Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Diversity of What and For Whom?

James Traub’s essayin the Sunday NY Times offers still more reasons why racial diversity in higher education raises more questions than it answers. A couple of soundbites:

And why should racial and ethnic "points of view" outweigh those forged by class or culture?

As I have argued before, one of the great ironies of promoting racially diverse perspectives in higher education is that it perpetuates a white supremacist mindset: namely, that lily-white colleges need "students of color" for the sake of white students’ enrichment! Traub rightly points out that affirmative action originated not for the benefit of whites but for the benefit of individual blacks who had been barred from colleges and jobsites on the basis of race. Why is it that when government has tried to help individuals overcome racial discrimination, it more often than not keeps them in a dependent position?

But I wonder if eliminating that
mechanism [i.e., affirmative action] wouldn’t force universities -- and the rest of us -- to do something about the educational failure that has made affirmative action necessary in the first place.

Instead of improving K-12 education, thereby addressing the achievement gap in American education right at the source, governing bodies, colleges, and employers have sought to address the problem by rigging the outcomes to make it look like there is no longer a problem with racial discrimination. When it comes to justifying these racially prejudicial practices, to reverse the adage, it has proven to be easier done than said.

It remains to be seen if governing majorities, and that includes the Supreme Court, can address racial discrimination without holding onto the power to discriminate. I say, "Let freedom ring."

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