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Anthony M. Platt

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Entitled: Confessions of a Model Meritocrat

Tony Platt’s personal account of how higher education remains a privileged institution remind us that race still matters and that there is an urgent need to revitalize the national struggle for social justice. The new recipients of affirmative action — women and men from working-class, African American, Latino, Asian American, and American Indian communities — were quickly attacked by New Right academics for their lack of merit. The concept of “meritocracy” to which many policymakers now wish to return was a system of unequal opportunity — affirmative action, preferences, nepotism, and class, race, and gender biases for white men from middle- and upper-class backgrounds. Until we live in a society in which everybody from the moment of birth enjoys the same resources and opportunities, and everybody functions without the wounds and scars of classism, racism, sexism, and homophobia, there can be no meritocracy.

affirmative action, colleges and universities, social classes

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 25, No. 3 (1998): 128-137