College Entrance Discrimination

A letter writer in Monday’s Wall Street Journal Letters section wants the Supreme Court to rule in favor of racial discrimination, at least as practiced by Harvard, in the Students for Fair Admissions v Harvard case.

If the plaintiffs…win, you can bet that elite college- and graduate-admissions offices around the country will establish workarounds to assure that opportunities remain for admittance of significant numbers of underrepresented minorities.

Therefore, he asserts,

The justices would be wise to take a pass on the Harvard case, or to affirm the lower courts’ decisions.

Which decisions upheld Harvard’s practice of racial discrimination for admission to its ivy-coated halls.

Harvard, to the letter writer’s first plaint, already uses “workarounds”—opaque and obscure criteria for assessing admissions “essays” and “descriptions of what this means to me” for starters—in selecting entrants on the basis of race while nonselecting other entrants on the basis of race.

Were the letter writer serious, he’d stop demanding free passes for the “underrepresented minorities” solely on the basis of their under-representation; that’s just racism under another guise. They’re underrepresented because they’re not qualified.

The solution is not free passes at the late date of college admissions applications, it’s getting these high school “graduates” actually educated and qualified.

More importantly, the solution is working to correct the K-12 systems and broken families that are the cause of unqualified-ness. But that takes actual work, and it’ll be a generational struggle to correct the ills so deeply embedded in what we’re pleased to call our education system. That solution is not the feel-good quick fix of which the Left is so enamored.

Another letter writer, however, takes a markedly differ view of the matter.

It [The Supreme Court] ought to take this case and apply strict scrutiny to the rationales advanced to justify treating some students more favorably than others merely on account of their ancestry.

But that doesn’t go far enough. As Chief Justice John Roberts already has said, [t]he way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race. On this, he’s right.

There is no justification for discriminating on “account of ancestry.” No more strict scrutiny; end the use of race as a discriminant, no matter how far down the list of selection criteria. Any—any—use of race as a selection criterion is rank racism.

Full stop.

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