Interview with Luke Harris

So, let's begin with your Alice in Wonderland metaphor.


Okay, I think the problem is, one of the profound problems with the debate about Affirmative Action in contemporary America is that the, the contours of the debate are defined by, what I would call, a kind of Alice in Wonderland effect. In that, ah, the rights of people of color to equal access and substantive equal opportunity in contemporary America are seen through a prism of the experiences of middle class White Americans. And there's no way to resolve the particular types of problems that people of color face by looking at, ah, the legal issues that address the concerns of folk who have benefited from that victimization and that again, to me, is a very disturbing reality when it comes to why, I think many of us, felt such great disappointment with the Bakke decision because the core of the society's concern, after centuries of discrimination against Native Americans, against Mexican Americans, against Puerto Rican Americans, against Black Americans was not to resolve Affirmative Action with a view towards the needs and rights of people from these communities but rather to focus on the perceived needs of an allegedly innocent White, ah, who wanted to go to medical school.