1. Affirmative action is unjust no matter what it is called: "quotas," "diversity goals" or "race preferences." Programs that treat people differently because of their skin color are discrimination and a violation of citizens' civil rights, which belong to all people, whatever their race or gender. It is unjust when someone is shut out of a promotion because of a racial quota. Or when a worker's construction firm loses a government contract because of his boss' race. It is blatantly unfair when a student's good grades can't get her into college because she's the wrong skin color - that's just plain discrimination.
2. Affirmative-action programs like the city of Tucson's, which gives bidders on government contracts a 7 percent "bonus" based on their ethnicity, rip off taxpayers by adding unnecessary and excessive costs.
3. Affirmative action poisons race relations. Race preferences pit citizens against each other based on race, promote stereotypes that some ethnicities need an artificial boost to compete, and undermine the legitimate accomplishments of qualified minorities.
4. Affirmative action doesn't help "the underprivileged." Studies show that 83 percent of minorities who are given preferences for university admissions come from middle- and upper-class families.
5. America's economy needs merit, not preferences based on racial favoritism.