Skip to comments.The Unmentionable Injustice
Posted on 06/18/2013 5:29:06 AM PDT by Kaslin
In the weeks before the Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of Obamacare, the country trembled with anticipation. No such eagerness is evident now -- yet the court is again poised to rattle our world. The case of Fisher v. Texas could upend the system of racial preferences in use throughout American higher education.
The pursuit of racial justice in education has arguably led to some benefits since its inception in the 1960s. But in the two generations that have elapsed since affirmative action began, evidence of its unintended consequences has accumulated -- even as a society-wide taboo has forbidden honest discussion of that evidence.
The vast majority of elite American institutions supports racial preferences. Of 92 briefs filed in the Fisher case, 17 agreed with the plaintiff that racial preferences should be considered unconstitutional, while 73 urged that the current system remain undisturbed (two were in between). The pro-university briefs included submissions by the U.S. government, 17 U.S. senators, 66 members of Congress, 57 of the Fortune 100 companies, numerous education associations, colleges and universities and establishment organs, such as the American Bar Association.
Criticizing affirmative action (which is code for racial preferences) can be a career-endangering step for anyone, particularly for academics or politicians.
Some scholars have nevertheless been willing to follow where the evidence leads and have found that nearly everything we believe about racial preferences is wrong. In their outstanding book "Mismatch," Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor Jr. document the paradoxical results of giving large preferences to racial and other minorities.
Sander and Taylor argue persuasively that the trouble with preferences is not the injustice done to people like Abigail Fisher, who was denied admission to the University of Texas while less qualified black and Hispanic applicants were accepted -- though that is unfair -- but also the harm it does to those to whom such preferences are extended.
Preferences have created a widespread mismatch between minority students and the schools they attend. Minority students at all levels (least so at the very top colleges) tend to wind up at schools for which they are less well prepared than the majority of their classmates. The University of Texas is typical in awarding the equivalent of hundreds of SAT points to minority applicants. This results in minority students (who've been assured that they have what it takes to be successful) plunging to the bottom of the class. Students accepted under the preference regime often experience severe feelings of inferiority, social segregation and much higher dropout rates. Both for affirmative action "beneficiaries" and their classmates mismatch reinforces negative stereotypes. It also causes more African-American students to flee math, science and engineering majors in favor of softer subjects, such as education and sociology. "Black college freshmen are more likely to aspire to science or engineering careers than are white freshmen, but mismatch causes black to abandon these fields at twice the rate of whites."
Yet research has shown that when minority students attend schools for which they are well matched, there is no attrition in demanding fields of study. It isn't that minority students cannot make it as scientists and engineers but simply that they conclude that they cannot succeed when forced to compete with superior classmates. This phenomenon also accounts for the relatively low numbers of minorities who seek academic careers despite (or rather due to) five decades of preferences. It carries lessons for families considering whether to take advantage of "legacies" for their children. The research suggests that academic and career success is more likely when students attend colleges for which they are well matched.
Nor do preferences benefit the disadvantaged. In 1972, more than 50 percent of black freshmen at elite colleges came from families in the bottom half of the socioeconomic distribution. By 1982, that percentage had dropped to one quarter, and by 1992, 67 percent of black freshman came from homes in the top quartile of income. Among blacks attending elite colleges, 92 percent come from families in the top half of income earners.
Deciding who is a member of a historically oppressed minority group also gets trickier with every passing decade. Intermarriage is up.
Immigration complicates matters. A recent study found that 40 percent of African American Ivy League undergrads are first- or second- generation immigrants. A study undertaken by Harvard Law students found that only 30 percent of the African Americans there had four black grandparents. The rest were either of mixed ancestry, foreign students or recent immigrants from the West Indies or Africa.
There is a place for preferences in higher education -- for those who come from poor homes or tough neighborhoods. But there is abundant evidence that awarding preferences based on race and ethnicity is counterproductive, corrupt and profoundly unjust.
Why? If students from "poor homes or tough neighborhoods" don't have the academic qualifications for a particular college, their results are going to be no better than those of students placed above their level by racial preference.
If the author is talking about need-based financial aid, she needed to have specified that.
Name one. Hard cases make bad lawnever more true than in this case.
Not to mention the fact that due to affirmative action you can NEVER trust a minority to be as good at anything as a white. Did the minority really earn that degree or were they affirmative actioned into it? Would you trust your life to an affirmative action doctor? I wouldn’t.
I’ve found that most intelligent minorities hate affirmative action for this very reason. It has institutionalized racism and has desteroyed their professional reputation even before they graduated from college.
Thus we have affirmative action's most catastrophic failure - Barack Obama.
Why? If students from “poor homes or tough neighborhoods” don’t have the academic qualifications for a particular college, their results are going to be no better than those of students placed above their level by racial preference.
Unlike simply having dark skin, for those students, their grades and test scores underpredict their future performance.
Not to mention the fact that due to affirmative action you can NEVER trust a minority to be as good at anything as a white. Did the minority really earn that degree or were they affirmative actioned into it? Would you trust your life to an affirmative action doctor? I wouldnt.
Ive found that most intelligent minorities hate affirmative action for this very reason. It has institutionalized racism and has destroyed their professional reputation even before they graduated from college.
I’ve personal experience with hiring an AA person to fill a critical position only to find out after they had been there for awhile that they were not only unqualified for the work they were hired for, they also used threats of Racism to get their grades ‘manipulated’ all through college. And it took nearly eighteen months of meticulous documentation before we could fire him and escort him away. That sort of expense is bad for the business and for the co-workers that have to pick up the slack for the one who can’t do the work required.
The end result was that when the college basically ‘certified’ through its graduation and award of a diploma to the individual in question, it also called into question the qualifications for ALL of it’s graduates. That is a breakdown in trust in the “academic system”.
For me personally all future graduates from that university had a black mark against them and that counted against hiring any more of them if a candidate from another educational institution was available.
Just more racial lib entitlement CRAP. Family structure and moral values are the starting point. My parents checked my homeworka and report cards, made sure I went to church and I had respect for my parents. Check out the ghettoes for FAMILY and RESPECT ... for anything, including self respect. Start there. there are plenty of educational facilities and not everyone should go to Harvard. Besides the ivy league has really slipped, become a liberal anti America cesspool of ignorance, and you can get a better education elsewhere.... for a lot less money. You do get “connections” out of the ivy league and maybe that is worth the extra bucks down the line.
The major injustice of racial preferences is the discrimination against whites. To be fair Mona Charen does mention this in her article, but it’s almost in passing.
It’s pathetic that so many conservatives try to argue against preferences on the grounds that it hurts the very minorities they are designed to help. That argument won’t convince anyone. What, is a lesser qualified non-white student going to read that and turn down a preference-driven acceptance to a selective university? Of course not.
Why can’t conservatives rally against preferences because they hurt whites? It’s as though this reason for opposing preferences isn’t good enough.
Why can’t the GOP actually defend the interests of those who actually vote for them?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.