Isn’t it past time that Martin Luther King’s dream be recognized?
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However, polls show “economic affirmative action” is far more popular, with the above CBS/NY Times poll asking whether people “favor programs help people from low-income backgrounds get ahead” receiving a favorable response from 80 percent of those questioned, with only 15 percent opposed. Several polls in 2003 suggested a roughly 60 percent national approval for income-based affirmative action.
It is easy to understand the greater appeal of helping the poor (or at least the not-rich) than of helping people based on skin color. In a report for the progressive Century Foundation, Richard Kahlenberg says, “At top tier colleges, students in the highest economic quartile take up 74 percent of the available slots, compared with 3 percent from the bottom economic quartile.” This will strike the “fairness” chord in America much more effectively than a race-based argument.
In addition to wider public appeal, it is likely that an income- or wealth-based test as part of a college admissions policy would be upheld in any legal challenge because it would not fall under the Supreme Court’s “strict scrutiny” requirement that applies to issues of race.
While economic affirmative action is less objectionable than race-based policies, it still suffers from two major flaws: First, it plays into the left’s never-ending stoking of class warfare in America, positioning the rich as deserving to be disadvantaged wherever possible to “make up for” their inherent “unfair” advantages.
Second, it addresses the symptom rather than the disease: major colleges are desperate to enhance “diversity” in their student populations. To the extent that they can’t without using race as a factor in admissions, it is a massive indictment of our true national ailment — a public education system that utterly fails those low-income and minority Americans who most need a solid basic educational foundation to break the chains of poverty.
In 2012, it is past time for the Supreme Court to insist that universities stop judging people based on the color of their skin rather than the content of their character — or their grades and test scores. When even the Ninth Circuit rules against affirmative action, one can hope that the American people really are drifting, even if with glacial slowness, toward viewing each other as individuals rather than as members of perpetual victim groups.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?