Dear Justice Sotomayor,
I’m a third-generation Eastern European Jewish-American girl…who just so happens to have white skin. I have never condoned, nor participated in, nor benefited from the white privilege associated with racism in this country. In fact, when slavery and unfair immigrant labor were running rampant, my ancestors were back East (I mean like, way back East), sucking down borscht and hoping not to be obliterated by pogroms. When they came to this country, they rented in slums and worked hard in hope that one day their children’s children wouldn’t be ostracized.
And so, I was raised with the idea that hard work, education and dedication will help you reach your ambitions.
You claim that we can’t “wish away” racism and reprimand your peers for wanting to do away with affirmative action. So please, explain to me why, after waiting tables at minimum wage to put myself through school, completing vocational medical training at the top of my class, interning at one of the best hospitals and searching for work in my field for over a year…I got turned away from a temp job just last month, because, despite my over-qualification, they wanted a Latino representative and passed me over because my fair skin, blue eyes and inability to understand Spanish (which is due to my choosing Korean as my foreign language in high school) didn’t fit the ethnic vibe they were looking for.
Racism is EVERYWHERE, and you’re not solving anything by allowing it to exist, just so long as the newly discriminated-against people LOOK privileged.
We need to completely do away with racism: both traditional and reverse. Employment, education and government grants should be rewarded to people based on qualifications, hard work, intelligence and individual need—NOT how they look when they’re born.
Forbid racial checkboxes from applications and let what’s INSIDE count.