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Re "The quest for diversity," Editorial, March 28

Your editorial on Proposition 209 and diversity at California's public universities is unclear and patronizing. It is unclear in endorsing as the benchmark of "meaningful racial diversity" the University of California's "diversity goals" — goals that the university has not itself enunciated. One can try and divine what the university's goals are, but with little success.

Apparently, exceeding the pre-Proposition 209 minority enrollment (except for African American students at Berkeley and UCLA) without employing racial and ethnic preferences doesn't satisfy those goals, nor does the fact that the UCs virtually lead the country in admitting socio-economically disadvantaged students. By anyone else's yardstick, the UCs have done an excellent job in achieving diversity probably unparalleled in academia.

The editorial admonishes Asian American lawmakers and parents for being concerned about their children's educational futures. It's not clear what should be higher on their list of priorities than their children's futures and ensuring that they can compete on a level playing field; if it's appropriate for every other group, why not for them?

The Times' muddled message does not contribute to this debate.

David Lehrer and Joe R. Hicks

Los Angeles

The writers are president and vice president, respectively, of Community Advocates Inc., a human relations organization.


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