I finally have some time to digest and ponder the Supreme Court’s rulings in the Michigan cases, although I must say I’d rather not. Here is the Washington Post’s account. The fact that the Court upheld the blatantly discriminatory law school admissions scheme means that colleges now have a “road map” they can use to discriminate against whites. The CIR’s notion that uncertainty about the outcome of litigation will deter colleges is not even wishful thinking — it’s just wishful. For the first time, the landscape isn’t particularly uncertain. If colleges ran with this ball during the confused reign of Bakke, they’ll run even faster now.
But only for 25 years. At least according to Sandra Day O’Connor. Talk about wishful thinking. To be sure, things will be different in 25 years. But not in ways that will cause the Supreme Court to pull the plug on racial preferences. In 25 years, the combined political power of blacks and Hispanics will be far greater than it is today. Why would the Court then have the courage (or even the inclination) to do what it can’t summon the clarity or courage to do today? I have always expected that the final resolution of this issue would be the one we’re seeing now. My best case scenario was 25 years of fairness. I guess that was wishful thinking too.
The Supreme Court’s decisions actually ensure that race-based preferences will never disappear. In effect, the decisions absolve African-Americans and Hispanics from having to compete with whites. Instead, they need only compete with members of their own “group” for their predetermined share of slots, the share that college bureaucrats deem to be the magic number at which “critical diversity mass” is attained. The incentive for minority group members to study as hard as whites, to read as much as whites, or (when they get older) to push their children as hard as whites will remain lacking. If today’s black applicants are “200 point SAT handicaps” when they apply to the top colleges, the next generation will be 250 or 300 point handicaps. The soft bigotry of low expectations all but guarantees that blacks and Hispanics will never be able to compete on equal terms with whites. That, in turns, guarantees that the state will always have a “compelling interest” in discriminating against whites in order to preserve “diversity.” In this context, O’Connor’s words about what the Court expects to happen in 25 years are not just empty, they are pathetic.
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