Phi Beta Cons

Silly USA Today Editorial

The <a href="http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2008/07/our-view-on-equ.html“>lead editorial today at USA Today makes the completely untenable argument that maybe Princeton and other selective schools aren’t discriminating against Asians in admissions. Sure, colleges may “consider applicants’ race and ethnicity as ‘one of many factors,’” and so “universities may routinely hand out what looks like preferences to get the freshman class they want,” but it’s denied that “[t]hat is discrimination.”
But if race and ethnicity are weighed, and it helps members of some groups and hurts members of others, then that is preference and that is discrimination. Even Justice O’Connor in her University of Michigan opinion did not shy from using the p-word, “preference.” I don’t think that Princeton itself would deny that it’s a plus if you are black or Hispanic, and it follows that it is a minus if you are Asian or white. In studies over the years, the Center for Equal Opportunity has documented this fact again and again.
The only issue is whether the desire for a politically correct racial and ethnic mix is not just a “good one and worthy of preserving” — but so good and so worthy that it justifies discrimination against some racial groups and in favor of others. The answer is no. USA Today’s contention that discrimination is not going on is not just untenable — it’s indefensibly dishonest.

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