The Hidden Threats


The Hidden Threats


The following editorial first appeared in The Nubian Message, North Carolina State University's African-American student newspaper, which was first published on November 30, 1992.

This editorial defends affirmative action policies on the basis of philosophy and practicality. The threats to affirmative action Pettigrew is responding to came from the efforts of two policy think-tanks located near the NCSU campus, the John Locke Foundation and the Center for Individual Rights (CIR). In response to the CIR's report claiming that "universities can be sued for including race in admissions," Pettigrew's article emphasizes that such backlash on affirmative action demonstrates the belief that "America has become the ideal nation moved by democracy and grounded under the auspices of freedom." Furthermore, Pettigrew claims that with years "of being treated as a 5th class citizen" and "laws designed to maintain the priveleges of being a white American," affirmative action remained on the primary policy solutions to eradicating systematic discrimination. 


Harold Pettigrew, Opinions Editor


Harold Pettigrew, "The Hidden Threats," The Nubian Message 6, no. 18 (February 18, 2000), 7. Digitized by the Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC.




Madison W. Cates






A lot of things go on behind the scenes that many of us are not aware of. These are the things that are most threatening to our well-being, the things that affect our lives the most. Especially being in college, if you don’t seek to find information, you certainly won’t receive it. And, on most occasions, this is the information that is the most threatening to our livelihood. There are many things out there, but the one that I’m speaking of is the elimination of race with affirmative action programming.

Believe it or not, there are many organizations committed to eliminating race in regards to admissions. Two of these organizations include: the John Locke foundation (locate don Hillsborough Street) and the Center for individual Rights (CIR). The latter organization has a publication expressing the legal factors of why universities can be sued for including race in admissions.

Have any of you ever asked why is race the main factor under scrutiny in the affirmative action debate? Why, of all the factors used as criteria for affirmative action programming, is race being attacked? We’ve all made the claim that preferences have existed since the establishment of university education. But now, since it is believed America has become the ideal nation moved by democracy and grounded under the auspices of freedom, the attack has been to eliminate the one preference that has consistently been at the root of this nation’s foundation: -race.

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Harold Pettigrew, Opinions Editor, “The Hidden Threats,” The State of History, accessed June 30, 2022,