Clearly, race-based scholarships pegged to people of color are not based on notions of racial superiority or innate difference. They are predicated only on the notion that there have been real differences in opportunity on the basis of race, and that these opportunity gaps should be remedied to the greatest extent possible. Secondly, such efforts also fail the test of institutional racism. Student of color-scholarships do not perpetuate racial inequity–if anything they would have the effect of reducing it–nor do they prevent whites from enjoying equal opportunity. Indeed, without affirmative action efforts, in admissions and scholarships (and for that matter employment and contracting), whites would enjoy extra and unearned opportunity relative to people of color, thanks to pre-existing advantages to which we were never entitled in the first place. As such, to deny whites access to a miniscule percentage of financial aid awards is not to deny us access to anything to which we were morally entitled. We are “losing out,” if you will, only on something to which we have no moral claim: namely, the ability to keep banking our privileges, and receiving the benefits (be they scholarships, college slots or jobs) of a system that has been skewed in our favor.
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