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What Is the Best?

August 16, 1987

One of America's growing problems is that the best is no longer a criteria for accomplishments. Tie that to the Balkanization of American life along ethnic, racial and religious lines, and we have a society where group identification becomes the key to individual success. And with it, intergroup tensions grow, making conflict inevitable. That's the unvarnished truth about Affirmative Action programs.

Designed by government to provide opportunities for those who have been victims of discrimination and prejudice, the programs were undertaken to prepare these individuals (most of whom, at the time the program was introduced, were black) to compete by more intensive, specialized learning experiences and incentives. However, the program concretized into privileges reserved for those who are from groups that may no longer need such aid but demand that the privilege be retained.

The end goal of any anti-discrimination program must be recognition of individual needs and rights. It's not the group that is hurting, but individuals.

Hyman H. Haves

Pacific Palisades

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