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Friday, June 25, 2004

Jonah in The Corner
Jonah has a very interesting post in The Corner today. He refers to this story in the NYT. It seems that "Harvard -- like a lot of schools, I'm certain -- is going overseas to get many of its black students." Lani Guinier and Henry Gates find this trend "troubling." I'm sure you can guess why. Affirmative action is meant to give blacks, who have been historically harmed due to slavery and discrimination, a leg up on the competition for admission spots in universities.

But, Jonah continues,
the problem is that in order to sustain, defend and expand the racial spoils system liberals have had to argue that affirmative action is no longer a "remedy" so much as an educational benefit in itself, i.e. "diversity." So now Lee Bollinger the former President of the University of Michigan whose case was decided in the Supreme Court last year, must now defend diversity as educational tool and not as a remedy. ... "The issue is not origin, but social practices," he told the Times. "It matters in American society whether you grow up black or white. It's that differential effect that really is the basis for affirmative action."
So, it turns out affirmative action is bringing in the wrong kinds of blacks - not only immigrant blacks, but mixed race students.
But one of the numerous ironies here is that the diversity fixation has created a market for qualified blacks that -- despite the protestations of Guinier & Co -- cannot be satisfied with the domestic supply. So, in the era of globalization there is a flight to quality. I think it's all just really, really interesting.
Very interesting.

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