There is an uplifting American feel about a university, a workplace or a neighborhood brimming with people of different races. It is the product of a nation assembled of people from everywhere else. From many places, one people.
Other nations have diversity of a sort, but no one can go to France and become French. I cannot go to Brazil and become Brazilian. The diversity of America, an assemblage of skin colors painted with a wide swath of history from immigration to slavery, has become a uniquely beautiful concept.
Leave it to government to screw it up.
The Supreme Court’s consideration of Fisher v. Texas has opened a flood of lecturing about the moral necessity of clinging to race as a criterion for university admissions.
Decades after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. prayed for a nation that judges not by pigment but by character, that dream is largely realized. In a sad irony, the greatest remaining resistance is from a chorus of those who likely consider themselves heirs to the King legacy.
From predictable soapboxes on the left, they insist that even though racism is now one of our foremost societal evils, it must still be practiced-- repackaged in the form of race preferences to favor students of color in college, and, one presumes, workers of color in every workplace.
University admissions is a particularly sensitive arena in a nation where many minority student scores lag behind white totals. Without a shred of mainstream thought to suggest there is something about students of color that automatically cripples them, we properly look at other factors-- family stability, socioeconomics, the crapshoot of which high school a student lands in.
But those factors, which can all help or hinder grade levels, can apply to white students as well. So why the continuing drumbeat to maintain race as a factor in college admissions?
There are several motivations, and all of them act to our detriment.
For many, it is a skewed sense of justice, as in the argument demanding atonement for hundreds of years of slavery. In this logic, adding points for race is a type of rough reparations system that balances past wrongs. This has always been horribly misguided. The proper successor to past injustice is current and future justice, not some endlessly swinging pendulum of grievances. Even the sincerest advocates of affirmative action seem unaware of the insult they deliver with a message that says minority kids can’t cut the mustard without ethnic favoritism.
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