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Why Race Should Be Kept a Secret

June 30, 2002

Re "A Morally Repugnant Act," Orange County Commentary, June 23:

Huntington Beach's race-based transfer policy highlights the need for adopting an initiative on racial privacy. It shows that administrators continue to feel comfortable using race as a criterion, despite the passage of Proposition 209. It is encouraging to see the appellate court overturn them, but as long as bureaucrats are permitted to collect this data, we will continue to see discriminatory programs.

Most race-based programs collect this information intending to help the disadvantaged. Unfortunately, as is the case with Huntington's program, they often harm those they are meant to help. Earlier civil rights activists would be rolling in their graves if they knew the legacy of their work prevented minorities from freely choosing their schools. It's the exact problem they worked to fix in the first place.

Those who argue that racial classifications can be used to help minorities not only ignore the potential for those classifications to be used maliciously, but also, more important, they ignore the unintended harmful effects of benevolent activists. Let's adopt the initiative and begin working toward a truly colorblind society.

Chris Nosko

Washington, D.C.

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