Regarding the article (Metro, March 4) on the participation of "certified disadvantaged minority" contractors in building the Century Freeway: Does anyone have the courage to speak out about what a distortion of the true meaning of the civil rights movement these minority set asides are? The spectacle of one group of people charging that another group has not been historically oppressed enough to haul dirt out of a construction site would be laughable were it not for the fact that it threatens the Century Freeway with still more delay.
The original intent of the civil rights movement was to end discrimination based on race. Period. That should include discrimination for, as well as against, any group. Later additions such as minority set asides and affirmative action are a use of discrimination to try to cure discrimination. Far from building social harmony, they cause bitterness, social fragmentation and cloud the legitimate achievements of minorities. They do little to alleviate the woes of the black underclass.
Some minority leaders don't like to hear this, but "colorblind society" is not a code word for racism. It's exactly what Martin Luther King Jr. was talking about.
All forms of discrimination, including set asides, are wrong.
HERBERT G. ROSENBLOOM