Affirmative action won’t die

Despite the Supreme Court ruling in Grutter v. Bollinger in 2003 that affirmative action programs can pass muster only if they are “narrowly tailored” to achieve the “compelling interest” of promoting racial diversity on campus, the University of North Carolina continues to favor Black and Hispanic candidates in its admissions (“Latest Trial Over College Affirmative Action to Begin in North Carolina,” The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 9). UNC denies the charge, saying it evaluates each applicant individually.

Apparently no matter what the high court rules, colleges and universities are determined to give academic merit a back seat to race in their admissions.  As I wrote in “The Last Refuge of Pure Meritocracy” on Nov. 6th for the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, doing so does a terrible disservice to those granted admission because it stigmatizes them as incapable of competing on their own merits.

California serves as a case in point.  When Proposition 209 barred the use of race in admission to the state’s public colleges in 1998, Black and Hispanic enrollment initially fell, but then Black enrollment more than doubled and Hispanic enrollment increased nearly five times since the year before Prop. 209 went into effect.

It’s time to stop taking race into account in admissions.

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