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Editor’s Scratchpad

Tuesday, November 25, 2003


How do you say "Two wrongs don't make a right" in Hawaiian? In the current legal battle over Kamehameha Schools' admission policy, attorney Kathleen Sullivan, Kamehameha's attorney, iterates the legal principle that discriminating on the basis of race is OK, so long as it serves "a remedial purpose of addressing social imbalances suffered by Hawaiians." Let's carry her logic a little further.

Someday, a few years down the road, will the young student who was refused admission have a case for claiming preferential treatment in, say, employment "to address the social imbalance" created by the Kamehameha Schools' admission policy? And then, 25 years later, will his Hawaiian peers be able to file suit to claim a greater portion of Social Security funds in their retirement, to "address the social imbalance" that came because they were denied hiring in favor of that non-Hawaiian student?

Plain and simple, reverse discrimination rewards Group A at the expense of Group B for wrongs committed by Group C against Group D. That earns an "F" for fairness, justice and morality. Equal treatment before the law and by all publicly supported institutions, irrespective of race, creed, or color -- as an individual, not as a group -- is a core American value and must not be sacrificed in a vain attempt to right past wrongs.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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