College Diversity Nears Its Last Stand

Adam Liptak, New York Times, October 15, 2011

Abigail Fisher, a white student, says she was denied admission to the University of Texas because of her race. She sued in Federal District Court in Austin, causing Judge Sam Sparks to spend time trying to make sense of a 2003 Supreme Court decision allowing racial preferences in higher education. “I’ve read it till I’m blue in the face,” Judge Sparks said in an early hearing in Ms. Fisher’s lawsuit. But the meaning of the central concept in the decision–“this esoteric critical mass of diversity of students,” he called it–kept eluding him.

The 2003 Supreme Court decision he was trying to understand, Grutter v. Bollinger, had elevated the concept of “diversity” from human-resource department jargon to constitutional stature. The pursuit of diversity, a five-justice majority said, allows admissions personnel at public universities to do what the Constitution ordinarily forbids government officials to do–to sort people by race.

Judge Sparks in the end ruled that the Grutter decision meant that Texas was allowed to take account of Ms. Fisher’s race. Now her case is hurtling toward the Supreme Court. That could provide a fresh opportunity to consider what we mean when we talk about diversity. It could also mean the end of affirmative action at public universities.

Ms. Fisher’s lawyers filed a petition seeking a Supreme Court review last month, and legal experts say the justices will probably agree to hear it, setting the stage for a decision by June. Such a decision, given changes in the membership of the court since 2003, is likely to cut back on if not eliminate the use of race in admissions decisions at public colleges and universities.

Diversity is the last man standing, the sole remaining legal justification for racial preferences in deciding who can study at public universities. Should the Supreme Court disavow it, the student body at the University of Texas and many other public colleges and universities would almost instantly become whiter and more Asian, and less black and Hispanic.

{snip}

Grutter authorized admissions officials to admit a “critical mass” of minority students. But a brief filed in Ms. Fisher’s case by the Asian American Legal Foundation said that Texas had gone far beyond that threshold and sought “the odious and unlawful objective” of trying “to make the racial composition of its student body mirror the racial composition of the state of Texas.” The upshot, the brief said, was discrimination against Asian students.

{snip}

Grutter allowed but did not require states to take account of race in admissions. Several states, including California, have declined the invitation. As a result, there are fewer blacks and Hispanics on campus in the state.

{snip}

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  • Anonymous

    State wide bans on affirmative action do very little for whites for most jobs are in the private sector, and no doubt if necessary private employers could increase their recruitment for ‘diversity’ even more. Most universities however receive public funding and are not ‘private’. This could be very good news for whites.

  • Anonymous

    “the student body at the University of Texas and many other public colleges and universities would almost instantly become whiter and more Asian, and less black and Hispanic”

    So let blacks and Hispanics qualify themselves, to reverse that situation. Who’s stopping them, after all, but themselves?

  • neanderthalDNA

    This is great news.

    Is meritocracy “racist”?

  • John L.

    Actually as regards Universities, Whites are at risk of being sqeezed out by Asians. That is if admissions don’t take Ethnicity into account at all. So wishing for “colour blind” admissions may not help Us.

  • sbuffalonative

    When Grutter v. Bollinger was first settled, I said it didn’t solve anything. All it did was say colleges couldn’t use quotas but they could use race as a criteria. Colleges had to be careful about admitting too many minorities or they would be in violation of using quotas. Nothing much changed.

    Will this new case be the end of affirmative action? I doubt it. The court is far too liberal. Even the moderate conservatives on the court will vote to keep affirmative action as it stands because, in their hearts, they believe it’s the right thing to do.

    Like Grutter v. Bollinger, it will likely lead to some obtuse, ambiguous ruling where neither side knows if they won.

  • Mike Harrigan

    “Diversity is the last man standing, the sole remaining legal justification for racial preferences in deciding who can study at public universities. Should the Supreme Court disavow it, the student body at the University of Texas and many other public colleges and universities would almost instantly become whiter and more Asian, and less black and Hispanic.”

    Why would these universities “almost instantly” become more Whiter and more Asian, Mr Liptak? How do you know this? Are you trying to tell us that blacks and latinos are not as intelligent as Whites and Asians and therefore would be admitted in far fewer numbers?

    I would say that is exactly what Liptak and the New York Times are admitting. Otherwise they would say we would have to wait until admissions testing is completed (if the SCOTUS rules against AA) to know the racial makeup of incoming freshman classes.

  • Anonymous

    If this ruling remains ambiguous and race can be taken into account, then white colleges should start to appear. In time, they will admit only whites.

    Seems fair.

  • patthemick

    The risk we run is that we will get a liberal president who will appoint liberal judges to the Federal courts. If this case takes five years to go to trial we could have a majority liberal supreme court and that would lead to mischief to say the least.

    That’s why I’m voting for Ron Paul as I’ve no problem with equal rights at all and he would appoint strict constitutionalists.

    The facts are that Affirmative Action denies equal protection under the law and should be relegated to the dustbin of history as was done with Jim Crow laws.

  • RegvlvsSeradly

    RE: John-4

    “Actually as regards Universities, Whites are at risk of being sqeezed out by Asians. That is if admissions don’t take Ethnicity into account at all. So wishing for “colour blind” admissions may not help Us. ”

    Not necessarily true. Remember that the whole college system is bloated to begin with… The whites who cannot compete with average Asian students probably don’t belong there to begin with.

    In any case, I would say that the full number of college admissions should be reduced by 85%- closer to the level at the beginning of the 20th century when America was a great nation. College really is not necessary for most people, especially those who cannot handle it: and their presence, unfortunately, has a negative impact on those who truly should be enrolled.

  • rjf101

    “In any case, I would say that the full number of college admissions should be reduced by 85%- closer to the level at the beginning of the 20th century when America was a great nation. College really is not necessary for most people, especially those who cannot handle it: and their presence, unfortunately, has a negative impact on those who truly should be enrolled.” (Poster #9)

    I couldn’t agree more. I’m not even sure if I deserve to go to college, and I’ve been taking college-level courses for three years. And certainly most of the idiots they send off to college don’t have the intellect or drive that should be required of college students.

  • Question Diversity

    NYT, ever hear of California Proposition 209? College admins did everything they could to circumvent it while it was still being occasionally enforced. Now that Moonbeam is Governor again, Gavin “Any Twosome” Newsom is Governor-in-waiting, and Kookala Harris is Attorney General, Prop. 209 is a dead letter.

  • WR the elder

    Now her case is hurtling toward the Supreme Court.

    Unfortunately that Supreme Court now has two Obama appointees. Don’t be surprised to see a solidifying of the constitutional “right” to diversity.

  • Yo

    I wish these heavy, Supreme Court decisions could be put off for a few years, when the genetic evidence about race & ability is clearer and part of popular consciousness. Then, they’d vote the right way. As it is now, we’ll get precedent-setting decisions based on the wrong idea that all races are equal and that any discrimination (in the neutral sense of the word) is due to racism.

  • Number Cruncher

    Interesting that the New York Times didn’t deem this article worthy of allowing comments. I think they were afraid of what they would hear.

    The article quotes John Payton from the NAACP who claims studies supported the value of a diverse student body. “There is no longer any doubt as to the educational benefits of racially diverse students learning together and from each other,” he said.

    Educational benefit for whom? I’m sorry but my experience as a college student simply showed me that a barely literate minority “co-student” with a chip on their shoulders and a sense of entitlement provided no educational benefit to me or anyone else. Sending someone to college who is minimally prepared of any race, is negligence and abusive on so many levels.

    No one talks about the number of minority students who drop out in their first two years (at great expense to the taxpayer as well as their fellow students) because they should never have been in college in the first place. No one ever talks about the additional cost of tutors, counseling, etc. required to get many of these minority students through even the most bogus course of student (African-American culture, education, sociology, etc).

    No one REALLY talks about what kind of minority “scholars” graduate i.e. how literate they really are. There are approx. 1.5 million college graduates annually. The break-down of college graduates is: White-(71.8% or 1,077,000); Black-(9.8% or 147,000); Hisp.(7.9% or 118,500).”The Literacy of America’s College Students” study conducted by the American Institutes for Research (2006) broke college graduates into four levels; Below Basic (less than a 4th grade education): Basic (5th to 8th grade education); Intermediate (9th to 12th grade) and; Proficient (College frosh. and above). The average numbers AIR came up with for each category are: Below Basic-White (0%); Black (5%); Basic-White (7%); Black (25%); Intermed. – White (54% or 582,000); Black (58% or 85,000); Proficient-White (42% or 452,000); Black (13% or 19,000).

    30% of Black college graduates graduate with less than an 8th grade education?

    My experience is that once you set a standard and let everyone know they have to meet that standard, people will rise to meet the standard. Diversity simply states, in so many words, that Blacks and other minorities are incapable of meeting the same education standards as Whites. I don’t believe it. The primary reason they don’t meet the same standards is that they don’t have to and it has become part of their culture, consciously or unconsciously. Until we get away from double standards and force minorities to compete like everyone else, we will continue to send far too many unqualified and incapable minorities to college at everyone else’s expense (Asians excepted).

  • John L.

    re #9 etc.

    I also agree that the Universities are bloated with non serious Students. But, I have observed that Asians can out compete native born Whites, and Blacks, and others. Coupled with the “foreign student” Industry that also works against the Native born; I think you will be seeing People like tha Chinese (with other Asians like the Koreans) dominating certain Institutions (like U.B.C.) There will be corresponging Indian and Pakistani dominated Schools. So it is somewhat beneficial to pay some attention Ethnic background in admissions, or as the PC say “making the institution reflect the wider Society”).

  • Anonymous

    More disturbing than even this racial discrimination against whites & east Asians is that which endangers the public by lowering standards for police work:

    http://tinyurl.com/3f9cdsv

    Similar lower standards for blacks nonsense have been forced on fire departments.

  • sedonaman

    “Question Diversity”:

    Prop 209 has been a dead letter ever since it passed. Even though it even passed court challenges. The UC administration openly defied it, and the state did nothing. See the following articles:

    “Affirmative Action Showdown”

    http://goo.gl/D6iZL

    “How UC Is Rigging The Admissions Process”

    http://goo.gl/VGY9k

    “Less Academics, More Narcissism”

    http://goo.gl/RdIoB

  • passingthru

    Eliminate multiple choice and true/false tests. Bring back the essays. Not only would this keep out low-performing blacks and latinos, it will also keep out “high-performing” asians. Ever notice how asians get their panties in a wad whenever they’re made to explain what they’ve learned in their own words?

  • Anonymous

    @18

    Wish it were that easy. Below is the 2011 Sat score for writing:

    Asian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander 528

    Black or African American 417

    Mexican or Mexican American 445

    White 516

  • Kingoldby

    @ Mike Harrigan

    ”Are you trying to tell us that blacks and latinos are not as intelligent as Whites and Asians and therefore would be admitted in far fewer numbers?”

    Yes, that is exactly what you are being told.

    On average, Whites and Asians are more intelligent than blacks and latinos. As has been objectively and empirically proven over and over again.

  • Myopic Governance

    Isn’t it funny the concept of the slippery slope.

    Whites in the 60’s were like naive children wishing for an end to racism, in a new rainbow World.

    In the 80’s the problems of race and immigration first began to emerge and sped-up during the 90’s.

    Now in 2011, Whites are tentatively pushing back against the almost complete dispossession they now face, in their homelands and Colonies. But I am not without hope for the future, I just often shake my head at people from the 60’s….old men and women now.

  • Fer de Lance

    But, I have observed that Asians can out compete native born Whites

    Great.! Then Asians won’t need to come over here as spies and steal technology from us stupid native born Whites, correct?

    In 1996, Congress passed a new law making theft of industrial secrets a federal crime. The offense rises to espionage if the secrets are handed over to foreign governments.

    Every single person arrested or convicted under this law has been Asian, and the vast majority have been Chinese.

    –Jared Taylor, White Identity

  • Mike Harrigan

    RE #20 Kingoldby:

    I understand that all too well Mr King. My point was the writer and the NYT APPARENTLY are admitting what everyone else has known for years and takes for granted. That there are indeed intelligence differences for the various races. The very left leaning rag has maintained for years that we are all carbon copies of one another, with minor exceptions for skin color, hair texture, etc. But in the one paragraph I quoted, Liptak and the NYT editors are admitting that blacks and latinos will be admitted to universities in far fewer numbers than in previous years, obviously because they cant compete with Whites and Asians on admissions tests. As far as I know this admission by the NYT is a first.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Otherwise they would say we would have to wait until admissions testing is completed to know the racial makeup of incoming freshman classes.

    Mike:

    Using California as a guide, after Prop 209 passed in 1996 prohibiting race-based preference in UC admissions, black and hispanic enrollment declined sharply at the University of California system’s elite schools—Berkeley and UCLA.

    The number of black and hispanic students enrolled at Berkeley fell sharply after 209 passed—from 7.2% of all freshmen in 1995 to 3.2%.

    At UCLA, the freshman class included just 96 blacks (about 2%)—a 30-year low. At UC San Diego, 50 black freshmen were enrolled, making up only 1 percent of the class.

    The left didn’t sit still long; immediately declaring Prop 209 ‘racist’, demanding its repeal and a return to AA, race-based quotas. Jerry Brown, at the time the AG of California, declared to the California Supreme Court that Prop 209 was “unconstitutional”, because, he said, it “prohibited affirmative action and fostered the discrimination it was supposed to eliminate.”

    So far, the California Supreme Court HAS upheld Prop 209:

    SACRAMENTO, CA; December 8, 2010:

    San Francisco-based Federal Judge Samuel Conti today dismissed a lawsuit filed by BAMN, challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 209, the voter-enacted provision of the California Constitution that prohibits preferences and discrimination by race or sex in public education, contracting, and public employment.

    And, recently, on Oct. 10, 2011 the Pacific Legal Foundation released the following announcement:

    Governor Brown vetoed SB 185, a bill to authorize and encourage the University of California and California State University to consider race, ethnicity and gender in student admissions.

    On September 22, 2011, PLF sent a letter to Governor Brown urging him to veto the bill, pointing out that by allowing the use of race and gender as a factor in admissions, SB 185 would blatantly violate article 1, Section 31 of the California Constitution (Proposition 209) and therefore, likely subject the state to costly litigation.

    Apparently, our urging did not fall on deaf ears. Brown, a longtime supporter of race-based affirmative action programs and an opponent of Proposition 209, cited fear of litigation as a key reason for vetoing SB 185 on Saturday, claiming that ‘Signing this bill is unlikely to impact how Proposition 209 is ultimately interpreted by the courts; it will just encourage the 209 advocates to file more costly and confusing lawsuits.

    This won’t last forever, or for very much longer, I believe as California’s demography inexorably changes, the make-up of Cal’s Supreme Court becomes less White, as California pols become more socialist, less likely to uphold the tenants of Prop 209 or, most likely, repeal it completely.

    By then, the non-White lefties will be fighting Asian advocacy groups because there won’t be enough Whites left to discriminate against! Whites, having fled the beholden state, trying in vain to stay ahead of the Third World tidal wave.

    Bon

  • Nick

    Let’s be honest here.

    Affirmative action is here to stay. Remember when it was only suppose to be a temporary remedy?

    Even if Affirmative Action is outlawed today there are plenty of ways to get around it.

    Preferential treatment to certain areas, highly subjective entrance exams, given equal weight to all schools etc.

  • white is right, black is whack

    Anyone who wants to get a good history on Affirmative Action worldwide, read Affirmative Action: A Case Study by Thomas Sowell. It’s dated (1983), but it’s worth a read.

  • Detroit WASP

    Re-9

    “college admissions should be reduced by 85%- closer to the level at the beginning of the 20th century when America was a great nation.”

    LOL. Any post high school training is “college” Truck driving school is college. So is barber school. You must define what you mean more strictly.

    I would argue that ALL americans need “college” based on job market demands. I was a high school vocational teacher and told my students, “if you aren’t going to a 4 year university to study, math, science, accounting, finance, nursing…or such, don’t bother going. Don’t waste your money getting an English degree. Instead, become a plumber or electrician, firemen, cop you’re better off.

  • mark

    #22 Fer de Lance

    I concur 100%! Working as an automotive engineer in Korea and Japan I learned a lot about how things were done. The Research and Development Department was practically non-existent. American and European cars were taken apart and parts copied. I couldn’t believe it. They were not even ashamed of it.

    Another example, going back few years, that comes to mind is a great Mitsubishi Zero during WW2. Zero was heavily based on an American plane.

    I am not saying that Asians are less intelligent than Whites but they lack the initiative, the typical White “get-up-and-go” necessary for achievement.

  • Seek

    Much as I despise affirmative action, it’s going to take a lot more good news than just this to reverse the tide. The Supreme Court’s Bakke decision (1978), technically, was a victory for our side. Yet the situation has become far worse in the more than three decades since. Affirmative action will disappear, I am afraid, when either whites or blacks disappear from this country. It’s a zero-sum game.

  • Kingoldby

    @ Mike Harrigan, I see your point. Yes, the mainstream media is increasingly being forced, inch by inch to face up to reality.

    Although I’m sure they would rather cut out their own eyes rather than look at the proof that contradicts their anti white illusions.

  • Anonymous

    9 — RegvlvsSeradly wrote at 9:38 AM on October 22:

    RE: John-4

    “Actually as regards Universities, Whites are at risk of being sqeezed out by Asians. That is if admissions don’t take Ethnicity into account at all. So wishing for “colour blind” admissions may not help Us. “

    “Not necessarily true. Remember that the whole college system is bloated to begin with… The whites who cannot compete with average Asian students probably don’t belong there to begin with.

    In any case, I would say that the full number of college admissions should be reduced by 85%- closer to the level at the beginning of the 20th century when America was a great nation. College really is not necessary for most people, especially those who cannot handle it: and their presence, unfortunately, has a negative impact on those who truly should be enrolled.”

    Not so, simply not so. At the turn of the 20th century, 90% of Americans were farmers. The technology difference alone requires far more a percentage of college trained persons. The traditional professions would be vacant if we used that proportional argument as well.

  • Anonymous

    I have come to the conclusion until the system is changed they will never get rid of AA.

    They always have some judge, court or another excuse. I have learned the hard way the system is the problem, because it is ANTI WHITE.Period.

  • guest

    if you advocate for complete freedom of association, shouldn’t you be against allowing scotus to say “it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race” even if it is used exclusively against white people? doesn’t the ability to discriminate represent more freedom and not less (as a ruling making any type of ‘discrimination’ illegal surely would)? i’m not asking rhetorically; i think if you are to value freedom of association over ‘white interests’, you’d have to be for allowing discrimination even if it is exclusively against whites and at the college’s discretion. placing a higher value on ‘white interests’ however, seems to lead to the opposite conclusion: that you should support ms. fisher’s case. i don’t know if this article was included to be ‘good’ or ‘bad’ news