On June 23, the Supreme Court winked and nodded at soft racism. The court refused to strike down the University of Michigan's law school admissions policy, which gives an unfair advantage to minority students. According to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, author of the court's majority opinion, bringing racial diversity to the classroom "promotes 'cross-racial understanding,' helps to break down racial stereotypes, and 'enables (students) to better understand persons of different races.'" This is preposterous. This is revolting. I couldn't be happier.
Because I am already in college. And once you're in, diversity programs are wonderful. Huge numbers of unqualified students walk into lecture each day. They struggle with the material. They ask ignorant questions. They stagger through assigned readings and then realize they've assimilated nothing. It makes the rest of us look like geniuses. For those who are qualified, diversity programs are a bonanza. Didn't study for a big test? No big deal -- those unqualified diversity admittees will certainly help the curve.
The link between affirmative action and grade inflation is one of the most closely guarded secrets in academia. Intellectuals ripped Professor Harvey C. Mansfield of Harvard University when he exposed the link. Dubbed Harvey "C Minus" Mansfield by his students because of his tough grading, Mansfield revealed that over half of the grades given at Harvard were A's or A minuses.
Mansfield suggested that grade inflation was partly due to affirmative action. "Grade inflation got started in the late '60s and early '70s when professors raised the grades of students protesting the war in Vietnam. At that time, too, white professors, imbibing the spirit of the new policies of affirmative action, stopped giving low grades to black students and, to justify or conceal this, also stopped giving low grades to white students," Mansfield wrote in the Harvard Crimson. "I would say that the reluctance to give black students low grades has been a factor in preventing grades from going down," Mansfield reiterated in an interview with the Dartmouth Review.
But what about the educational value of diversity? Doesn't a more racially diverse environment promote "cross-racial understanding" and enable students "to better understand persons of different races"?