Interview with Robert Links
QUESTION 13
JACKIE SHEARER:

OK, now let's go on and have you give me as concise as you can a description of this, as you call it, Pandora's box of questions.

ROBERT LINKS:

Well I think that the way you can assess and sense the difficulty of racial preferences in an American or democratic society is this. Once you allow it to happen even if it's any changing, whatever it is of the university's admission process, to have a greater number of minority people, or a lesser number, any difference, based on race, you open up a box of unanswerable questions and insoluble problems. Who gets the preference, which groups, how do you determine who's a member of which group? Ah, if you're half Asian, do you qualify? How do you determine what the percentage is going to be? Do you tie it to the local population, the state, the nation, the world? How do you make that determination? How long is the preference going to last and who decides when it's going to end? These are the types of issues and these aren't all of the questions. But once you start pondering these things, you can realize what we're dealing with and how hard it is. Do you prefer a Black person over an Hispanic person? If so, why? And if not, why not? Do you treat every Black person the same? Would you treat a Black person who comes from a wealthy family the same as a poor Black kid from the ghetto? I don't think you should. I don't think they get the same number of points or the same size plus as Justice Powell would say. I think what you have to do and what the bottom line is, in America, you have to look at people as individuals and you have to listen to their story and you have to address their problems and their needs on an individual basis. That's what affirmative action is all about.