Race and College Admission

During final arguments in the civil suit against Harvard over its use of race in its admission decisions, Harvard’s lawyers insisted that

plaintiffs had to prove admissions officers were motivated by racial animus….

This is a disingenuous argument, though. Racial animus isn’t necessary to get a disparate impact ruling.  With disparate impact established in the courts, for the time being, it’s clear that racial animus doesn’t have to be proved in Harvard’s bias case, either.

The Harvard lawyers weren’t through, though.

Harvard’s lawyers said race is only used as a preference among the most competitive applicants, in the same way exceptional musical talent can make a difference in admissions.

Here is the lie of the Harvard personnel. They deny race plays a role, yet they admit using race to play a role.

Beyond that, applicants’ musical talent (for instance) is entirely under those applicants’ control to acquire. Their race, however, is an accident of birth over which they have no control.  It’s an entirely irrelevant and valueless characteristic in determining merit.

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