Thursday, December 17, 2015

Scalia Was Right About Race Preferences

On the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. AP
The debate about these college-admissions policies is too focused on their legality, not their efficacy.
With the regularity of Old Faithful, honest remarks on racial matters these days are followed by geysers of liberal indignation and outrage. That is what greeted Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s suggestion last week that less-qualified black students might be better off at less-selective colleges.
During oral arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, a case concerning race-conscious college admission policies, Justice Scalia cited research that shows how racial preferences can handicap some black students by placing them in elite schools where they don’t have the same credentials of the average student and struggle academically.
“There are those who contend that it does not benefit African-Americans to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school—a slower-track school where they do well,” said Justice Scalia. “I don’t think it stands to reason that it’s a good thing for the University of Texas to admit as many blacks as possible.”
Liberal public figures and media types promptly denounced the remarks. Democratic leader Harry Reid, ever the statesman, stood on the Senate floor Thursday and accused Justice Scalia of endorsing “racist theories.”
LINK: Trump joined his old pal Reid in criticizing Scalia
We live in a political environment where the intent of a policy aimed at helping minorities is all that matters; questioning the policy’s actual effectiveness is tantamount to racism. Our national debates about racial preferences tend to focus on their legality, not whether they work as intended. Yet both are important, and Justice Scalia is right to question the assumption that racial favoritism in college admissions has been a boon for blacks.
Read the rest of this Jason Riley op-ed HERE.

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