First, Dowd asserts that Thomas got into Yale Law School and picked for the Supreme Court thanks to his race. Yet what proof does she offer for this? Are all Black admittees to Yale Law School there because of their race? No. In fact, this is one of Thomas’s key points: that affirmative action leads to these kind of incorrect assumptions. Yet Dowd doesn’t entertain for a moment that Thomas could have been admitted for any reason other than skin color. Ah, more proof of the benefits of affirmative action.
Yet if anyone proved herself to be an "affirmative action baby" today, it was Dowd, who demonstrated that she couldn’t understand even the simplest argument in Thomas’s opinion. She states that "Justice Thomas scorns affirmative action as ’a faddish slogan of the cognoscenti.’" But anyone who read the opinion knows that Thomas wasn’t talking about affirmative action with that phrase. First, it is worth reading the phrase in context (I suppose I should be grateful that this time she chose to distort the quote in her own voice, rather than using ellipses). What Thomas actually said was: "The majority upholds the Law School’s race discrimination not by interpreting the people’s Constitution, but by responding to a faddish slogan of the cognoscenti." The slogan to which Thomas refers is not affirmative action, which is a popular political phrase for "benign discrimination," but rather "critical mass," the meaningless phrase invented by the cognoscenti and relied upon by the majority to justify its ruling. Such a poor reading by a New York Times columnist. Oh well, applying Dowd’s reasoning, we all know that she got her job at the Times strictly on the basis of merit.
Dowd then argues that "despite his racial blessings" Thomas comes across as "an angry, bitter, self-pitying victim." But is difficult to read Thomas’s opinion as Dowd does, unless you make the assumption that Thomas must support affirmative action because he is Black. Don’t you see, all Black people think alike, or at least they should for Ms. Dowd. If they don’t, why then they are angry, bitter, self-pitying victims. They should just feel grateful that White society has been gracious enough to help them, and they should continue the affirmative action tradition, because that is what they are supposed to do. To do otherwise is to commit the sin of ungratefulness. Doesn’t he know his place?
Finally, Dowd throws in a gratuitous slap at Bush’s status as a legacy admit. Again, she would have done well to have read Thomas’s opinion. You see, dear, the Fourteenth Amendment doesn’t prohibit universities from choosing on the basis of legacy status. Now read slowly, Ms. Dowd, so that you can follow this. We had this thing called a "Civil War"--perhaps you read about it. Anyway, after that War, we passed an amendment which prohibited government from discriminating based on race, but this wasn’t a "you can’t discriminate based on anything" amendment. So schools can still choose based on grades, or athletic ability, or even the less pleasant legacy status without running afoul of the Constitution. Oh well, Ms. Dowd, it was a simple mistake. I’m sure that any New York Times columnist who got their jobs based on their merit clearly could have made such a mistake.