Using Race in Admissions

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by Michael M. Rooke-Ley

At a time when students of color remain tragically underrepresented in our colleges and universities and when the disparity of wealth among Americans has reached unconscionable levels, educators must be afforded every opportunity to create learning environments that reflect the extraordinary and invaluable diversity of our great nation. No society can effectively address endemic, institutionalized and often unconscious racism without the use of race-conscious remedies. I hope that the court will not enter a “sweeping ruling” that undoes whatever progress has been made.

Mr. Chandler’s reference to the abortion and same-sex marriage battles, as part of his plea for patience and deference to the majority’s will, seems misplaced. In matters involving those fundamental rights, the courts should be acting “ahead of the curve,” that is, putting constitutional principles ahead of the prevailing, popular sentiments at a particular time in history.

Abigail Fisher’s claim to victimhood on the basis of her whiteness is hardly a civil rights issue that merits the court’s intervention.

This letter was published by the New York Times, Sunday Dialogue on October 6, 2012.  Read it here.