The University of Michigan Case: The Racist Reality of Affirmative Action

I once said that some liberals consider black people their pets. A controversial assertion to be sure, but it turned out to be quite prophetic, if I do say so myself.

Affirmative action took another ugly but revealing turn this month when the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals pronounced the University of Michigan law school’s admission policy of considering race was illegal.

In 1996, Barbara Grutter, a white Michigan resident with a 3.8 grade point average and 161 Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) score, was rejected by the University of Michigan Law School. She filed suit against the university in December 1997, alleging that the university had discriminated against her on the basis of race in violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. She said she was rejected because the law school used race as the “predominant” factor, giving applicants belonging to underrepresented minority groups a significantly greater chance of admission than white and Asian American applicants with similar credentials. She argued that the university had no compelling interest to justify that use of race.
Grutter v. Bollinger

However it’s not what the Court said, but how they said it that bugs me.

The court in a 6-3 decision said….

We find that the Law School has a compelling state interest in achieving a diverse student body.

Oh really? That one must have gotten by me since I didn’t know that was the intent of affirmative action, until now.

Let me get this straight. Black students with lower grades should be admitted to the University of Michigan law school, not because of the traditional affirmative action argument regarding the need to redress the past lack of opportunity, but in order to be better lawyers, white students need black exposure? That means white law students, who’ve obviously never seen a black person outside of MTV rap videos or guest appearances on “Cops”, need to have us around physically for their educational and social enrichment.

In other words, give white students pets. That’s right, and this time they mean it.

Is there anyone who hasn’t been insulted by that decision? Liberals (white and black alike) believe black people “understandably” can’t make it into the prestigious law school because of poor public schools (run by liberals) and negative socio-economic conditions in Democrat districts. White students (with ingrained racist tendencies), who’ve “understandably” never been around black people, need to have a breeder system that introduces a certain number into the classroom to enhance their educational experience.

I knew there would be another opportunity for that liberal “D” word to come back to haunt us. So here we go:

Diversity improves the education of all its students.

I’d love to see the research to back that one up. The university says it considers race among other factors including academic achievement and economic status. “The university’s policies do not exclude anyone,” Michigan says. Anyone except more qualified applicants of all races.

Great. It doesn’t exclude students whose past academic performance may hinder successful completion of their tenure at the university. As long as white students are racially enlightened and their academic experience is enhanced, that’s all that really matters. Is that what tuition paying parents get for their expenditure? Is that what taxpayers get for their hard-earned confiscated dollar?

In seeking an academically diverse class, the record indicates that the Law School considers more than an applicant’s race and ethnicity.

The appeals court overturned U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman’s striking down of the law school’s admissions policy, saying the criteria were not “clearly defined and relied too heavily on race.”

I guess it sure has been defined now and it relies heavily on race. That’s called having it both ways.

The appeals court condescendingly argued that the law school depends on grades and exam scores but considers applicants who, despite low scores, “may help achieve that diversity which has the potential to enrich everyone’s education.”

Enrich? I always thought that education was the act of achieving knowledge, not getting to know a group of people better. Especially getting to know someone purely because his or her skin’s a different color. Isn’t that what frat parties and mixers are for?

Friedman rightfully concluded that diversity was not a good enough reason to factor race into admissions.

Whatever solution the law school elects to pursue, it must be race neutral. The focus must be upon the merit of individual applicants, not upon characteristics of racial groups.

Isn’t that an interpretation of Dr. King’s vision and goal?

The utterly destructive and insulting nature of the appeals court decision implies that white students are inherently isolated and racist. That without such policies, they will not be able to adequately interact with future black colleagues and clients. It also sets up every black person, regardless of profession, a stigma and thus a stereotype, that the only reason he or she has progressed professionally thus far is due to a preference system in education and probably, hiring. These are both highly insulting notions, but a consistent and preferable outcome in liberal doctrine.

So if your lawyer happens to be black, you may believe this person may have bollixed high school and got into law school purely for reasons other than academics. You may think this lawyer will probably lose your case.

If your doctor is black, you may be thinking that the only reason he or she is where they are is because of a racial preference, and that may not be a good enough reason to accept a diagnosis that may put you under this person’s knife. I’d personally have concerns.

Any black who applies for a job may not only have the integrity of their academic and professional history doubted, but that may also raise doubts and possible resentment with every co-worker that black person may encounter thereafter. Most people achieve after years of hard work and not a shortcut based on skin color.

Is it me, or do liberal policies seem to be doing the exact opposite of Dr. King’s intentions?

“Analysts” say the University of Michigan case could give the Supreme Court an opportunity to revisit the 1978 Bakke case, which allowed consideration of race in college admissions but banned racial quotas.

Good. Let’s get this over with once and for all.

One Response

  1. Richard White

    At one time my doctor was black, but he was old enough that he finished school before affirmative action kicked in. I liked him.

    Bob, I have one more complaint about the Circuit Court’s opinion that is unrelated to race. The court used the phrase “compelling state interest”, which also appears in many other decisions of all sorts.

    What interests does the state have? What interests can it have? The state doesn’t exist in nature; it is a created thing. A lawn mower is also a created thing. Does it have interests too?

    The purpose of the state, like the lawn mower, is to serve the interests of its creators — the people. Its scope is — or should be — extremely limited. It is not to attempt to serve all the interests of the people, only a very few defined ones. Thus the state can have no interests of its own, compelling or casual.

    These people are speaking of the state in the same way that Mussolini did. So who are the modern fascists, then? Certainly not conservatives, who may disagree on many other topics but are uniformly opposed to unwarranted state power.


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