Race Based Admissions
Can someone please explain this New York Times article to me? As with most newspaper articles it is high on rhetoric and low on facts, but it sounds as if universities and colleges are shutting down their minority focused programs. Now, race is a complicated issue for everyone, yes, everyone; but some topics are pretty straightforward… like the applicability of the 14th Amendment.
The Times article says that most of these changes are coming “threats of litigation and pressure from Washington.” I guess I can sort of understand the “pressure from Washington,” maybe the Education Secretary is going around threatening to pull federal aid if schools don’t eliminate the programs. But legal challenges? Under what authority? The article reports that the Center for Equal Opportunity sent out over 200 legal challenges to which 150 schools had responded favorably (from his perspective, I suppose). I want to know what those legal challenges said?!
See, the 14th Amendment, where all the previous affirmative action litigation has emanated from, is very clear about one thing (and, really, only one thing): it is limited to state action. The 14th has absolutely not impact on my behavior, your behavior, or those of private institutions. So why is Pepperdine, a private religious school, rolling over?
My theory is pretty evil, but it fits the facts. I suggest that for the past several decades conservatives have been fighting to get on the Board of Directors for these schools (much as they have infiltrated the school boards and city governments). Once there they discovered it was simply political infeasible to just outright eliminate these programs… so they called up their friends in Washington (governmental or NGO, doesn’t really matter) and said if they raise enough of a stink they can use it as cloud cover to make change. Far less resistance if they are just trying to stay chummy with the “powers that be” as opposed to overturning 50 years of progress towards racial equality.