By Alan Bean
As this excellent article in Colorlines suggests, simple racial inequality has no bearing on the affirmative action debate, and for one simple reason:
In order to argue that affirmative action is necessary to remedy past discrimination, schools would have to present evidence showing that they’ve previously discriminated against the groups they’re now going to great lengths to admit. Doing so would open them up to litigation from students of color who’d been denied.
With equity off the table, universities have only one legally acceptable argument: affirmative action creates a diverse student body and diversity is intrinsically beneficial to students. This argument makes sense to white administrators who would feel uncomfortable presiding over a homogeneous student body. According to Colorlines: (more…)