Thursday, January 16, 2003

Discrimination is Wrong

...even if it is an attempt to remedy discrimination.

So said George W. Bush, thereby jumping in to the affirmative action case now before the Supreme Court.

What about "judging people on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin," do advocates of the Michigan affirmative action in admissions program fail to understand?

In the Michigan program, students were ranked on a point scale. Getting a perfect 1600 on the SAT counted for 12 points, while just being black or hispanic counted for 20. Under this system blacks were 10 to 20 times more likely to gain admission than whites with the same grades and SAT scores. In other words, race in and of itself had become one the main factors in determining who got admitted, outranking even SAT scores or grades.

Bush pointed out that in Texas and Florida colleges have maintained diversity in the student body using other means that do not violate the constitution.

January 16, 2003 -- President Bush yesterday, in a brief but forceful speech to the nation, placed his administration in opposition to race-based admission quotas in higher education - and, presumably, in favor of a color-blind America.

A laudable goal, and one worth the acrimony the president's address quickly began to generate.