Sunday, April 20, 2003

Another View
Excellent piece on affirmative action in City Journal by Berkeley professor John McWhorter, who himself is African American. It is a well argued call for color blind admissions, which I find fairly compelling and a challenge to my own thoughts about undergraduate admissions. I still have major concerns about the effect of K-12 inequities on a color blind undergraduate admissions process and outcomes and I think McWhorter overlooks potential consequences. Below are some interesting bits from the piece, but you should really read the whole thing.
"One of the motivations for writing my book Losing the Race was hearing a black student working in admissions casually say that she distrusted black applicants who did well enough in high school not to need preferences, since such students would not be committed to Berkeley’s black community—as if it were somehow not “authentically black” to be a top student. "
"Especially in light of the stereotypes that blacks have labored under in this country, saddling black people with eternally lowered standards is immoral. We spent too much time suffering under the hideously unjust social experiments of slavery and segregation to be subjected to further social engineering that benefits the sentiments of liberal elites instead of bettering the conditions and spirits of minorities."


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