In a recent article, “Colleges Straining to Restore Racial Diversity,” the Wall Street Journal reports, as the article’s subtitle puts it, that “Bans on Race-Conscious Admissions Upend Racial Makeup at California Schools.”
In fact, what seems to have been “upended” is the preference of the presidents and chancellors of the University of California system — expressed in their brief filed in the Schuette case pending before the Supreme Court and quoted in the WSJ article — that each of its campuses enroll a student body that “encompasses the broad racial diversity of the State.” In their amicus brief the presidents and chancellors of the University of California urge the Supreme Court to deny the citizens of Michigan, and by extension the citizens of all other states, the right to require their state to treat applicants to and employees of the state’s universities and other state agencies without regard to race, creed, or color.
Shame on them, and the arguments they rode in on.
Commenting on the WSJ article, Roger Clegg provided a short list of some of the shortcomings of favoring some students and disfavoring others because of their race:
It is personally unfair, passes over better qualified students, and sets a disturbing legal, political, and moral precedent in allowing racial discrimination; it creates resentment; it stigmatizes the so-called beneficiaries in the eyes of their classmates, teachers, and themselves, as well as future employers, clients, and patients; it mismatches African Americans and Latinos with institutions, setting them up for failure; it fosters a victim mindset, removes the incentive for academic excellence, and encourages separatism; it compromises the academic mission of the university and lowers the overall academic quality of the student body; it creates pressure to discriminate in grading and graduation; it breeds hypocrisy within the school and encourages a scofflaw attitude among college officials; it papers over the real social problem of why so many African Americans and Latinos are academically uncompetitive; and it gets states and schools involved in unsavory activities like deciding which racial and ethnic minorities will be favored and which ones not, and how much blood is needed to establish group membership – an untenable legal regime as America becomes an increasingly multiracial, multiethnic society and as individual Americans are themselves more and more likely to be multiracial and multiethnic (starting with our president).
Maybe one day Clegg will tell us what he really thinks about the policy of racial preference. Until then this list of its infirmities will have to do.