Phi Beta Cons

Response to Lee Bollinger

Last week the Washington Post ran a silly op-ed by Columbia University president Lee Bollinger regarding Fisher v. University of Texas and why the Supreme Court should not hear the case. Here is my (alas, unpublished) letter to the editor in response:

The theme of Lee C. Bollinger’s January 16 op-ed, “College diversity at risk,” is that universities are “unifying social institutions” and, therefore, should be allowed by federal courts — indeed, “encourage[d]” by federal executive-branch guidance — to consider race and ethnicity in deciding who is admitted and who isn’t. I repeat: Mr. Bollinger believes that to sort students by their skin color and what country their ancestors came from, and to treat some better and others worse based on which race/ethnicity box they check, will help “unify the country” and “overcome divisiveness” and “serve [a] unifying function” and help us “learn what we have in common” and “unify[] and elevat[e] U.S. society” and “fulfill our founding ideals of equal opportunity.”

The only possible explanation for this op-ed is the fact that Mr. Bollinger is the president of Columbia University and has spent his entire career in academia, showing that there are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual can believe them.


Roger Clegg, Center for Equal Opportunity


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