Phi Beta Cons

Affirmative Action and Football

When I’m debating the issue — as it is my lot in life to do frequently — I often hear the following analogy used as a justification for affirmative action: Suppose that there were a game between two football teams, and during the first half one of the teams enjoyed all kinds of unfair advantages: Its players were allowed to cheat in various ways, the referees made all kinds of unfair calls, and so forth. As a result, that team ran up a big lead. Then, after halftime, it was announced that from now on there would be no more cheating and bias — but the score was left unchanged and the opposing team was given no offsetting advantages. 

Now, isn’t that essentially the situation we have now in the United States, with blacks and whites, and doesn’t this just go to show why there needs to be something other than just colorblind law, in order to make up for past discrimination?

Well, no. I explain why, and suggest a better sports analogy, in a National Association of Scholars post here.

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