The ugliest stain on the history of the
States is the presence of slavery and, after
it was abolished, the denial basic civil rights to citizens based on race. To its credit the nation has recognized those
mistakes, and in addition to providing laws that have protected minorities
the country also sought to redress the harm it had done to African Americans
over the many centuries.
This program of trying to remedy the effects of racism and to promote diversity in society, particularly in education will be coming to an end. In a case before the Supreme Court the vehicle will be provided that will allow the Conservatives members of the Court to end any consideration of race in college admissions. Note that the case is not about quotas or preferential treatment, it is about whether or not college admissions can take race into account in order to provide for a student body that mirrors to some degree society as a whole.
Among Conservatives this is an anathema, because in allowing race as a consideration the poor disadvantaged white race will be, in their minds, discriminated against. So leading the attacks are the editors of the Wall Street Journal. On their commentary page they found a so-called liberal who makes the case against taking race into consideration in college admissions.
A Liberal Critique of Racial Preferences
Programs to increase diversity in higher education should be based primarily on class.
The writer, on Richard Kahlenberg, wants to discriminate on the basis of economics, and says this.
Given the evidence for the success of race-neutral alternatives, it's difficult not to suspect that university officials who defend racial preferences are really after what Stephen Carter has called "racial justice on the cheap." Racial preferences mostly benefit fairly privileged students of color; 86% of African-Americans at selective colleges were middle or upper class, according to Derek Bok and William Bowen in their book "The Shape of the River."
And since African Americans are poor people (just like the stereotype says) this is a better system.
Of course, leave it to the editors of the WSJ to rally against discrimination.
Abigail Fisher applied to the
in 2008 and was rejected under the
school's admissions policy, which considers both academic and other
factors—including race—to increase the number of minority students. Because her
academic credentials were superior to those of some minorities who were
admitted, Ms. Fisher says her rejection violates the Fourteenth Amendment's
Equal Protection Clause. She has a compelling case even under the High Court's
muddled precedents. University of Texas
See what those editors think is that discrimination is wrong when directed against white people and they want a truly merit based system.
Justice Kennedy might recall that in Grutter he wrote that the "concept of critical mass is a delusion used by the
to mask its attempt" to "achieve numerical goals indistinguishable
from quotas," and that the attempt to achieve racial balance is
"patently unconstitutional." He was right in that case, and in Fisher he can
further restrain the policy of racial allocation that has bred so much
unfairness and resentment in American life. Law School
A brief history lesson is needed here. Conservatives, independent of party have been the primary opponents of equality before the law. The fought the elimination of official segregation as hard they could. They only discovered the horrors of discrimination when their constituency was involved, and somehow manufactured a cause against white people. The level of hypocrisy is almost overwhelming.
Conservatives do have one bit of logic that can be considered. It is that if preferences are granted according to race mediocrities may emerge and gain a position in society that they were not entitled to based on their intelligence and ability. Yes, we’re talking about you Clarence Thomas.
Finally, if these brave folks really want a merit based system, let’s see how strongly they push against colleges admitting students because of their athletic ability, or because their parents went to that school or because their relative gave a huge amount of money to the school. And what about using their new found opposition to discrimination to protect gay and lesbian people in the workplace. Oh, don’t support that. Didn’t think so.