To elaborate on just one point, because of its current salience: telling African-Americans, in particular, that less is expected of them and, indeed, then requiring less of them is a sure way to reinforce racial stereotypes and to encourage identity politics and the self-segregation of a group that the selection process has guaranteed will be mismatched and marginalized.
The unhappy consequences of this approach on a campus are, alas, all too visible.
It is increasingly clear that racial preferences help no one -- and hurt everyone.
And I will add that, not only is the list of costs longer than the list of benefits, but also the costs are heavy and undeniable, while the benefits are marginal and dubious.
The answer is no, and the reason is the obvious one that, when one does a cost-benefit analysis, one has to consider not only possible benefits but also possible costs.
So here’s my usual list of the costs of using racial preferences in university admissions.Those who defend them should consider whether they’d require them indefinitely and whether such a requirement is consistent with good race relations in the country America is becoming, argues Roger Clegg. And the was right that the willingness of the Trump administration to consider that such discrimination might be wrong was newsworthy -- both because it upsets our university bien-pensants and because it signaled a possible break with the Obama administration’s aggressive support for race-based admissions. Justice Department was preparing to begin “investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants.” It turned out that what the Justice Department was really up to was investigating admissions discrimination against Asian-Americans at one university, named Harvard. The story was enough to reignite the ever-smoldering debate over whether our universities should weigh, in a politically correct manner, of course, skin color and national origin in deciding who gets in.(The classic defense of racial admission preferences, by Derek Bok and William G.Bowen, acknowledged that only 14 percent of black students admitted to the selective schools that the authors studied came from backgrounds of lower socioeconomic status, and the rest came from upper- or middle-SES backgrounds.) If colleges and universities want to help those who are disadvantaged, they can do so on the basis of, well, rather than using skin color as a proxy.And since renowned public higher education systems in, for example, California and Michigan are no longer allowed to use preferences and yet seem to be able to continue educating their students very well, it is increasingly difficult to assert that the use of preferences is essential at a top-notch institution.Narrow Tailoring and Transparency So now let’s return to where we began, with the Trump administration.As I said, it’s hard to swallow that anyone really believes this.Whenever I debate this issue, within a few minutes we’re talking instead about slavery.The problem with the educational benefits argument is that nobody really believes it.In saying that the broad remedial justification is a nonstarter legally, I don’t want to leave the impression that it makes any sense logically, either.