Economics professor Mark J. Perry summarized ten “good reasons we should end racial profiling and affirmative discrimination in college admissions”.
1. Racial and ethnic preferences are unjust — reason enough to abandon them.
2. They serve to perpetuate, rather than combat, racial stereotypes.
3. They encourage gaming the system (as when Elizabeth Warren claimed to be Native American).
4. They permit students from certain groups to coast in high school knowing they will get an automatic golden ticket to college.
5. They encourage intergroup resentment.
6. They result in what Stuart Taylor Jr. and Richard Sander have rightly called “mismatching” students — so that all but the very top minority students wind up attending schools that are a little out of their league.
7. Mismatching causes more minority students to abandon demanding majors like science and technology (so necessary for the economy’s flourishing).
8. Mismatch causes minority students to drop out in numbers far higher than other students. Black students are about a third more likely than similarly qualified other students to start college, but less likely to finish.
9. Admissions officers at selective schools pretend they are offering opportunity to “underserved” minorities, but in reality, they are simply lowering standards for already-privileged students with the preferred skin tone. Ninety-two percent of blacks at elite colleges are from the top half of the income distribution. A study a decade ago at Harvard Law School found that only a third of students had four African-American grandparents. Another third were from interracial families. The rest were children of recent immigrants from Africa or the West Indies.
10. Should mixed-race students get half a preference? Should their scores be 50 percent higher than students with two black parents? These are the kinds of absurdities our current system presents.
Speaking as a minority who may have benefited from affirmative action, I agree with these reasons. I guess that means my views are more aligned with those of Justice Clarence Thomas than with those of Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
The “absurdities” mentioned in reason 10 makes me wonder how workable future affirmative action policies will be as we see higher percentages of mixed-race students enter college.