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Reader feedback: American tradition

Re: Affirmative action and reactions, Sep 20-26, Vol 10, No 36

In the USA "affirmative action" does work overall, and the problems of people who are perceived to have benefited are real. For example, a member of a minority who is a doctor is sometimes suspected of not being a good doctor because they graduated medical school because they are a minority. However, there is real discrimination in the USA. When I applied for a job at an Ivy League University (that starts with a "Penn" and ends with a "Sylvania") my chief competitor was a woman, and although she was better qualified, I got the job. My boss did not hire women.

Minorities in the USA have had "affirmative action" long before Lyndon Johnson. As the Irish moved up in city government in Boston and New York the police force was largely Irish. As Italians moved up, the police force became more Italian. While "affirmative action" might set the standards a little lower for some, it is something traditionally American.

Colin P. Varga
Pennsylvania, USA

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