Race Discrimination: Still Popular After All These Years

This is one of the saddest stories I’ve seen in a long time: major corporations, labor unions, military groups and others line up to support race discrimination:
“A month after the Bush administration filed a brief with the Supreme Court opposing affirmative action policies at the University of Michigan, more than 300 organizations representing academia, major corporations, labor unions and nearly 30 of the nation’s top former military and civilian defense officials, announced that they would file briefs supporting the university by Tuesday’s deadline.”
By contrast, a rather pathetic handful of fifteen briefs have been filed opposing race discrimination.
Mary Sue Coleman, President of the University of Michigan, spoke via satellite to the American Council on Education’s annual conference, as part of a well-orchestrated campaign to swamp the movement for racial equality. The establishment has turned out in force to support race discrimination, dusting off arguments that range from the discredited to the absurd–and never mentioning, of course, the inconvenient Fourteenth Amendment or the general idea that government really ought not classify its citizens by race and prefer some over others on that basis. Typical of the level of analysis was Ms. Coleman’s paean to the virtues of multiculturalism:
“Dr. Coleman cited research her university has done, which contends that students in more diverse environments ‘learn better.’
“‘They are more analytical, and more engaged,’ Dr. Coleman said. ‘The teaching environment is more enlightening. The discussion is livelier and more representative of real-world issues.'”
Oh, well, then. I guess the Civil War wasn’t really about racial equality after all. How odd that after all these years, the George McClellan view of American history has carried the day among America’s opinion leaders.
Will any of this matter? I defer to Deacon on the legal repercussions, if any, of all these amicus briefs, but I assume they would have to make better arguments than we have seen so far to make any difference. It may be that the real purpose is not to affect the Court’s deliberations, but to exact a political price for President Bush’s semi-principled stance on the Michigan case, whch might in turn affect the future composition of the Supreme Court.

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