Excellence or mediocrity in affirmative action?

Regarding your June 24 article "Evolution of affirmative action": It amazes me that this is even an issue at this time or any other time. The Civil War eradicated the formalized institution of slavery in our nation, but it did nothing to eradicate the hatred and the fear.

I believe that this subject is inflammatory, because it plays on a basic fear. Racism used to be mainly against blacks, but other minority groups have jumped on the bandwagon of affirmative action. I'm not opposed to this, because everyone should have the same right to come to the table of opportunity; no one should be excluded. Affirmative action opens the door; it doesn't guarantee success. A person has to take advantage of an opportunity. I believe that excellence should be the discussion here.

It is a disservice to all those brave women and men who fought for affirmative action to shun the effort decades later and say it is discriminatory. Those crying foul should try walking in the shoes of a minority to understand why this legislation is so vital.
Christa Brown
Hempstead, N.Y.

What about the majority? How long do we have to try "affirmative action" programs before we finally take the "politically incorrect" position and confirm that they do not work, are a waste of taxpayer money, and promote mediocrity at best?

A person pays his taxes from Day 1 and later finds out that his child has been deprived of college entrance due to an affirmative-action program. Let's just admit that the experiment did not work and use merit and competition as the measure for employment, promotion, and college entrance.
Dave Malone
Winter Park, Fla.

Regarding Trevor Corson's June 25 Opinion "The hues of affirmative action": The hues of affirmative action should not be measured by skin color but by family connections and the amount of money one has. I (a white male) have far more in common with a black bus driver than I do with a white Princeton graduate. We could measure college admissions by wealth, and require an equal percentage from all economic classes. We would still get plenty of minority students but may not have room for wealthy whites - a sacrifice I would be willing to accept.
Mike Duffy
Scotts Valley, Calif.

Putting a positive spin on serious crime

In reading your June 20 article "Michigan riots: tales of two cities and the gulf in between," one gets the impression that riots not only naturally come from racial tensions, but also might serve some good! Nowhere is it stressed in the article that riots are dangerous crimes committed on a large scale. Nothing is said about the need to bring rioters to justice.

Also, the article failed to mention that the motorcyclist was driving with a suspended license, speeding (which resulted in his death), and carrying drugs.
Igor Komarov
Princeton, N.J.

Dear White House, is anybody there?

Regarding the June 24 Opinion "America, we need to talk - seriously": We do need to talk. My friends and I, and even total strangers, are constantly talking to one another. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we don't. The point is that we are aware of what's going on, particularly in the White House and in the Supreme Court. We write to our senators, and we send letters to newspapers ... but it's like hollering down a rain barrel. I would like to know what else there is that we can do. If and when we write to the White House, we get back the pro forma one-liner, "The president is interested in your views; thank you for writing." Baloney!
Jan Overstreet
Murphys, Calif.

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