Phi Beta Cons

Disingenuous Deans

The Washington Post has an op-ed in this Sunday’s paper by the respective deans of Yale and Harvard law schools that is remarkable for its disingenuousness. It weighs in on Fisher v. University of Texas, the Supreme Court case to be argued next Wednesday, in which the use of racial preferences in admissions is challenged. The issue, I repeat, is whether individuals can be given preferential treatment in admissions on the basis of race — not, as the op-ed pretends, whether their applications must be scrubbed clean of all mention of racial identity or whether the fact that race played some role in an individual’s life must be ignored. And there is no reason to use race as a proxy for, as the op-ed says, “backgrounds, ideas and views” — as if someone’s skin color tells us where they came from, how they think,and what they believe. Obviously, the deans decided that rather than undertake the difficult task of defending racial discrimination, it would be easier for them to distort what the case is about. 


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