Letter to the Editor | Consider flip side of new program

Letter to the Editor | Consider flip side of new program

My former hometown of Champaign recently announced its "Equal Opportunity in Purchasing" program.

Its purpose is to award more city work to minorities, women and other socially or economically disadvantaged groups.

It seems the city believes that individuals assigned to these groups are incapable of winning city contracts through the traditional "lowest and best" bid process that has historically served taxpayers so fairly and well.

Thus, these groups require unequal treatment.

Speaking as a retired vendor, what the city misses is the flip side of this new program.

If you are going to tip the scale in favor of the many groups city officials have named, then you tip it against the only group left, white males.

Practically speaking then, will young white male entrepreneurs newly trying to establish themselves with the city be disheartened?

Will they simply abandon their efforts because of this new obstacle in their way?

It would be everyone's loss if they do.

And upon reflection, is it morally right for city officials to decide which of their citizens deserve work more than others based upon assumed group characteristics irrelevant to providing the best and least costly services?

Perhaps one might more easily appreciate Champaign's newly institutionalized discrimination if city council members lived by their own principles.

For example, they could make the vote of female and minority council members count for twice that of white male members.

By their new standards, this would ensure that disadvantaged members have an "equal" opportunity to effect council policy.