…to white students. If universities really wanted to promote fairness in their admissions processes, they had to view their applicants not as isolated individuals but also as products of their circumstances, including the ways in which their race unfairly bestowed disadvantages or advantages upon them as they progressed through the education system.
From the perspective of many conservatives--and especially libertarians--people are primarily if not entirely atomized--that is, they are 'individuals.,' their chlorinated term for ignoring collective social realities. This supports white supremacy--that is, 'I am an individual, everyone else is not, therefore I will promote what's best for me.' So the 'individual' stance is ultimately about protecting the privileged, because they are the only real 'indivduals,' while hiding it behind a cloak of 'respectability' by using a term considered positive to mask fundamentally criminal behviors: that is, a long history of making all POCs 'untermenschen.' The term 'liberal' should not be used to describe people who shun collective responsibility; I prefer the term 'libertarian,' or around friends, simply 'Ragnar.'
Libertarians and conservatives will stubbornly resist the idea of community issues because that would spread out the idea of 'individual', and thus diminish their resource pool, one which accrues to them currently with minimal effort: it will allow others to matter. But the entire point of white supremacy is to create a small minority, poach others resources, and then find a creative psychology for holding onto those unjustly earned resources. That tack, the ignorance that goes into the highly bleached term 'individual,' is the strategic device used to hold on to power, to make sure it is only ever distributed among a small group of people to keep each of those 'individuals' resource-rich. Of course, this comes at the expense of everyone else.
Our society doesn't approach affirmative action with honesty. The first established, openly discussed fact should be this: THE LAST 500 YEARS ON PLANET EARTH, INCLUDING AMERICA, HAS BEEN CONTINUOUS AFFIRMATIVE ACTION FOR WHITE PEOPLE IN EVERY ARENA. The only reason this is obvious in college admissions is because we call it 'affirmative action.' White supremacy is large-scale, extreme affirmative action for white people, usually rich ones but also all of them at some level. That should be our baseline. All arguments should be based on this reality: that most resources are already shifted to white people collectively, and that now, those resources need to be shifted back to those to whom they belong.
A college admission is a form of resource because it helps guarantee success--ie, acquisition of resource--at a later date. These resources often go to lower-performing white people because our entire system is built to reward white people regardless of performance. College admissions are only one of many arena in which we observe this, one in which white people are collectively getting their asses kicked to the moon, repeatedly, decade after decade, yet are still receiving positions when higher level performers are rejected.
So, once we start with a baseline that accepts REALITY, then we can move forward. We accept that our society has been handing things to white people at the expense of others, and that now we need to counteract 500 years of misdirected resources BACK to a wide range of people of color (in particular, Black and Indigenous North Americans).
Note the strategic value to conservatives of acting as if there is no attachment to history, to others, to collective society, etc: they never have to return stolen items PLUS can continue to advocate for their often-subpar children to enjoy the fruits of superlative performance without ever having to perform themselves.