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Here comes the next affirmative action challenge

After the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action in college and university admissions, conservative activists have begun going after corporate policies aimed at increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion.Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post

Zealots for the status quo are targeting boosts for Black entrepreneurs

Re “Boosts for Black entrepreneurs face pressure: Conservative groups question programs’ legality” (Page A1, Nov. 11): Years ago, a white scientist asked me, a Black scientist, “Why do we need more scientists who are Black when there are already enough white scientists?” The answer to that question is that as long as we have fewer Black scientists because of racism, an unacceptable societal problem persists that demands rectifying. Not only are devastating injustices occurring to many Black Americans who would otherwise be fulfilled, contributing scientists, but our society is also losing out on the many benefits of the genius and industry of excluded and never-developed scientists, regardless of their race.


The same is true for racism’s effects on the development and progress of Black entrepreneurs, many of whom are scientists as well. Funding groups that now acknowledge such real-time destructive discrimination and attempt to mitigate it are not committing unconstitutional discrimination, as status quo zealots like Edward Blum, founder of the American Alliance for Equal Rights, protest.

If we agree with Blum’s pronouncements, then we must also agree that aid programs to victims of starvation, illness, and injury are actually deceptive acts meant to discriminate against people with abundance, good health, and security. They are not.

White entrepreneurs, as a group, enjoy targeted financing that Black entrepreneurs are rarely offered. Blum and others who join his crusade machinate to keep this looming imbalance in place.

Dr. James L. Sherley

President and CEO



Fighting equity efforts smacks of a bid to preserve white advantage

It seems to me that these conservative organizations that are fighting positive efforts at achieving racial equity under the deceptive guise of “equal rights” or “free enterprise” are simply saying: We white people have achieved superiority, and we want to keep it that way. White supremacist groups we read about in other stories are at least honest in stating their purpose.


I say more power to those using affirmative action to at least partly make up for centuries of Black people being held down. Discrimination against Black people is not some old-time thing. I saw it when I was growing up in Boston and when I was working in different US cities, and it continues today, sometimes subtly, sometimes not. It is way too soon to say the scales are level and that we don’t need affirmative action. And I say this as a white person, a son of immigrants who struggled to move up into the working class.

Don Carlson