“Race As a Proxy”

by Roger Clegg

There’s a big pull-quote in this Chronicle of Higher Education article on disease and genetic research:  “One thing we can’t do is use race as a proxy.”  Unless, of course, one is a university admissions official.

Seriously, this is perhaps the most common error in the Left’s defense of racial preferences in university admissions, namely that if some desired criterion is thought to have a racial correlation, then it must be okay to use race as the way one selects for it.   Thus, if a disproportionate number of black people are poor, then this justifies giving black people an admissions preference — even if most of the black people admitted are not poor (86 percent at the more selective schools studied in the propreference bible, The Shape of the River), and even if plenty of poor whites and Asian Americans end up being discriminated against.  Race as a proxy is “profiling” or “stereotyping” or bad science in other contexts, but fine in admissions.

Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.