Outstanding Article by Peter Schuck on Affirmative Action

It’s in National Affairs, and it’s really, really good.  Here’s the powerful conclusion:

The public opposition to race-based affirmative-action programs on cam­pus is amply justified. Affirmative action defies — indeed flouts — equal protection and other liberal values. It rests upon a diversity rationale that is theoretically incoherent and in fact produces little if any of the diversity value that alone might justify it (and then only under a dubious rationale). It cannot satisfy the constitutional tests that the Court has laid down and reaffirmed as recently as last year. It has failed to increase its political support in the nation after four decades of energetic advocacy. It fosters corrosive racial stereotypes, poisons race relations, and encourages opac­ity, dissimulation, and even evasion by its administrators and advocates.

And if that were not enough, affirmative action seems to grievously harm many of its supposed beneficiaries — not to mention the non-preferred groups who are disadvantaged by the practice.

We are far from putting America’s history of racial intolerance and injustice behind us, but affirmative action fails to rectify these evils and instead harms both our students and our society as a whole.

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