NY Times Details Efforts to Circumvent Affirmative Action Bans

January 26th, 2007 2:30 PM

The New York Times ran a story this morning that details how liberally minded school administrators are seeking ways to circumvent affirmative action bans that have been put on the books by voters in three states.

This is modern day liberalism at its naked best. They are not content to accept the fact that voters of all races have rejected attempts by these educators to apply a racial preference as a means test for admission to public schools. The following lead appeared in this morning’s liberal death star.

With Michigan’s new ban on affirmative action going into effect, and similar ballot initiatives looming in other states, many public universities are scrambling to find race-blind ways to attract more blacks and Hispanics.

First of all the above statement is a lie. Any effort to attract one race over another is not race-blind. The activists at the New York Times may want to characterize it that way but in reality it is just another cute attempt to create the perception of racial neutrality.

Let’s look at some of those ‘race blind’ efforts as detailed in Tamar Lewin’s report.

  • At Wayne State University Law School in Detroit, a new admissions policy, without mentioning race, allows officials to consider factors like living on an Indian reservation or in mostly black Detroit, or overcoming discrimination or prejudice.
  • Others are using many different approaches, like working with mostly minority high schools, using minority students as recruiters, and offering summer prep programs for promising students from struggling high schools.
  • At the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, a program guaranteeing that low-income students can graduate debt-free helped to increase the percentage of blacks in the freshman class to 12 percent, and to increase both economic diversity and the enrollment of underrepresented minority students. Other states have started similar programs.
  • In Detroit, Wayne State University Law School recently adopted a new admissions policy. [snip]Those include being the first in the family to go to college or graduate school; having overcome substantial obstacles, including prejudice and discrimination; being multilingual; and residence abroad, in Detroit or on an Indian reservation.

I am not quite sure what planet Tamar Lewin is living in but in the world of common sense the above tactics sure sound like an application of racial preferences.

I would also like to know how minority recruiters are going about their marching orders to keep the student population "diverse". Does it exclude considering white people or does it just entail focusing recruiting efforts in predominately Black and Hispanic areas? These are some common sense questions that never seem to come up in the course of these "reports".

Of course common sense doesn't preclude the New York Times from piling on the bogus claims of administrators and spokespeople.

“We know from colleagues in Texas and California that if we can’t take race into account, we’re at a competitive disadvantage,” said Julie Peterson, a spokeswoman for the University of Michigan, where two-thirds of the applicants are from out of state.

Ask Peterson to define what she means by competitive disadvantage and she would probably be at a loss to present it without the term diverse. The University of Michigan rejects many thousands of applicants every year so I must assume that they are meeting their admissions quotas. What other kind of competition is she referring to?

The whole premise of reports such as the one that appears in the New York Times is that the only way to prevent racial discrimination is through means that consider racial preference - quite a paradox.

Roger Clegg of the Center for Equal Opportunity published an October 2006 report in the National Review that indicated there is a large amount of discrimination that still goes on at Julie Peterson's University of Michigan; the one that can't compete. He speaks on the probability of being accepted in terms of actual numbers obtained from Freedom of Information requests.

The black-to-white odds ratio for 2005 was 70 to 1 among students taking the SAT, and 63 to 1 for students taking the ACT. (To put this in perspective, the odds ratio for nonsmokers versus smokers dying from lung cancer is only 14 to 1.) In terms of probability of admissions in 2005, black and Hispanic students with a 1240 SAT and a 3.2 high school GPA, for instance, had a 9 out of 10 chance of admissions, while whites and Asians in this group had only a 1 out of 10 chance.

Ooops my bad. That is the wrong kind of discrimination to be reporting. Flip those statistics around and you can bet that the New York Times would be reporting them above the fold on page one.

Thankfully Lewin does allow Mr. Clegg to make one short point in the final paragraphs of the NY Times article.

“I have a real problem when schools adopt what on their face are race-neutral criteria, if they are doing so to reach a predetermined racial and ethnic goal,” Mr. Clegg said. “Both in law and in common sense, the motivation matters.”

I always find it amusing to see a single small common sense sentence refute the ideas and justifications behind a larger body of work with so little effort.

I suppose we can't fault the Times. This is after all the idea behind the liberal concept of diversity. But my question is this, why aren't the "professional reporters" at the New York Times confident enough in their views to simply report the facts and let the public decide?

My best guess would be that their concept of diversity extends beyond race and income into the rich world of opinions and ideas; one where everyone must agree to think and act like them if they are to be considered.

Terry Trippany is the editor at Webloggin.