Thursday, January 16, 2003

previous entry | main | next entry | TrackBack (0)


MICHIGAN'S AFFIRMATIVE ACTION: Lots of blogosphere kudos to President Bush for his decision to oppose the University of Michigan's affirmative action plan (Here's Josh Chafetz and Andrew Sullivan). Yesterday, the New York Times made its views known with a truly misleading editorial:

"The two cases, which challenge the University of Michigan's use of race as a "plus factor" in undergraduate and law school admissions, have huge implications for the nation's efforts to widen racial equality and increase campus diversity by opening institutions of higher learning to more blacks and Hispanics. Moreover, in the aftermath of the Trent Lott embarrassment, the administration's stance will be seen as an indicator of the president's commitment to moving his party and the country beyond the segregationist past."

There are serious errors in both sentences. Arguing that opposing affirmative action is the equivalent of supporting segregationism is absurd on its face. As for the implicit notion that opposition to affirmative action indicates racism, liberals of good conscience were careful to flatly reject that assertion during the height of the Lottroversy.

As for the description of Michigan's use of race as a "plus factor," here's the Chicago Tribune's description of the exact weights used:

"The Michigan undergraduate program awards students up to 150 points for a variety of factors, including 20 points for African Americans and some Hispanic students. That's more than a student can earn for having perfect SAT scores (12 points) or for having an outstanding essay (3 points), and is often enough to be the decisive factor for a student's admission, administration officials said.

Michigan's law school sets aside a specific number of seats each year for minority students." (my italics)

Face it -- these are quota schemes.

The Tribune also has a nice profile on how Michigan's obsession with racial diversity crowds out other forms of diversity.

posted by Dan on 01.16.03 at 11:18 AM


I am a 17 yr old college student. I didn't get in the university that I attend b/c I'm black. I got in b/c I carried a 3.7 GPA through middle & high school, I graduated from the Spanish Immersion Program in which I studied for 11 years, i showed determination in graduating a whole year early, and I was involved in just about every extracurricular activity there was. It is sad to think that if it weren't for affirmative action I, even with all my credantials & acomplishments, wouldn't have the same chance as the student who's name on the application doesn't sound "black". It is sad to say, but racism is still very much on the rise. It is just seen differently. Society has been made up to keep everyone in there class. My parents have done a good job of raising me, but i don't care to stay in that class. If it were up to those already on top I'd be still at the bottom doing all I can to get to the top while they continue to build up those who already have been given a chance. My chances at getting a job, into college, or even a part of programs became twice the job when I was born BLACK.

posted by: Arion on 01.16.03 at 11:18 AM [permalink]

I can understand Arion's complaint. As for myself, I have more than twice the difficulty because my parents were dropouts, I wasn't born rich, I have no family social contacts, I didn't go to a premium school, and I'm not an athlete, and the white who ran the town where I lived (years ago) were from a different part of Europe. To make it tougher, I'm penalized because I'm white, and sometimes because I'm male.

Now that I've enriched your educational experience with my diverse perspective, I invite you to enjoy the humor about Michigan's diversit policy, posted at my URL.

posted by: Robert A. on 01.16.03 at 11:18 AM [permalink]

Affirmative action needs to be rejected because it is immoral; it is an anti-merit system. If it weren't that way,there would be no need for such a policy as disparate impact, where any test or standard is ruled out if it affects a disadvantaged group more than some other group. Therefore, we should be anti-affirmative action, and anti-quota; the further the departure from a pro-merit system the worse the immorality.

posted by: john s bolton on 01.16.03 at 11:18 AM [permalink]

Post a Comment:


Email Address:



Remember your info?