Honoring Rev. King

The keynote speaker for Dartmouth’s 21-day Rev. King celebration was Shanta Driver, the national coordinator of United for Equality and Affirmative Action (UEAA) and the national director of the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action and Integration and Fight for Equality by Any Means Necessary (BAMN). I’ll save most of the details for my upcoming editorial, but here’s a tease, as reported in the Valley News today (sorry, no link to the full article):

Dartmouth senior Alston Ramsay said that the Web site of the group [BAMN] that organized the March on Washington calls those who oppose affirmative action “racist” and “segregationist.” “I oppose affirmative action, too. Would you consider me racist or segregationist?”

Driver said the end of affirmative action would lead to the re-segregation of higher education. “Am I a racist?” Ramsay persisted.

“If you’re fighting for a policy that you know systematically excludes minority students and in fact furthers white privilege, I’ll let you answer what that makes you,” Driver said, to applause.

[I actually then said, “Well, I was hoping you could answer that for me, but that’s alright,” and at that point the applause kicked in, since the event was over. In my original question, I also quoted her from an answer before where she called people fighting affirmative action “Right-wing assholes.” I think it should have been, “I oppose affirmative action, too. Would you consider me racist, segregationist, or, as you just said, a ‘Right-wing asshole’?”]