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How 'bout 'fairness' on the basketball team?

Posted By Les Kinsolving On 11/05/2012 @ 7:49 pm In Commentary,Opinion | No Comments

Consider the fact that blacks in the United States are now outnumbered by Hispanics.

Should the U.S. Supreme Court (in this government of, by and for the people) order that all college and professional basketball teams begin proving their devotion to racial equality in player selection?

What would be the national reaction if all these basketball teams – with huge majorities of very tall and very able black players – were ordered by the high court to conform to the population count? That is, reduce the number of blacks so that their percentage on each team would be less than the percentage of Hispanic Americans?

Can you imagine the national outrage?

Page 1 of the Oct. 11 edition of the New York Times reported:

“With the future of affirmative action in higher education hanging in the balance, the Supreme Court on Wednesday grappled with two basic questions, repeated by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. in various forms at least a dozen times.

“He wanted to know how much diversity was enough. And he wanted to know when colleges would be able to achieve an acceptable level of diversity without using racial preferences.

“‘What is the critical mass of African-Americans and Hispanics at the university that you are working toward?’ Chief Justice Roberts asked a lawyer for the University of Texas at Austin. The chief justice never received a specific answer from the university’s lawyer or from one representing the federal government.

“Their reluctance to answer illuminated a tension in the court’s precedents, which reject quotas but allow public universities to use race in admissions decisions as but one unquantifiable factor among many.

“Had the lawyers responded to the chief justice by proposing a percentage goal, they would have run headlong into cases prohibiting quotas. In failing to offer a number, though, they left the court with very little to do in the face of precedents requiring judges to look closely whenever the government draws distinctions among people based on race.”

Those of us who were active in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s will never forget James Meredith.

As a U.S. Air Force veteran, he dared to apply for admission to the then-racially-segregated University of Mississippi. That involved risking his life.

Washington Times columnist Deborah Simmons reported the following very good news:

“On Wednesday, just before the high court’s deliberations in the Fisher case, one of Mr. Meredith’s sons stated that academic standing should take precedence in college admissions.

“‘My father was able to integrate the University of Mississippi 50 years ago this month because he had academically earned his place among the student body,’ said John Meredith, a spokesman for D.C.-based Project 21, a network of black conservatives. ‘It is unconscionable that an institution of higher learning in America today would be forced to admit candidates who have not earned their place among the student body. I look forward to the court ending any practice that would force a school to admit anyone other than the best academic candidate.’”


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