My wife and I discussed this topic a little while back and as she is Hispanic (I'm white), I was interested to hear her point of view on the racial issues ongoing in our country.
In particular what I found interesting was that while she has been discriminated against, she feels more frustrated with the Hispanic community than the white community. Her experience has been that many Hispanics wanted to wear the 'victim' shirt and be treated as special. Additionally, she noted that she had experienced the most racism not from whites, but from Hispanics that thought she was 'too white' or not 'hispanic enough'.
We also discussed growing up and advantages. I was not poor by any means, I was middle class, had several brothers/sisters and attended adequate public schools; she on the other hand came from the a richer family than mine, was an only child (and grandchild) and attended private schools for most of her youth. So when it came time to go to college, there were far more factors than race at play in where we chose to attend.
So here is where I come back to AA and the reason I posted.
The two factors I have heard to justify AA are 1) ongoing racism and 2) the continuing impact of past racism. But these factors assume that 1) the ongoing racism is external (from whites), and thus requiring forced favoritism, and 2) that the impact makes minorities more deserving than other disadvantaged groups.
AA cant address the ongoing racism issue, it's too complicated and until we stop trying to tell people what they should be like based on their skin tone it wont end. However, I think that some version of AA needs to account for disadvantaged groups, but should this exclude poor whites and include rich minorities? Should it say that the descendant of a poor Irish immigrant is less deserving than the descendant of a rich Hispanic immigrant?
I donít know the solution, but the discourse deserves more than we've given it thus far.