Excerpt: When I ask a room full of students why someone might support using race in determining college admissions, they usually have a few answers ready. They offer reasonable points like, “to offset historical and current disadvantage” or “because of the unique challenges that members of underrepresented groups face.” But the opposite question—why someone might oppose the use of race in college admissions—often yields one response: racism. When pressed, few students can come up with alternative suggestions; they struggle to think of any principled reason why someone might take that position. The asymmetry in the students’ ability to produce morally reasonable arguments for both positions is particularly notable given that, according to Pew, 73% of Americans agree with the statement that “colleges and universities should not consider race or ethnicity when making decisions about student admissions.”
A similar exercise can be repeated with other controversial topics like, for instance, white privilege.