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Martha Minow, dean of Harvard Law School, and Robert Post, dean of Yale Law School, have joined in writing for the Washington Post a defense of their selecting their schools’ applicants on the basis of their race.
“Why did we, friendly rivals as deans of great and sometimes competitive law schools, join forces to write a common brief to the U.S. Supreme Court?
“Because we both believe that higher education should select the best possible students, because we both believe we can identify such students only if we are free to evaluate the individual experiences and qualifications of each applicant, and because we both believe that this requires us to understand applicants’ own characterizations of their race or ethnicity. We joined forces because the Supreme Court is to hear oral argument [Oct. 10] in Fisher v. University of Texas, a case in which some urge the court to require institutions of higher education, such as ours, to disregard individualized considerations of race.
“In our personal view, this would be a tragedy for legal education and for higher education generally.
“Our reasoning is simple. We admit students to accomplish two goals: to get the best possible students and to assemble the best possible class. These goals require us to examine each applicant in detail. …
“While race may not matter for some applicants, for others it may be urgently salient. As deans, we do not prejudge this issue. Rather, our point is that race can be an important, if not essential, aspect of the life story of many applicants and that our ability to assess the individual character of these applicants would be crippled by a rule forbidding us from considering applicants’ race. While we agree that it is inconsistent with the dignity of persons to consider only race, we firmly believe that it is equally inconsistent with their dignity to refuse to hear what applicants have to tell us about the role that race has played in their lives.
“As a practical matter, we do not understand how a rule forbidding all consideration of race could possibly be enforced.”
Ladies and gentlemen: Please imagine with me that these law school deans, Minow and Post, were instead presidents of their respected universities.
And just imagine them ordering their university football teams to cease enrolling football players on the sole consideration of their ability.
Most university (as well as professional) football teams have a much higher percentage of blacks than this nation’s black population.
Can you imagine Harvard or Yale ordering their football teams to begin including some of their many Asians to replace the dominate number of blacks?
Can you imagine the on-campus – as well as alumni – uproar over such racism replacing the best possible team selection with selection based on race?
Question: If Harvard and Yale’s football teams are selected on the basis of ability alone, how in the name of common sense and any degree of fairness should students at Harvard and Yale be selected with any consideration at all of their skin shade?