Liberal racism is permissible for at least another 25 years, decreed the Supreme Court on Monday. To justify this racism, the court invoked the same sophistry racist courts of the past favored -- the mischief-concealing "compelling state interest."
Monday's decision tells nonminorities -- accept discrimination for the sake of "diversity" -- just as previous racist courts told minorities to accept injustice because of "order" and other faked-up "compelling state interests."
Social engineering, according to the Supreme Court, entitles liberals to blatant injustice. Under this regime of liberal benevolence, Americans only enjoy rights to the extent that they conform to the liberal dream-pattern of the moment. The court's 25-year guesstimate nicely illustrates the utterly unprincipled and willful character of modern liberalism.
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, casting about for a rationale to justify bald racial discrimination in the academic world, had to invent a new "mission" for universities. A "diverse student body" is at the "heart" of a school's mission, she said. Really? This is an interesting conclusion from a woman who supports women's colleges and all-black colleges. Somehow they manage to pursue an educational mission without diversity. Should Howard University and Grambling University close up shop? Or how about schools in states without racial diversity? If O'Connor's view is correct, students at those schools are out of luck. Apparently they just can't learn the arts and sciences unless they are seated near members of other races.
"Before I let you work on my heart, I would like to know if you graduated from a racially diverse class," Americans henceforth should ask their surgeons. Or they should say to their lawyers: "I will only let you represent me if you learned torts in the company of blacks and Hispanics." And how can Americans continue to trust Asian scientists when so many of them learned Physics next to fellow Asians?
What passes for thinking on America's highest court is pretty frightening. The feeblest of fallacies takes precedence over obvious constitutional principles. Americans must swallow several lies in O'Connor's ruling: a color-blind society is achieved through color-conscious policies; justice requires its suspension from time to time; society's "legitimacy" depends on illegitimate standards; racial harmony results from racially polarizing policies.
O'Connor's ruling can only thwart its own goals. She says society must "cultivate a set of leaders with legitimacy in the eyes of the citizenry." How could racial favoritism possibly advance this? It simply guarantees that the citizenry will view the advancement of politically-favored minorities with suspicion and resentment. She says diversity engineering will help universities attain their mission. It guarantees that universities will stray from it. Faced with forced diversity, schools can either fail out the underperfoming students they took through minority quotas or abandon their academic standards. They usually choose the latter and thereby lose sight of their mission.
Notice that the elite schools cheering O'Connor's ruling don't even construe their mission as mainly academic. Where they once competed academically, now they compete politically: Who can create the "most diverse" school? This quote from Michael Reese, a University of California spokesman, after Monday's ruling is telling: "Our competitors, which are the Stanfords, the Harvards and the Yales, have at their disposal a set of tools for creating diverse classes of students that aren't available to the University of California." Reese told the Los Angeles Times that the UC system wants California's ban on racial preferences ended so as to "give us the kind of clarity we need."
Instead of letting unqualified students in through the back door -- which UC has done through various standards-busting strategies since Proposition 209 passed -- Reese would like the front door opened again, lest UC lose underperforming minorities to the Harvards. Evidently the race to the academic bottom can be quite fierce.
Reese may get his wish now that O'Connor has torn the door off the hinge. We are assured that the door is easily replaceable in 25 years. Until then a little injustice is okay. No new resentments, no fresh cycles of grievances will exist, of course. Americans will suddenly wake up and feel "legitimate."
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