Is Racial Neutrality a Bizarre Concept?

4 min readDec 1, 2022
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Recently, a black columnist warned her readers that the Supreme Court was going to strike down affirmative action like it did Roe v. Wade.

Students for Fair Admissions, a group that represents 20,000 students, parents, and others, challenged Harvard University’s affirmative action policies for violating the equal protection clause, eroding efforts toward a colorblind society, and discriminating against Asian Americans. SFFA believes that institutions of higher learning can achieve diversity through race-neutral methods.

The columnist condemned SFFA for two reasons.

1). The bizarre concept of “race-neutrality” is historical denial and nothing more than virulent anti-blackness.

2). Anti-blackness is woven into the fabric of our nation, and affirmative action, minority set-asides, and other race-conscious remedies are merely the antidote to historical structural racism.

How does the columnist justify these counterclaims when the issue is that affirmative action policies discriminate against Asian Americans? She asserted that Asian Americans are “white-adjacent” who embrace white privilege and anti-blackness. The term “anti-blackness” replaces “racism” and puts the focus on what harms black people rather than all people of color.

The columnist said race neutrality is “bizarre” and “historical denial” because enslavement wasn’t race-neutral, Jim Crow wasn’t race-neutral, and Fair Housing redlining wasn’t race-neutral.

This is one of those bizarre times when a progressive turns into a conservative. To justify the need for affirmative action, the columnist must conserve America’s racist past in order to claim that America hasn’t changed and remains a racist society. By conserving the racist past, the columnist is doing something even more bizarre. She’s denying that progress has been made on the American racial front to preserve a race-based policy that 63 percent of American adults no longer find necessary in the 21st century.

Now, by stating that race-neutrality is historical denial, the columnist is projecting onto her opponents what she is guilty of herself. Since slavery, Jim Crow, and redlining were all examples of systemic racism, the original goal of affirmative action was to…




J. Pharoah Doss is a columnist for the New Pittsburgh Courier.