President Joe Biden, the Anti-Defamation League and a host of left-wing organizations all agreed. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College, handed down on June 29, was a blow against the effort to reverse racial inequality. The Democratic Party and its ethnic/religious auxiliary groups are fully committed to the notion that America in the year 2023 is not merely a nation with a tragic history of racial discrimination and bigotry. It is, in their eyes, one that remains irredeemably racist. And that’s why they supported the affirmative action admissions policies practiced by Harvard, as well as those in a related case involving the University of North Carolina, that were struck down by a 6-3 majority.
Affirmative action was conceived and first implemented in the heyday of the civil-rights movement that, after much struggle, ended the era in which racial discrimination was permitted by the law in much of the country. The notion was that it was necessary to give those groups that had been the victims of America’s original sin of slavery and the subsequent century of “Jim Crow” laws that perpetuated its legacy a leg up in their efforts to achieve equality.
At Harvard, affirmative action policies meant discriminating against Asian Americans. An African-American student with grades in the fourth lowest decile of academic achievement had a higher chance of admission to Harvard than an Asian student in the top decile.
Despite the abundant evidence that they result in new forms of racial discrimination and the unpersuasive and unfounded arguments of the court’s minority, these policies don’t actually help African-Americans. Just as important, they give up on even the ideal of a color-blind society that is the only true path to justice for all. The problem is that the political left is now so committed to the ideology of racialism that it no longer thinks such a society based on Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of a country where his children “would be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character” is either achievable or desirable. Instead, they wish to lock Americans into a never-ending war in which race is the only way individuals are defined.
More than that, it will require a generation of leaders throughout education, business and government to say that the obsession with race must end and be replaced by a new dedication to individual merit and fairness.
Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate