Affirmative Action’s “Race” Problem

In search of a better way to discriminate.

Steve QJ
6 min readNov 14, 2022
Photo by Anna Shvets

If I were masochistic enough to live with the people advertising this apartment, I’d get a $50 a month discount based solely on the colour of my skin. No forms to fill out. No income declaration. No proof of historical oppression. A paper bag means test, if you will.

In Portland, Oregon, I’d qualify for a lifelong 15% discount at a spa called Luna Wellness. Why? Because “BIPOC people have been denied basic needs [like organic facials and Luna’s signature herbal massages] for far too long.“

At Blue Iris Mystery School, I’m eligible for a hefty 50% off their “Magic Self & Spirit Program,” for no better reason than that the selves and spirits of my ancestors came from sub-Saharan Africa.

And while I resent the implication that only white people can afford to pay their rent, while I’m insulted by the suggestion that my ancestry is something to be pitied, while it’s exhausting to be endlessly viewed through a lens of racial oppression, what really annoys me is how crappy these offerings are.

I mean, come on. If you’re going to pity me, at least give me something I can use.

On August 28th, 1963, the same day Martin Luther King shared his iconic dream, nine other civil rights leaders gave…



Steve QJ

Race. Politics. Culture. Sometimes other things. Almost always polite. Find more at