Race Should Not Be A Factor In College Admissionsby White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales
Ever since John F. Kennedy, in 1961, called for federal contractors to "take affirmative action, to ensure that applicants are employed without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin," our great nation has been sliding down a slippery slope of racial preferences. In the realm of college admissions, quota systems and biased admissions policies have been used to try to "level the playing field" and ensure "diversity" on college campuses. In reality, they have done more harm than good.
For this reason, I have submitted, on behalf of the President, a brief to the Supreme Court urging them to reject the University of Michigan's policy of racial preferences. It is time for our society to move beyond the culture of victimhood, in which we act as if members of certain ethnic groups need a helping hand in order to succeed.
This trend toward racial preferences in our society helps no one. It does not help the ethnic minorities it is designed to assist, because those helped by the system can never fully escape the stigma that surrounds it, and can never take true pride in their achievements. And it does not help those in the ethnic majority, either, who understandably resent the fact their true merits are brushed aside in the name of a clumsy form of social engineering.
Ultimately, what does the color of one's skin have to do with higher learning? Nothing. So, let's move on, America, and show the world that, when it comes to college admissions, race really doesn't matter.
Yes, It Shouldby Strom Thurmond
Of course race should be a factor in college admissions. As many of you know, I've been in favor of that concept for my entire career. Using race as an admissions criterion is the only effective way that institutions of higher learning can strike the delicate racial balance they strive for.
As White House Counsel Gonzales points out, our government has, for over four decades, accepted a system of active support and assistance for racial minorities. The President and Mr. Gonzales think we should turn back the clock to 1961. They're wrong. We should turn it back even further.
You see, there was a time in this country when colleges and universities could choose their own admissions policies without government interference. Great institutions like the University of Alabama could set specific, concrete goals for how much racial diversity they wanted, and could implement clear, unambiguous policies for achieving those goals. And they consistently succeeded. Prior to the Kennedy Administration, Alabama was 100% percent successful in achieving the very specific ethnic ratio it was seeking. Just one student admitted without regard to these racial factors would have upset that crucial balance and tainted the entire student body.
Race-conscious admissions policies: the University of Alabama did it once, and the University of Michigan should be allowed to do it today. If only our nation's colleges, corporations, restaurants, buses, golf clubs, and public facilities could do the same, we wouldn't have all these problems.
You see, you have all kinds of racial strife on today's college campuses. The blacks resent the whites; the Hispanics dislike the Asians; and it shows up in the form of bitterness and animosity both in and out of the classroom. And it's all because of these affirmative action policies. Consider this: was there any racial conflict among students at the University of Alabama in the 1950's? Hell, no!
Ultimately, what does the color of one's skin have to do with higher learning? Everything. So, let's move on, America, and show the world that, when it comes to college admissions, race really does matter.