In Response to: Concerns About Race

Re President Eisgruber ’83’s statement on racial injustice and campus diversity: It has taken Princeton a very long time to convince me that it no longer espouses a belief and value system that I can support. I see no meaningful purpose in continuing “to take up arms against this sea of my concerns.”

I find nothing in our founding documents regarding human equality (whatever that may be), but they do refer to the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit — not achievement — of happiness. Equality of opportunity should not equate to equality of result, although many in the early days of the republic campaigned most vigorously for just that. Even today there are those who prefer a system that rewards all equally, regardless of effort or performance.

The deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner were the direct result of the actions of all the parties involved. The tragedy is in the inability of some parties to present an accurate and factual account of the events in question: to present all of the information regarding the deaths of these two individuals and then let all who care to reach his or her own conclusions.

Forced diversity, as well as results that are “directed from on high,” benefit neither the giver nor the given. The right to fail is every bit as important as the right to succeed.

John W. Minton Jr. ’50
St. Louis, Mo.