LETTER : Backlash against affirmative action

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From Mr Gerald Hartup

Sir: The backlash against affirmative action began years ago. Its intellectual origin lies with the black academics Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell. Their influence was and is enormous. One is tempted to believe that they have been ignored as a result of the institutional racism of British political commentators unable to accept the profound contribution of black Americans to the development of contemporary political philosophy.

It was disappointing to see their contribution ignored in Rupert Cornwell's report "The new voice of America" (21 June).

Yours faithfully,


The Freedom Association

London, SE1

21 June

From Mr R. L. Marshall

Sir: I have the embarrassment to admit that I am guilty of being a white Anglo-Saxon professional.

I am not one of the 32 million women in this country, nor am I one of the 4 million differently, ethnically-challenged people, nor one of the 1.5 million differently-abled people. I am not yet one of the 11 million senior citizens, nor one of the 9 million children. I am not sexually challenged, sobriety challenged or vertically challenged nor, as far as I am aware, am I challenged in any other way.

Given that the total of these groups is some 60 million, this means I am a member of one of the 5 million left.

Am I therefore in a minority group and therefore eligible for positive discrimination?

Yours etc,




20 June