The Supreme Court is expected to rule that colleges can no longer rig for racial diversity. Some say ‘that’s dangerous and cruel.’ Others say it’s about time.
Putting aside the larger question of the rightness or wrongness of affirmative action in general, consider that in focusing on education, specifically Ivy League caliber education, we are looking at the wrong metric if we want to do good by the needy.
If the goal is to actually help black children increase their chances for societal success, myopically focusing on whether Harvard or Yale has a black student population of 8% or 10% is a diversion. We, as a society, are ignoring the hundred of thousands of public school students, black and white, who can’t read, write or understand basic math. There is a large population of now 2nd and 3rd generation underclass citizens with no hope for a personal future.
We’ve had 50 years of racially based affirmative action in education and corporate America and what minimal benefits achievable from it have been banked. The left’s patting itself on the back for affirmative action policies that do no good for those in need while failing to address the disaster in our primary educational system is the height of hypocrisy.
For some reason, we have allowed the left to give us a binary choice; support affirmative action or let millions remain in poverty. Even though the beneficiaries of affirmative action are a small minority of our disadvantaged population, we accept this false choice as providing the only options available. I have no idea why.
Affirmative action and DEI are the most pernicious forms of systemic racism in this day and age. There is no other policy that so blatantly discriminates on the basis of race. Asian American kids growing up working-class immigrant communities are hurt the most by far. I grew up in such a community and have seen the damage wrought by these policies, of kids doing everything right and still being rejected by colleges. These are the kids of restaurant cooks, laundromat workers, rideshare drivers... parents living near or below the poverty line who scrimp together whatever little they have so that their kids can succeed, but then their kids are still seen by college admission boards as grinds with no personality.
Affirmative action refuses to consider that class matters. In this article, we hear that Green’s mother is a administrator at an elite college. Green has lived a privileged life class-wise. The same cannot be said for many children of working-class Asians, or White kids living in hollowed-out manufacturing towns in Appalachia filled with opioids and other traps of poverty.
Affirmative action also creates the sense that Black and Latino students cannot make it on their own, that they are forever dependent on special benefits just in order to succeed. It invalidates the achievements of students that could’ve succeeded without affirmative action, and makes the ones that do unable to catch up with the curriculum. The dropout rate for Black students is far higher than other races because those students are mismatched to colleges they cannot perform well in. Many end up in race/gender studies programs.
If you want to read more about how meritocratic admissions are a lifeline to the children of poor immigrants, from Jewish immigrants back then to Asians now, read my Tablet article about it: https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/last-holdouts-american-meritocracy
“Some students who were not recipients of affirmative action—when you meet them, it makes you wonder why they’re even there. They don’t seem to really care about the world, care about people, or care about society,” she said.
Sounds to me as if this person considers social activism as the most important qualification for college. But a lot of kids are more interested in learning biochemistry or genetics! Or in playing the violin! Or in immersing themselves in 19th-century American poetry! Or in learning how to teach math to seventh-graders!
And that's just fine. You shouldn't have to be obsessed with saving the world to go to a top college.
Sorry Sonya Green, but in the piece you offered no coherent defense of affirmative action in your statements; judging people based on the color of one’s skin is discriminatory no matter whom it benefits.
I was struck by the language each side uses to defend their position. One side employs objective metrics, historical facts, and law while the other utilizes more subjective and euphemistic catchphrases - “holistic approach,” “erasing identities,” and “a good fit.” This is the fundamental divide in this country right now.
I thought the analogy between Asian Americans today and Jews of the past was a very salient point. Sonia uses the language of Asians not being a “good fit.” How is that any different than what was done with Jews at Ivy League institutions? Or blacks during Jim Crow? Hell it was used about black quarterbacks in the NFL for decades - they weren’t a good fit for the position. The moral assuredness and historical ignorance of so-called progressives is extremely troubling. Though the Democrats were the party of slavery and Jim Crow, so maybe it shouldn’t be so surprising after all...
Affirmative action might possibly have (briefly) made some sense sixty years ago, but it has definitely outlived any usefulness it may have had. People should be judged on their performance and qualifications, not by immutable characteristics. Or do its proponents believe, deep down, that blacks are less capable than whites? In this day and age, people of color (except for East Asians!) get preferential treatment yet we still hear the myth of "systemic racism". If it does indeed exist, it certainly doesn't target blacks. I often wonder what people would say to Martin Luther King's immortal words about judging people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. Would he be called an Oreo? An Uncle Tom? Would he be told "you ain't black"? Identity politics will destroy this country if it is allowed to continue unchecked.
What is never addressed is the fact that AA kids with ACT scores in the 20s, admitted to prestigious schools where they typical score is 34 out of a possible 36, are totally unprepared for the rigors of the curriculum. Just the list of books that are to be read as part of the general humanities curriculum everyone must take is pretty daunting. Prof Amy Wax of Penn got into deep doodoo when she observed that her black law students were at the bottom of her class. So these AA kids are pushed through, handed the sheepskin, while highly qualified Asians are denied for being too good. Do we need more consultants in DEI firms or engineers?
The problem I have with affirmative action is that it doesn't solve the underlying problem.
Instead of tinkering with college admissions and abolishing gifted programs because they're not inclusive enough, I wish that we could talk about creating better conditions/a better environment for struggling students so that they could perform at a higher level.
It's like the current ruling class isn't capable of actually solving issues, so instead of fixing America's broken healthcare system, horrible food or bad inner city schools, we just say that you can't fat shame and gifted programs are racist.
Brilliant! Problem solved.
By saying that you don’t see someone’s race or you don’t see their color and you just see them as a person, it tells black students that you don’t see the communities that they’ve grown up in and you don’t see the experiences that have made them who they are.” ---- What a typical you owe me attitude. Choices and elections have results. You vote Democratic and get crap for your neighbors and self and then you want blame others? Most homes have maybe one parent and you want to blame others? Little opportunity based on rime and you want to blame others? When does the blame others stop? Never is when.
I have a half Asian family and let me tell you this. Your struggles are not more than many of the things we have gone through. I know families that fled with the communist in pursuit and wanting to kill them. They had to decide to run as their baby was crying and others wanted them to suffocate the baby due to noise. They choose to go on their own. Refugee camps and immigration, learning a new language, way of life, and working their asses off to get ahead. Making their kids understand, nothing is free, you must earn it. Kids completed college and are successful without crying about race.
To say they are not a good fit to a school is racist in its self. Our grandchildren are getting ready for college, all A's and both parents both work and they won't get crap for assistance. So save you poor me and try and understand, your free, means someone else pays for that. You see free as equality, others see free as being taxed for things they never were a part of. Everyone wants to be equal and accepted, well until its time to pay. Any student who is rejected by the bigoted Harvard, Yale community when they are the top performers are being discriminated against, bottom line.
Carson added: “There’s something very offensive to most people about being judged, not by their own achievements, their work ethics, or their accomplishments, but just being judged based on something they had no control over.”
That right there is the point!
Any race based criteria is discriminatory against someone. The sooner we as a society can get there the better. The same holds true for any other identity based criteria for admissions.
She suggested that Asian Americans who felt as though they’d been discriminated against by elite universities should rethink that. “I don’t think it’s just because you’re Asian,” Green said. “It’s probably because the school didn’t see you as being a good fit, or the school didn’t get to know enough about you as a person.”
How utterly hateful, racist and exclusionary. “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal...”. NOT “we think you’ll be a good fit in this new country.”
Affirmative action has institutionalized racism and unfair treatment. It had LED to a sense of exaggerated grievance, entitlement and division between peoples. And as Booker T. Washington declared, there is a segment of our society which exploits and perpetuates that grievance and division for profit. Let it die a well-deserved death.
With all due respect to Sonia Green, I think the only reason she supports affirmative action is because she benefitted from it. Her arguments in favor of it are extremely weak.
Wow Sonia Green is incredibly unlikeable. Oozing entitlement.
Equitable access to the outdoors? Where do you find these imbeciles? Open a window, moron.
Everyday there is a culture war article. And, everyday most of the same people comment. Our culture is changing with the speed of the internet, and we’re cracking up under the pressure. We just can’t seem to handle it all.
Like all rebalancing programs Affirmative Action was necessary at the time it was created. Most people just wouldn’t hire women or other minorities over men. At 25 yrs old in 1983 I worked at GE corporate headquarters (then a Fortune 10 company) and was still ridiculed by some male superiors for being a working wife, furthering my education at the same time, and even more ridiculed when I became pregnant and continued to work and go to school. Those were pioneering days, and things did change.
Like all pendulum swings and rebalancing programs, it is time to end them when the intent is accomplished. The intent was accomplished. It’s time to move on. It’s as simple as that, yes.
So the question asked is, What will change as the result of the court striking down AA?
Answer, Nothing. Universities have already figured out their work-arounds. They will continue to churn out mediocre graduates with bullsh— degrees who will get jobs in consulting firms and governments where they can create more policies to control us.