Who will save the life of that silent teenager--the one over there edging toward the condom table, the one across town wondering whether to take Daddy's gun to school, the girl who is too embarrassed to tell anyone her boyfriend hit her, the child picking up a rock in the Gaza Strip? Affirmative action is about who will save these lives. In all of our institutions, the academy among them, we must make decisions of admission. Who will enter these doors and wield power here? Who will ascend to the position of decision maker? Who will walk off with the credentials that open the next door and the next? Who will land in a spot of influence from which they just might save these lives? In college admissions we ask, "Who is excellent?" No college looks for average. We want the best, and we define ourselves by the quality of our students. I support affirmative action because it is about getting the best student body we can get. In this post-modem world, however, concepts like "the best" are contested.
1 Seattle J. Soc. Just. 29-43 (2003)
Scholarly Commons Citation
Matsuda, Mari J., "Who Is Excellent?" (2003). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. Paper 321.