Originally created 08/06/02

Pitts' 'colorblind' column misrepresents

Leonard Pitts Jr.'s July 23 column ("Seeing through Connerly's colorblind scheme") is a perfect example of the classic liberal misrepresentation of the "colorblind" philosophy.

Being "colorblind" in this context does not mean we do not notice a person's race. It simply means that a person's race is not a valid criterion for judging that person, nor for making decisions regarding him (or her).

Mr. Pitts asserts that race matters, that it has an impact on such variables as education, labor, criminal justice and more. Ignoring for a moment that a statistical correlation does not imply causality, the assumption that race is a causal factor in social variables raises an even uglier concept. It implies that an accident of birth condemns you for life to this segment or that segment.

I find such a notion repugnant. It implies that, in America - the land of opportunity - your success or failure in life depends not on your effort or ability, but on your pigmentation. Fortunately, we know this to be false - unless public policy decisions make it so.

Racial demographics are typically collected for the purpose of making public policy decisions based on race. That, by definition, is discrimination. It implies that equality of result is the same thing as equality of opportunity - which it is not, never has been and never will be.

Mr. Pitts proposes to treat "representatives of (diverse) cultures with fairness, equality and compassion." Of course.

Unfortunately, so long as race is used as a criterion for public policy decisions, no true equality is possible. One group or another will always be given preferential treatment because of some past or present slight - often based on statistical demographics. And that's simply not freedom.

Mike Mitchell, Augusta

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