October 18, 2018

Affirmative Action on Trial

On Monday, the trial began in a lawsuit alleging that “Harvard University discriminates against Asian-American applicants in order to limit how many it admits."


See past issues

From the Left

The left posits that affirmative action is a way of leveling the playing field for historically disadvantaged groups, and promoting diversity on campus.

“In a nation still wracked by glaring racial inequalities, a ruling permitting the controversy over Asian-American admissions to serve as a wedge enabling the foes of affirmative action to realize their long-cherished goal of abolishing it would be a serious mistake."

Huffington Post

“[They] can talk all they want about level playing fields and race neutrality, but their legal and policy efforts all point in the same direction—toward less power and influence for groups that are disproportionately affected by the disadvantages of poverty and low incomes."

The New Yorker

“Does the racial and ethnic diversity at Harvard enhance the quality of the education there? My answer is a resounding yes. The best college education includes intellectual and social interactions among thoughtful people from a broad range of cultural and racial backgrounds, both inside and outside the classroom. Restricting diversity efforts will ultimately reduce the quality of education."

New York Times

Only through a process that takes a well-considered look beyond an applicant's test scores and GPA can Harvard achieve the intellectual transformations it was founded to create... There are certainly many parts of American higher education that are broken and require greater public scrutiny and reform. Holistic admissions isn't one of them."


From the Right

The right condemns racial preferences in admissions and argues that they harm the very students they are meant to help.

The right condemns racial preferences in admissions and argues that they harm the very students they are meant to help.

“The key fact is undeniable: Affording preferential treatment to those of one race necessarily penalizes others for their racial identities. It is fundamentally un-American... [Moreover] one of the dire effects of universities’ use of racial preferences is that they encourage us all—university officials, policymakers, commentators, ordinary citizens—to ignore the underlying social problems that led universities to embrace affirmative action in the first place...

“It’s a sensitive subject, but elite liberal commentators and academics do underperforming minorities no favors by avoiding any mention of the cultural pathologies that keep many highly capable minority students from academic success. Thanks largely to the grievous dissolution of the two-parent family, a breakdown abetted by well-meaning state and federal welfare policies, too many black children show up for their first day of school at a major disadvantage.”

The Weekly Standard

“Studies have documented the negative effects of racial preferences on African-American and Hispanic students, including lower college graduation rates and increased attrition from the hard sciences. After California passed Proposition 209 banning the use of race in admissions, African-American students’ enrollment at University of California at Berkeley initially declined, but eventually their graduation rates doubled.”

Daily Signal

New Zealand votes tipsy pigeon bird of the year.


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