Anyone who has followed the transformation of “affirmative action” into a euphemism for racial quotas, nowhere more prominently than in higher education, is familiar with the critical role that has been played the Supreme Court’s decision in Bakke v. Regents of the University of California. Allen Bakke was a white applicant to the medical school at one of UC’s campuses at which, as I recall, 16 of 100 spots were reserved for black students. The Supreme Court held such rigid numerical quotas to be illegal, but the decisive vote in the case held that schools could take race into account as a kind of tiebreaker so long as it was only one factor among many to be considered. As we all know now, the most ardent if lawbreakers in the country since the Bakke decision have been our elite institutions of higher learning, for they have carefully adhered in everything but name to the kind of quota policies proscribed by the Bakke case.
In California, of course, the state has adopted a constitutional provision outlawing the use of race as a factor by the state government in employment, education, or contracting. There various UC campuses have resorted to new subterfuges to evade the law. At UCLA, admissions policy has been revised to emphasize an applicant’s overcoming of difficult life circumstances as a factor in admissions. Reading about the new admissions policy in the Wall Street Journal a few weeks back I was reminded of the old television show “Queen for a Day” with Jack Bailey. For the benefit of “Power Line” readers under 50, I should add that “Queen for a Day” was a kind of game show with a soap opera twist. Female contestants vied to tell the weepiest sob story to win the bushel of prizes. The winner was the lady who told the saddest life story as indicated by a sound meter measuring the volume of the audience’s applause for each contestant.
Back to Allan Bakke. Bakke’s place in the medical school class at issue in the case had been taken by Patrick Chavis. Chavis graduated and became a physcian. Over the years he has occasionally been adduced as a poster boy for affirmative action. Today Michelle Malkin tells the rest of the story…the rest of the story that you won’t find in the New Yorker or the New York Times or any of the other publications that wrote about Chavis as a model of the virtues of affirmative action. If you have any interest in the subject of “affirmative action,” don’t miss Malkin’s column.
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