Critical masses

Peter Wood is the anthropologist whose anatomy of the ideology of “diversity” in his book of this year is now, in light of the Supreme Court’s Grutter decision, mandatory reading. (The book is Diversity: The Invention of a Concept.) On FrontPage this morning Professor Wood highlights a point made by Justice Rehnquist in his dissent — the peculiarities of the Court’s blessing of the related invention of the “critical mass” necessary to sustain the “diversity” of the diverse groups: “Critical masses.”
The “critical mass” of each preferred minority at the Michigan law school varied by group: 100 blacks per class, 50 Mexican-Americans per class, and 15 Indians. To Justice Rehnquist and to us, the roughly fixed numbers year after year looked remarkably like the quotas the undergraduate school had sought to meet with its admissions formula. Professor Wood notes: “As a social scientist and an anthropologist, I find the Court


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