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Is college affirmative action nearing its end?

Posted By Les Kinsolving On 10/24/2011 @ 1:43 pm In Commentary | Comments Disabled

On Page 1 of the Oct. 18 issue of the Washington Post, there was the following quote from talk-radio host Tom Joyner:

“Stick together, black people. … Let’s deal with just our blackness and pride – and loyalty. We have the chance to re-elect the first African-American president, and that’s what we ought to be doing. And I’m not afraid or ashamed to say that as black people, we should do it because he’s a black man.”

Think about that.

Ask yourself: What on earth would be the reaction if any white talk-show host advised whites to vote for any white candidate because “he’s a white man”?

Did the Washington Post editorial page have any well-deserved denunciation of this talk-radio host, Joyner, and his obvious black racism?

No, it did not. But there is some good news on the horizon. Consider the following:

What if affirmative action were to be imposed upon pro-football teams? I mean by that, that this enormously high-paid (if violent) field of employment would be required to hire in direct proportion to racial segments of the U.S. population.

That would mean that pro-football would be obliged to hire a considerably greater number of whites – while dropping a number of those professionally better-qualified blacks – because there are still many more whites than blacks in the U.S.

Fortunately, pro-football is allowed to recruit and retain the ablest players – with no consideration whatsoever for the shade of their skin pigment.

Then, let us consider pro-basketball. Should pro-basketball teams continue to be allowed to discriminate completely against this nation’s largest gender? Or should pro-basketball teams be required to have more than one-half of their players be female?

If these pro-football and basketball analogies sound extreme (which they surely are, indeed), why is it any less extreme to require that colleges and universities be compelled to use skin pigment rather than academic proficiency as a criterion for admission?

What I regard as a very welcome headline in the Oct. 16 issue of the New York Times was: “College diversity nears its last stand.”

That newspaper’s Supreme Court correspondent, Adam Liptak, reports the following:

“Abigail Fisher, a white student, says she was denied admission to the University of Texas because of her race. She sued in federal district court in Austin, causing Judge Sam Sparks to spend time trying to make sense of a 2003 Supreme Court decision allowing racial preferences in higher education. ‘I’ve read it till I’m blue in the face,’ Judge Sparks said in an early hearing in Ms. Fisher’s lawsuit.

“The 2003 Supreme Court decision he was trying to understand, Grutter v. Bollinger, had elevated the concept of ‘diversity’ from human-resource department jargon to constitutional stature. The pursuit of diversity, a five-justice majority said, allows admissions personnel at public universities to do what the Constitution ordinarily forbids government officials to do – to sort people by race.

“Judge Sparks in the end ruled that the Grutter decision meant that Texas was allowed to take account of Ms. Fisher’s race. Now her case is hurtling toward the Supreme Court. That could provide a fresh opportunity to consider what we mean when we talk about diversity. It could also mean the end of affirmative action at public universities.”


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