Race factor in admissions decisions
Wilkins’ and Pell’s articles
Even though in their articles, Wilkins and Pell do argue in favor of American citizens being provided with equal educational opportunities, regardless of what happened to be the color of their skin, authors’ opinions regarding the legal appropriateness of ‘affirmative action’ policy differ rather dramatically. According to Pell, there are three legal objections against the deployment of such policy in academia:
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- The conceptual essence of ‘affirmative action’ is being inconsistent with U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment, which makes this policy anti-Constitutional;
- The utilization of formal equality principle in academia is the only instrument of ensuring the factual equality of students’ admission;
- The extent to which representatives of racial minorities have been exposed to racism is the subject of vague interpretations, which is why ‘racial underpriviledgeness’ cannot be considered a legal factor in defining the degree of such students’ academic eligibility.
Wilkins’s line of argumentation, in this respect, does not concern the actual law as much as it concerns the particulars of the author’s wishful thinking. According to Wilkins, the reason why the deployment of ‘affirmative action’ in places of learning is being lawful is that:
- It allows academic institutions to recruit potential students out of ‘society’s rock bottom’;
- “Affirmative action… engages blacks and whites exactly at those points where they differ the most (?)”;
- “To blacks, there’s nothing very easy about life in America” (who could have thought?).
The very context of Wilkins’s ‘argumentation’ leaves very little doubt as to the fact that it cannot even be considered seriously, as it violates the principle of legal impartiality in the most blatant manner. And yet, it is namely this principle that represents the most fundamental aspect of American living, as we know it.
The General Motors Amicus Brief
How the General Motors Amicus Brief defends use of race as a plus factor in making admissions decisions, points out to the fact that, just as it is being the case with Wilkins and with newly arrived immigrants to America, the representatives of GM should be required to pass the exam on basic knowledge of U.S. Constitution. According to GM: “Only a well educated, diverse workforce… consisting of individuals from a multitude of races and ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds, can maintain America’s competitiveness” (2).
The legal inconsistency of such GM’s claim is being visible even to a naked eye – apparently, it never occurred to the company’s representatives that ‘diversity’ is rather systemic than solely culturological term. What is means is that, for GM to ensure real ‘diversity’ at the workplace, the company should not only be giving preferences to the representatives of racial minorities but to just about anyone who has a reasonable right to claim itself is different from the majority, otherwise, GM’s adherence to the ideals of ‘diversity’ would be deemed conflicting.
For example, why should not be bald or one-legged individuals provided with employment preferences, as well? Are they not representing a minority? Are they not being underprivileged? Are they not going to diversify the workplace by their mere appearance there? And, once the right of bald and one-legged people to enjoy equal employment opportunities with the representatives of a ‘majority’ is being confirmed (from a legal perspective, this simply cannot be otherwise), this will create a precedent for the company to specifically aim into hiring cat-lovers, coin collectors, transvestites, organic coffee drinkers, etc.
After all, these people will also be able to prove that, due to specifics of their ‘culturally rich’ lifestyle/appearance, they should be considered a minority, and therefore, GM should as much desire them as employees as it desires newly arrived immigrants from Bangladesh, for example.
Therefore, GM’s defense of diversity cannot be referred to as anything but absurdist, in the legal sense of this word. On the other hand, Cohen’s stance in this respect appears justified – according to the plaintiff, GM’s utilization of ‘affirmative action’ policy, violates American Constitution, and as such, should become the subject of a criminal investigation – pure and simple. We can only subscribe to Cohen’s claim.
Value in racial diversity on college campuses
As we are being well aware, during the 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger Supreme Court’s hearing, Judge O’Connor upheld the ‘affirmative action’ admissions policy of the University of Michigan Law School. She motivated such her decision by stating that the ‘compelling interest’ in having race-preference-based admission policy institutionalized, is being concerned with “obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body”.
It goes without saying, of course, that O’Connor never bothered to specify what accounts for these ‘educational benefits’. The reason for this is simple – there is none! Quite on the contrary – given the fact that, except Chinese, the average rate of IQ among representatives of racial minorities in America (specifically among Hispanics and Blacks) have long ago been proven significantly lower than that of Whites’, for example, providing ‘ethnically unique’ students with admission preferences automatically results in powering America’s educational standards.
It never occurred to those who stood behind designing the ‘affirmative action’ policy that; whereas formal equality can and should be legally facilitated, the actual equality cannot be legally enforced, because this would transgress objectively existing laws of evolution, to which people are being subjected as much as plants and animals. And, the price for violating the laws of evolution has always been the same – degradation (in our case, gradual transformation of American colleges and universities into kindergartens).
This is the reason why, as of today, more and more America’s corporate employers seek to hire professionals from Eastern Europe, China, and India (Microsoft Corporation is a good example) – apparently, Black and Hispanic students’ talent in ‘celebrating diversity’ does not compensate for their genetically predetermined inability to operate with highly abstract categories. Therefore, only utterly naïve or deliberately malicious people may believe that there can be any value in having racial diversity legally enforced on college campuses.
The morality of considering race as a plus factor in admissions decisions
It nowadays became a commonplace practice among the supporters of ‘affirmative action’ to justify their willingness to violate the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment by making references to vaguely defined notion of ‘morality’. And, as practice shows, they rarely bother to even try substantiating why it is specifically their stance on moral issues that should be considered valid, and to say the least – legally legitimate.
For example, in the article that we have already mentioned, Wilkins had gone as far as applying the label of racism to White people, in general: “Racist and sexist Whites who are not able to accept the full humanity of other people are themselves badly damaged – morally stunted – people”. And, of course, according to the author, ‘morally stunned’ and therefore ‘racist’ people are those who oppose self-appointed guardians of public morality, such as Wilkins himself, in their intention to institutionalize insanity as the integral element of American living.
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What individuals like Wilkins cannot understand though, is that because the semantic meaning of the term ‘morality’ may be interpreted from a variety of different perspectives, it cannot possibly serve as the legal basis for designing social policies – at least for as long as America remains a civilized country, where the impersonal (colorblind) law represents the voice of supreme authority. And, the law clearly states – regardless of the color of their skin, American citizens have the right to enjoy equal educational opportunities. If individuals as Wilkins experience a hard time, while trying to understand the practical implications of the U.S. Constitution’s stance on the issue, then the FBI should be able to explain it to them.
Racial tensions in society
It appears that the provided earlier line of argumentation, against the continuous deployment of ‘affirmative action’ policies in the public sphere, is best discussed within the methodological framework of utilitarianism. According to the most prominent proponents of utilitarianism, such as Jeremy Bentham and John Mill, the moral appropriateness of a particular course of action should be measured in regards to what will account for the qualitative essence of action’s actual consequences, and not in regards to what were theoretical considerations, behind the adoption of such course of action.
The realities of today’s living proof the full validity of utilitarianism, as a moral theory. For example, when it comes to treating psychologically inadequate patients, psychologists are being at liberty to resort to the utilization of a variety of mutually exclusive theories, such as the theory of Freudian psychoanalysis, the theory of gestalt-therapy, Hubbard’s theory of dianetics, etc. However, in the end, it will matter very little which psychological theory has been used to address a patient’s anxieties – the most important would be ensuring positive dynamics in the process of patient’s recovery.
Therefore, theories the utilization of which does not yield positive results are false by definition, and vice versa. When we apply the same thesis, while defining the extent of ‘affirmative action’ moral appropriateness, it will appear that this policy can best refer to as utterly immoral. The reason for this is simple – after having been deployed in many American educational and professional institutions for more than twenty years, it did not result in narrowing the gap between academic achievements of Whites and Asians, on one hand, and the academic achievements of Blacks and Hispanics, on another.
The only consequence of this policy’s institutionalization was the creation of additional preconditions for the continuous escalation of racial tensions within the society. In its turn, this confirms once again the validity of a popular saying that the road to hell is made out of good intentions.