. White workers are helped when any pool of cheap labor, be it minority workers or women, is eliminated. Corporations pay "Conservative" propagandists to attack AA because it threatens their profits! Most white workers, however, do not realize this, because the politicians, the media, and the educational system do not explain this to us. My own ancestors -- poor white Southern farmers who fought to defend slavery -- didn't realize, either, that the racism that kept the slave enslaved also kept them barely above the level of slaves.
The same is true today. Affirmative Action not only helps non-whites and minorities -- it helps white males, too! But the Conservatives' corporate masters do not want us to understand this.
2. The Lie of "Merit" and "Color-blindness." Conservative opponents of AA oppose use of the closest thing to a "color-blind" test for college admissions -- high school grades. The best single predictor of college success, if they were used alone, there would be far more black and latin students -- and more white working-class students as well -- in colleges from MSU to Harvard. This is the last thing the rich want!
SAT tests are biased against blacks, as well as against women and working-class people of all races. All studies show this; Conservatives know it. Why don't they mention it? Because they don't want YOU to know it! Because they are liars -- propagandists, not interested in the truth, but in pushing an anti-worker, pro-employer line.
Loyal to their corporate masters, Conservatives WANT discrimination! First, they want racism -- to lower the cost of labor; to keep working people fighting each other (see above). Second, they want to preserve discrimination according to wealth! They support the SATs because the SATs measure family income far more accurately than they do anything else. Not lack of "merit", but lack of money is the most common reason for dropping out of college; Conservatives want to keep it that way!
By far the main form of discrimination in college admissions is financial: it favors the rich. At elite universities "legacies" -- children of wealthy alumni -- are favored above all others, except those who can pay full tuition ($30,000 and up).
"Highly qualified white students are far more likely to be squeezed out of a space by a white son or daughter of an alumnus. But there is no crusade against legacies, especially not among the educated elite of affirmative action critics who are its beneficiaries" (Wilson, 156).
Why don't Conservatives complain about this? because they serve the rich! They LOVE discrimination -- as long as it favors their masters.
[For more detailed argument and evidence, see the following WWW pages: "Affirmative Action Helps All Workers, Hurts Bosses; and "Defend Affirmative Action! Oppose Racist Scapegoating! Fight for Communism!", by Progressive Labor Party. For bias in the SATs, see my Letters to The Montclarion of 1994 here (the first one) and here (the second one).
For wealth discrimination, see John K. Wilson, The Myth of Political Correctness: The Conservative Attack on Higher Education (1995), Chapter 6: "The Myth of Reverse Discrimination."]
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