Newsline

Education , Newsline , Society

Racial Preferences in Admissions – Over

Posted on Wednesday, July 5, 2023
|
by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
|
36 Comments
Racial

History is made by inches. A bit just got made. The US Supreme Court, in Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina, ruled that racial preferences in college admissions are done. In short, they violate the Constitution’s equal protection clause, and are unconstitutional.

With a companion case against Harvard brought by Asian students, the Court officially ended the use of skin color in college admissions. While appropriate and long anticipated, the rulings are more limited than many may understand, on both sides of the affirmative action question.

First, while merit is now central for college admissions – legally, morally, and for equal treatment – colleges may still consider race in individual cases, assuring an applicant who suffered discrimination is not overlooked.  While subject to abuse, this is appropriate.

Second, expect surrogate standards to pop up at progressive universities, such as “class-based” assessments, using economic status as a quiet stand-in for race-based admissions, itself racist.

On one hand, advocates of “pure merit” as the decider of admissions will reject this idea – but what is “pure merit?”  The answer is subjective. How someone performs academically or athletically is affected by the conditions under which they perform. Conditions must be considered.

On the other hand, those who bemoan an end to race as part of the admissions process must know that, based on national demographic data, race and economic conditions often overlap. Considering economics will favor those who have had fewer opportunities, often minorities.

Accordingly, those who deserve opportunities but have missed them through economic hardship may continue to diversify campuses, since some students admitted on economic condition will be a minority.

Third, in many ways, these cases missed an opportunity to speak more clearly. Martin Luther King – and the framers of the nation’s anti-workplace discrimination laws and 1964 Civil Rights Act – never saw affirmative action to prevent workplace discrimination, let alone in education, as permanent.

They saw a future in which race was less and less important, education and workplace opportunities expanding, until merit – or, to borrow King’s phrase, “the content of their character” – was the deciding factor, not skin color.

While recent years have seen a resurgence of racial tension, fanned by some political actors, the reality is opportunities in both the workplace and education have grown exponentially, objectively elevating those previously disfavored. 

While diversity of thinking, ideas, opinions, debate, and moral positions on campuses has fallen, and faith-based, traditional, and smaller government thinkers bear the brunt of reduced free speech, “color diversity” has grown.

Ironically, Martin Luther King did not advocate a permanent race-based system, nor any permanent favoring of black citizens in the workplace or education, but a genuinely level playing field, the “American Dream” for all.

Missed by these decisions, majority written by Justice Roberts, was a chance to put an end to consideration of skin color as a basis for merit-based decision-making in education or hiring, a formal “overruling” of preferences.

What Roberts wrote instead was that the colleges had “concluded, wrongly, that the touchstone of an individual’s identity is not challenges bested, skills built, or lessons learned but the color of their skin… Our constitutional history does not tolerate that choice.” This is good as far as it goes, levels the field, speaks to competition on merit not race, but could have been clearer.

Justice Roberts sidelined current affirmative action as a failed standard, saying colleges’ use of preferences “lack sufficiently focused and measurable objectives warranting the use of race, unavoidably employ race in a negative manner, involve racial stereotyping, and lack meaningful end points.” 

Dissenters claimed the rulings “roll back progress.” The reverse is probably more accurate; they acknowledge progress, putting a new marker in the ground, a fresh standard by which the nation assures maximum opportunity.

Notably, Justice Thomas wrote that past decisions allowing racial preferences in education are “effectively overruled,” but the majority did not go that far, instead allowing ambiguity – sure to be litigated.

Finally, what the decisions did do – arguably the most important aspect – is to end negative use of race in admissions. Race can no longer be a determinant when two students are equally qualified. Race cannot block an Asian or Caucasian applicant from admission based on their race.

Ultimately, the Supreme Court is signaling something overdue, and worth reading closely. Race, despite objections by Justices Jackson and Sotomayor, should not be a basis for assessing merit, judging a student’s potential, abilities, or foreclosing opportunities. Affirmative action, valuable in its time, imposed a lasting taint or question about those favored. That is now gone.

In the end, the creators of affirmative action wanted a level playing field, one that gave all workers – and students – an equal chance at success, faithful to the equal protection clause in the 5th and 14th amendments. These cases take us closer.

What we admire and sometimes disdain is the pace of change slowed by three branches of government, constitutional checks and balances, conflicting private, state and federal priorities, tension between maximizing liberty and equal opportunity for all. History is made by inches – but we just made some. Racial preferences in college admissions are done.

Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.

We hope you've enjoyed this article. While you're here, we have a small favor to ask...

The AMAC Action Logo

Support AMAC Action. Our 501 (C)(4) advances initiatives on Capitol Hill, in the state legislatures, and at the local level to protect American values, free speech, the exercise of religion, equality of opportunity, sanctity of life, and the rule of law.

Donate Now
Share this article:
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
36 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Eric
Eric
7 months ago

We will never get rid of racism until we get rid of racist policies , like affirmative action. But then again people LOVE their victim status as it gets them free stuff

Doc Kozlowski
Doc Kozlowski
7 months ago

I’ve had enough of black anti-white racism. I’ve had enough of black privilege. I’ve had enough of the woke idiocy.

TommyD
TommyD
7 months ago

COMMON SENSE!!!! It’s about time that simple common sense was used. We’ve seen people that should not hold certain positions, being a supervisor, only to realize they were incompetent and only got the job because of their race or sex. This ruling is good for minorities as well, people will no longer look at persons in high level positions and wonder if they got that job simply because thy fit a certain profile. Instead, it will be more probable they are in that position because they earned and deserved it. Of course, it will take at least 20 years or so for this to actually make a change and have only deserving people in positions of authority and importance.

Robert Kappenberg
Robert Kappenberg
7 months ago

Affirmative Action is nothing but a latent quota system for minorities that has destroyed education, civil service, employment, etc.

Sharon Ormsby
Sharon Ormsby
7 months ago

Many whites and Asians, live in poverty too, so this still equalizes the playing field.

Myrna
Myrna
7 months ago

How anyone ever thought to call this a “racist nation.” But still insist on preferences for one race or color without realizing that is racist is more than I can accept.

granky
granky
7 months ago

This is a good start but it needs to go much further. Jobs and promotions should be based on qualifications not race. We have lowered our education standards from kindergarten thru grad school and have people with college degrees who can barely read or hold and intelligent conversation in the name of equity. I don’t think there is a city in the country with a population over 100,000 with a white male police chief. Lowering standards to help a few ends up harming everyone.

Jack Thomas
Jack Thomas
7 months ago

Excellent article by Robert Charles. It crystalizes the legal points behind the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Affirmative Action, a ruling that was long overdue.
I fully anticipate it’s just a matter of time before disgruntled leftists and other bad actors in liberal universities across the country try to circumvent the SCOTUS ruling. Stay tuned.

CLIFFORD F GERACI
CLIFFORD F GERACI
7 months ago

Why is it so difficult to see that if a decision is based on someone’s race…IT’S RACIST!!

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
7 months ago

Base on Merit only All colleges

Aloys Notzon
Aloys Notzon
7 months ago

Great decision by SCOTUS

anna hubert
anna hubert
7 months ago

Is affirmative action an admission that certain people lack the ability and intelligence and would not make it but for the color of the skin? Is it not demeaning and arrogant assumption? There never was an outrage over it only the sense of entitlement which speaks volumes

John
John
7 months ago

I graduated in May of 1972 and, that summer, was told on my first job interview, literally, that had I been a black female, they could have hired me right then! WHAT? I never heard any shxt like that in my life! I walked out of the office that summer morning bewildered. Nothing in my education had ever prepared me for this. Since kindergarten, we had “equality” stuffed down our throats and, I guess I never questioned it but it would become a familiar theme for the rest of my working career. Of course, white women immediately hiked up their gucci skirts and jumped over the discrimination fence and, somehow, were granted “minority” status too and never had to worry about anything. But what about the life we were supposed to get? Now it’s politically incorrect to even ask that question.

johnh
johnh
7 months ago

What was Trump thinking when he posted July 4th message regarding Joe Biden ? He used profanity & made fun of our flag, and I wonder if he is that angry all of the time & if he realizes the whole world sees his Truth Social posts. The locker room talk by this past POTUS don’t impress me much.

Homer The Patriot Clown
Homer The Patriot Clown
7 months ago

Merit-based admissions has always been the just and correct way to matriculate to higher education! PERIOD! unless you prefer to have a lesser qualified doctor operating on your brain!!! Oh! Now I get it (!) that’s what happened to the idiots in the democrat party: lesser brain surgeons were used in their failed attempt to implant common sense and logic into their brains!!! Thus you get demoniacs like Adam Piece of SCHIFF and/or dummies like AOC. Makes sense now!!! Yup let’s go with “merit based”matriculation!!!

Ann S
Ann S
7 months ago

The courts might have given equality to all races that merit in college admissions should be the standard not race, which is as it should be. Only the White House does not agree. Brandon is going to push his edict, fiat, executive order, whatever you want to call it, through. They believe the Supreme Court should legislate from the bench. Not interpret the constitution. The dems don’t follow the constitution. None of the dems have ever read the constitution as we can all discern from the comments they made after this judgement came down. See AOC’s comments and many other dems.
The White House and the DNC want to keep the blacks in chains so they will vote for them. They promise them the moon, where they don’t have to do nothing for. Plus they do not want educated, merit based people to go to university. They are busy dumbing down of America. Thinking people are the entrepreneurs and scientists and jurist of the future. They don’t want any opposition and any problem Brandon encountered thus far he has thrown money at. Money he didn’t have, he printed some more, which caused inflation. And dang the Supreme Court took that all away. While 70% of the American people are against affirmative action since it’s inception.
MLK was right true equity and or equality is only reached by the effort of the individual. You cannot legislate that.

Nick
Nick
7 months ago

As a retired manager I remember having to hire under the affirmative action regulations regardless of experience. I had to hire someone who may not have the qualifications suited for the job, period. Today, I think of it differently. If affirmative action requirements change, then maybe everyone, regardless of race, color, or creed, has to attend and receive proper schooling to achieve education so they can get jobs based on their education and or experience. Hopefully, this will be seen as a goal to continue education, to go to school as you should, and to stop asking or demanding free entrance or crying about not getting what they think they should regardless. This country offers the same opportunity for everyone, simply take advantage of it, don’t demand it because most likely it already exists.

A Voter
A Voter
7 months ago

“Racial Preferences in Admissions – Over”to call it by Wishful thinking i believe. Liberals WILL find another name and another way to continue the practice because they have no regard for the law unless of course the law suits them.

DenvilleSr
DenvilleSr
7 months ago

Before we celebrate a return to merit based admissions standards, we need to consider what else is happening to make merit assessment more nuanced. Some high schools no longer rank their students. Valedictorians are no longer selected at some high schools. Many colleges discontinued requiring SAT or ACT scores as an admission requirement during the COVID pandemic and have not returned to requiring them. There are many ways to bypass measuring academic excellence and and to use more judgemental factors in the selection process. I’m wondering if 5 years from now the racial components of colleges will look any different than they do today. Liberal universities will figure out a way to do what they are doing and some have already signaled that admissions essays should contain a theme of how the applicant overcame racial prejudice.
There is no doubt that racial minorities suffer from lack of opportunity. Big city schools were substandard 50 years ago and are substandard today. School vouchers are opposed by liberal politicians who enjoy the largess of campaign funds received from teachers unions that oppose vouchers. Citizens of these liberal cities continue to elect politicians who talk about racial discrimination, but ignore the more pragmatic needs of their constituents.

Allan E Brem
Allan E Brem
7 months ago

Had the original AAA been followed, we would not have the mess we now have. But, no, that system HAD to be shortcut! Typical government incompetence.

Rick
Rick
7 months ago

Affirmative action was begun in the 70’s and here it is 50 years latter and they’re crying for more. It’s easier than hard work!

teresa
teresa
7 months ago

i don’t care who is complaining that they want to keep this action bc it was years ago when maybe it was needed. it’s 40 or so years later and changes have been made where blacks no longer need this!!!!! it’s basically unfair to other groups, whites included to give someone a job or whatever just bc they are black. no today you must earn your way into a university. let me remind many in black communities you have your own colleges now, no one else has them, you have your own tv stations, and radio stations and this and that! stop whining damnit enuf is enuf

Terry Serbus
Terry Serbus
7 months ago

Everyone said it! Better to play the victim is correct, always been very racist in this adm., grading etc.

Smike
Smike
7 months ago

Like most changes we make in this country we tend to swing the pendulum from one extreme to the other. And this is what we did with affirmative action. It’s not a totally bad thing to give a closer look at minorities, Asians and whites who are competing for positions in industry and education. It should be about the individual, not wealth or family position. Unfortunately, at many Universities it’s about the $25,000 a semester cost of education. Which resulted in outrageous student loan debt that’s plaguing our nation today. It’s one thing to get selected and another to be able to pay for that degree. And ya know, I paid for my degrees without a student loan or any loan, so I know it can be done. I don’t think it’s my responsibility to pay for yours. And I’m tired of working around highly educated people who don’t have any hands-on experience or a clue about the job they’ve been selected to manage because of affirmative action. And they’re not all minorities. Hopefully we can get things back closer to the center where they should be….

Dave
Dave
7 months ago

King never believed what he was saying, it was the narrative that he figured that had the best shot of winning over other bigots…

AMAC’s Medicare Advisory Service
The knowledge, guidance, and choices of coverage you’re looking for. The exceptional service you deserve.
The AMAC App on 3 different iPhone
Download the AMAC App
The AMAC App is the place to go for insightful news wherever you are and whenever you want.
USDA Flag
Sam Johnson, official 109th Congress photo
President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the inaugural convening of the White House Council
Biden Abandons Christians Abroad

Stay informed! Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter.

"*" indicates required fields

36
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x

Subscribe to AMAC Daily News and Games