Beyond race: The tribal imperative

Liberal proponents of “affirmative action” incessantly invoke the need for race conscious remedies to advance the goal of a society in which race doesn’t count. In the Orwellian construction of Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun writing in the Bakke case 25 years ago, “In order to get beyond racism, we must first take race into account.” Blackmun’s tone suggests that this is the higher wisdom of the matter, as it has indeed proved to be.
Superimpose racial intermarriage on a regime of Blackmun-style “affirmative action” and we may return to an inverted version of the “one drop of blood” rule deriving from the racial codes and anti-miscegentation laws of the old South. Superimpose massive immigration on a regime of Blackmun-style “affirmative action” and we may indeed “get beyond racism,” but not exactly in the manner Blackmun meant. Today’s lead New York Times education story powerfully suggests a slightly different destination, and it ain’t pretty: “Top colleges take more blacks, but which ones?”

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