Skip to comments.Supreme Court Misses the Mark
Posted on 06/24/2003 5:15:37 AM PDT by SJackson
The victory that affirmative actions proponents scored in the University of Michigan Law School decision is a loss for our nation and it may well prove to be the death knell for amicable race relations in the future.
Most Americans view the U.S. Supreme Court as being the place of last resort for fairness and equity. Poll after poll shows that the overwhelming majority of Americans of all races oppose the use of racial preferences in public policies. By upholding the use of race in law school admissions, the Court has taken the easy way out and it has succumbed to outside pressures bent on maintaining the status quo.
Although our nation has changed dramatically over the past 40 years, what we have cemented in place today is a set of policies, programs, and attitudes about race that were adopted in the 1960s and 1970s when our nation was less diverse and our economy much stronger in terms of job growth and potential for achieving a high standard of living. Our federal, state, and local leaders, including conservatives like Bush and Ashcroft, have repeatedly failed to rise to the occasion and adjust public policies to reflect where we as a nation stand today.
It could not be clearer that affirmative action implemented as racial preference works against the interests of the middle class, the working class, and the poorest of the poor. In fact, the racial preference policies defended so eloquently by college and university presidents, CEOs of corporations, and trade associations that filed briefs in support of the University of Michigans program serve their institutions more than they serve the needs of the groups they defend. Many minorities continue to experience discrimination at some of the same institutions that have taken on leadership roles defending the status quo.
For these elites looking to avoid controversy, racial preferences are a low cost means for them to avoid identifying and adopting new and fairer practices that could change America for the better by reducing sources of racial friction and by changing the incentive structure for all Americans.
By the year 2050, some reports indicate that non-Hispanic whites could become a minority in a nation founded by European Americans. Although much speculation focuses on the year 2050, minority status for European Americans could occur much sooner. It could occur earlier because of the well-known minority undercount of the Census and because of the practice of some racial and ethnic minorities--for example-- Puerto Ricans to identify themselves as white Americans even when their physical characteristics would suggest African American. Not only are racial and ethnic minorities seriously undercounted, but also the percentage of whites in the country is over inflated.
As the country grows more and more diverse, the elites in America continue to support the status quo and affirmative action as racial preference shows little signs of abating. Somewhere we have taken a wrong turn on race. Something is seriously wrong. By vigorously defending racial preferences in the name of diversity and refusing to challenge racial double standards, our national and state leaders have fostered hostilities among and between different racial and ethnic groups. I am staunchly convinced that feelings of anger and resentment among the shrinking white population will only increase as our nation becomes more and more diverse. It is only human nature for people to worry about the future of their children and grandchildren.
Lets wake up and smell the coffee! Americas leadership institutions and its leaders are deeply flawed. Few exercise common sense when it comes to race. What America needs is a set of leaders willing to take us in new and innovative directions. America needs to become one country united by the ethical, moral, and Biblical principles that have helped make us great. What can save America are common principles and common values that include the betterment of all of society, including the poor white male from Appalachian who shares some dreams with those who benefit from racial and ethnic preference.
How long can a nation as diverse as America sustain racial and ethnic preferences without fueling increased racial and ethnic conflict? How long can the American people be satisfied with public policies that give advantages to the offspring of new immigrants over the needs of Americans with deep roots in this nation? Where do we go from here? Neither Democrats nor Republicans have offered real leadership on these issues. The Supreme Court has failed America. By not exercising courage, our elected and appointed officials have placed us on a dangerous collision course made even worse by the growth of identity politics.
Carol M. Swain is professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University. Professor Swains media appearances include ABC News, Fox News Live, C-SPAN's Washington Journal, PBS's Lehrer News Hour, PBS's Ben Wattenburgs Think Tank, NPRs Here & Now, NPRs The Connection, NPRs Morning Edition, WNYCs Leonard Lopate Show, Daybreak USA Today, WCPO TV, Hot Seat, KFI-AM, Bill Handel Show, and KDKA 1020 am, Chris Moore Show.
Her recent books are The New White Nationalism in America: Its Challenge to Integration (Cambridge University Press, 2002) and Contemporary Voices of White Nationalism (Cambridge University Press, 2003). The latter book is co-authored with Russell Nieli. For more information visit her website at www.carolmswain.com PH: 615-322-1001 F: 615-322-6631 C: 615-400-8493, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If a school has 1 opening left and 2 applicants, you choose.
If applicant A happens to be a world class athlete/running back, hampered by a 2.2 gpa, but he's competing with applicant B, a brainiac geek with a 4.0 gpa, then which student is the proper selection for the school?
Seems to me that it depends on what the school needs more to enhance their position at that moment in time. BOTH of the applicants are extremely gifted.
At Michigan or Michigan State, I'm fairly sure they'd choose the running back.
Which was more qualified? Depends on which gift you emphasize.
Were the students "gifted" or were they "skilled"? IOW, did they work hard to develop the gift they had? Did they spend hours every day studying or training? Students and athletes do not excel through happenstance--they work hard at excellence.
Being born a certain skin color, however, is happenstance. Just like I was born with blue eyes and freckles.
No, Atlas didn't shrug yesterday. Atlas SHOULD shrug today, but, unfortunately, he won't.
Guns Before Butter.
Immunity from dismissal, prosecution, and justice.
Affirmative action...in action!
...is setting up shop in another country and leaving the Democrats to the sewer left behind.
Any right-minded American should quietly disembowel any institution corrupted by these thugs and leave the locusts to the dust.
In order to compete in this world, an individual who aspires to be a winner cannot allow himself the luxury of a crutch, that is an excuse. The presence of an institutionalized excuse is even more debilitating, and will inevitably ascribe blacks to the bottom rungs in competitive situations.
Imagine if affirmative action were implemented to remedy the lack of whites in the NBA. What a nightmare, qualified black players would be supplanted, increasing racial animosity, but perhaps the greater damage would be done to white kids witnessing this injustice.
Probably not at the law school.
Well theoretically the courts are supposed to provide a check on the democratically elected representatives, however that check is supposed to be by the standards of the Constitution, what it really says, not what the majority of the moment wish it said, or want it to say. I find no exception in the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause for "compelling state interest". Coincidently (NOT!) the same phrase used by Attorney General Ashcroft in justifying infringement of the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
And, for what it's worth, yes. World class athletes and the highly intelligent are BORN with physiological advantages that MAKE the hard work bear great dividends. Many of us could work just as hard and NEVER approach a 10 second hundred meters or a 160 IQ.
4 years of undergrad injuries, and you just might see it happen.
Which is a good question. Do any of you know college athletes who are already in grad school and still have eligibility remaining?
I know there have been a few at Nebraska that were redshirted, but still finished their degree in 4 years, and so spent their last semester of eligibility as grad students. However most of the time graduates of a program have no trouble getting into the grad program in their department. That would be especially true of an athelete that managed to get through a 4 year program in 4 years. Even I didn't do that, althouh my extra time as an undergrad was due to the ROTC hours that didn't count towards graduation, and the same sort of need to stay on campus until I finished the program. I could have graduate in 4 1/2 years, but there were reasons involving scholarships not to...but I did take 12 hours of grad credit over my two 5th year semesters, I just didn't graduate until the same semester I was commisioned.