Open season

Universities are opening racially exclusive scholarships and summer programs to all disadvantaged students, says Opinion Journal.

The Supreme Court’s decision last year regarding the University of Michigan’s race-conscious admissions policies has hastened the trend, but schools were coming around even before the ruling.

The Journal reports whispers that “Alberto Gonzales and Margaret Spellings, the President’s choices for Attorney General and Education Secretary, respectively, may not want to defend this color-blind approach to education.”

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  1. Walter E. Wallis says:

    And why not? They both have demonstrated a transcendencs of racial politics in their professional lives. The racist, here, is the writer.

  2. Racial profiling in education is a bad idea on many fronts, not the least being the inherent unfairness in excluding non-minority students because of their race. More importantly, affirmative action doesn’t work. To be sure, it “helps” the person who is admitted into the university. But granting admission to a minority doesn’t help the same community as a whole. First, the minority attending the college likely has a middle to upper class background. Helping middle to upper class students is unnecessary because these students were likely going to succeed anyway. Besides, affirmative action is supposed to help the “disadvantaged”, not those who have already “made it”. Second, helping middle to upper class students attend college does nothing for the minority community as a whole. Disadvantaged communities need help at the elementary school level, not the college level. By the time students are college-aged, it is too late to help change their socio-economic status. Finally, minority students who succeeded on their merit will always and unfairly have the stigma of gaining their position “because of their race”.

    Social engineering doesn’t often work as intended. It also isn’t necessary. As the other blog article below points out, being a minority isn’t an automatic sentence to a life of mediocrity. Effort and a strong education ethic, on the other hand, can guarantee a move up on the social ladder.

  3. One of the less thuroughly explored tragedies of affirmative action is all the kids that end up as affirmative action cannon fodder. Kids that don’t have the educational chops to make it at a U.C. Berkley or U of M but are there nonetheless.

    By the time they find out there’s no “affirmative action” track to a diploma and they’re in a heads-up competition with kids who have years more educational attainment, they’re done. They either wash out or transfer out with their time at the prestige school a waste. Had they gone to a school a little more in line with their level of skill, they’d stand a much better chance of graduating.

    One of the contrasts in the affirmative action debate that I find telling is the high profile that minority entrance numbers get and the virtual embargo on minority, specifically affirmative action, graduation numbers. You hear the first all the time. You never, ever hear the second number.

  4. superdestroyer says:


    If you look at the data, most kids at high profile schools end up being “pretige fodder.” While looking at the statistics for Duke University, the top three majors are:

    Economics, General
    Psychology, General
    Public Policy Analysis

    I doubt that most kids started out Duke with these majors but have switched into them are struggling with harder majors. I suspect that AA admissions are just a hugely maginified version of the same thing.

  5. superdestroyer wrote:

    I suspect that AA admissions are just a hugely maginified version of the same thing.

    If by that you mean a higher percentage of AA students washout then, yeah. That’s the point I was making. That the pursuit of AA students by big-name universities has nothing to do with generosity and opportunity. It’s all about making the AA numbers to demonstrate who’s the diversest of them all.

    What happens to the AA kids after they’ve served their purpose of demonstrating the universities commitment to racial orthodoxy is of distinctly secondary importance.

  6. Superdestroyer:

    I’d agree that psychology and public policy are not necessarily the hardest majors. But economics can be an extremely difficult, mathmatically challenging major. Certainly more challenging than majoring in business. Perhaps not as challenging as some of the hard sciences, but economics is definitely the most challenging of the social sciences.

    FYI, I teach management, not one of the most challenging subjects academically, though not so easy in practice. (Management classes are much more useful to those who actually have experience than to the average undergraduate student.)