If anyone still has doubts about exactly how insulting a racial quota system is, here is a painful reminder recounted by black lawyer Stephen Carter in his book Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby:
“As a senior at Stanford back in the mid-1970s, I applied to about half a dozen law schools. Yale, where I would ultimately enroll, came through fairly early with an acceptance.
So did all but one of the others. The last school, Harvard, dawdled and dawdled. Finally, toward the end of the admission season, I received a letter of rejection. Then, within days, two different Harvard officials and a professor contacted me by telephone to apologize. They were quite frank in their explanation for the “error.” I was told by one official that the school had initially rejected me because “we assumed from your record that you were white.” (The words have always stuck in my mind, a tantalizing reminder of what is expected of me.) Suddenly coy, he went on to say that the school had obtained “additional information that should have been counted in your favor”-that is, Harvard had discovered the color of my skin. And if I had already made a deposit to confirm my decision to go elsewhere, well, that, I was told, would “not be allowed” to stand in my way should I enroll at Harvard.
Naturally, I was insulted by this miracle. Stephen Carter, the white male, was not good enough for the Harvard
Law School; Stephen Carter, the black male, not only was good enough but rated agonized telephone calls urging him to attend. And Stephen Carter, color unknown, must have been white: How else could he have achieved what he did in college?
Except that my college achievements were obviously not sufficiently spectacular to merit acceptance had I been white. In other words, my academic record was too good for a black Stanford University undergraduate, but not good enough for a white Harvard law student. Because I turned out to be black, however, Harvard was quite happy to scrape me from what it apparently considered somewhere nearer the bottom of the barrel.”
By: Frans Rautenbach