That Feeble Rationale for Racial Preferences

On The Corner this morning, Roger Clegg posted his thoughts on a WSJ article on California universities that are “straining to restore diversity.” Why the strain? Because, said an official, students aren’t getting “the level of diversity they need in order to learn about other culture and communities.” So we are supposed to believe that in a highly “diverse” state where young people grow up surrounded by evidence that people who are “different” are able to succeed, unless the top universities engage in racial preferences so as to marginally raise the percentage of students whose ancestry puts them in an “underrepresented” category, the state won’t have future leaders who will be able to properly relate to many of the citizens.

Roger finds that argument unpersuasive, to put it mildly.  So do I. An individual might go to a perfectly “diverse” college and graduate with a head full of absurd ideas about public policy — Obama for example. Or an individual might go to an all-white, all-black, all-Catholic or other superficially undiverse college and yet graduate not only with “appreciation” for other cultures and communities, but also, and far more importantly, a good sense for public policy ideas that would enable all people to have the greatest chance for success.

California’s current leadership has saturated in diversity and managed to make a gigantic mess of the state.

It’s time for America to stop obsessing about race and “diversity.”


George Leef — George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy. He holds a B.A. from Carroll College (Waukesha, Wis.) and a J.D. from ...

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