The unintended consequences of racial preferences

Don't ID as Asian for College

image from American Civil Rights Institute

… what if many of the minorities used in this process[Affirmative Action] are injured by it? 

In six devastating words, the Heriot-Kirsanow-Gaziano brief distills the case against the “diversity” rationale for racial preferences: “Minority students are not public utilities.”

Now, it seems, that Affirmative Action action hurts the very minorities that it was created to assist. And not just Asian Americans, who have been hurt by racial quotas at top colleges and universities that served as an invisible “upper quota” keeping qualified applicants OUT based on race alone. So it seemed the beef with Affirmative Action was limited to Asian Americans and only with regard to college admissions. And we were unwilling to fight the good fight. But not anymore. Will the rules change if African-Americans are affected negatively by Affirmative Action? There’s change in the air … and it’s just a matter of time until this outdated policy gets rewritten for the new millennium.

And for the record, the policy should be based on socio-economics and not on race. Race is outdated, people. Let’s get with the program.

Here are some quotes from the article:

  • The Supreme Court faces a discomfiting decision. If it chooses, as it should, to hear a case concerning racial preferences in admissions at the University of Texas, the court will confront evidence of its complicity in harming the supposed beneficiaries of preferences the court has enabled and encouraged.
  • … institutions of higher education have a First Amendment right — academic freedom — to use race as one “plus” factor when shaping student bodies to achieve viewpoint diversity. Thus began the “educational benefits” exception to the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws.
  • Liberals would never stoop to stereotyping, but they say minorities necessarily make distinctive — stereotypical? — contributions to viewpoint diversity, conferring benefits on campus culture forever.
  • In 2003, when the court ruled on two cases arising from University of Michigan undergraduate and law school racial-preference policies, the court contributed more confusion than clarity. It struck down the undergraduate policies as too mechanistic in emphasizing race but upheld the law school’s pursuit of educational benefits from a “critical mass” of certain approved minorities.
  • Sander and Taylor report: “Research suggests a similar pattern nationally; scholars have found that the use of large racial preferences by elite colleges has the effect of reducing diversity at second-tier schools.”
  • Another study showed that even if eliminating racial preferences in law schools would mean 21 percent fewer black matriculants, there would still be no reduction in the number of blacks who graduate and pass the bar exam.
  • There are fewer minorities entering high-prestige careers than there would be if preferences were not placing many talented minority students in inappropriate, and discouraging, academic situations: “Many would be honor students elsewhere. But they are subtly being made to feel as if they are less talented than they really are.”
  •  … diversity bureaucracies on campuses will continue to use minority students as mere means to other people’s ends, injuring minorities by treating them as ingredients that supposedly enrich the academic experience of others.

The full article bu By George F. Will, published November 30, 2011, is here.


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4 thoughts on “The unintended consequences of racial preferences”

  1. Common interests…hmm, you’ve got me thinking that this is a way to go. Learn, share and live the experience.


    From my LinkedIn Group Beyond the Box Thinkers

  2. You know, are we as a nation and a world ever going to get over basing our opinions on the tone of other skin and/or beliefs? I sit and watch the news and walk the streets of this town and see a vail of politeness. When inside our hearts all we see is skin tone. When speaking of stereotyping, do we ever look beyond that and try and see the things we all hold common? Work, creating, communications, fun, friends, family, love? Maybe one day before I die I will finally live to see Dr. King’s dream come true. To get beyond our vail of politeness and respect each other for who we are inside.


    From my LinkedIn Group Beyond the Box Thinkers

  3. Mia, I don’t mean to seem harsh, but when I see words like stereotyping it just upsets me. When you speak of Asian-American culture I think back nearly 30 years to a Korean family I knew. While on my first try at college I met a beautiful Korean-American girl and in turn got to know her family. And for the time we dated I have to say her family was not much different then my own Southern-American family. So as we have said more then enough times. Celebrate the differences and unite with our common interest.


    From my LinkedIn Group Beyond the Box Thinkers

    1. I agree that it’s time that we move beyond race and skin color. In this day and age with mixed race families, it will not be long before it is just too difficult to track and distinguish.

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