Monday, January 4, 2016

Justice Scalia was Right.

But there’s no easy way to say it.

During oral argument in the case known as “Fisher 2”, Justice Scalia asked a question relating to the “Mismatch” problem - that admitting students to colleges for reasons other than academic qualifications results in higher failure rates, greater shifts from harder, scientific majors to easier, often social-justice oriented ones and higher rates of dropout with excess debt.

Because the primary reason academically-unqualified students are admitted is race, there is no easy way to ask the question without sounding bigoted. But the questions is not actually “Would Blacks do better at easier schools?” but rather “Would any person do better in a school with a student body at their own level?”

The accusation of racism is actually just the standard defense of racial preferences or quotas, because these programs end up saying “This student is qualified and acceptable, and would be admitted, but we are not taking anymore students of that race.” The accusation of racism against opponents of the program is actually a cover for the explicit racism of the program.

The literature is absolutely clear - students do best at the highest level of academic achievement they are qualified for. They do worst at schools they are underqualified for. The only academic defense to the literature boils down to “We’ve concealed as much of the data as we can, so you can’t reach that conclusion.” That’s hardly a defense.

But the thrust behind Justice Scalia’s question was this: the primary defense of racial admissions into college is the creation of a “diverse”campus that’s enables minority participation. But if racial admissions simply result in higher drop-out rates, there is really no diversity argument at all - it hurts disfavored minorities by denying them qualified admission, and hurts favored minorities by putting them in near-guaranteed failure conditions and burying them in debt or diverting them to useless, isolated majors.

If the government’s “compelling interest” in diversity at college is shown to be fatuous, either by failing them or segregating them, then racial preferences themselves are unConstitutional discrimination. And if it is shown that preferences are harmful to everyone, the government cannot justify them.

Given that the harm is certainly happening, defenders of racist programs must use distractions and emotional manipulation in order to protect them.
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