With the Supreme Court due to consider Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin this coming week, cases for and against affirmative action have been dominating the education news cycle. The progressive Century Foundation recently issued a report arguing that the Supreme Court will likely greatly restrict racial preferences in college admissions. Instead, argue the liberal authors, it’s time to use class-based admissions policies and other indirect ways to create “diversity” on campus. You can read my recent blog entry, “Racial Preferences Under Review,” for more details on this Supreme Court case and The Century Foundation’s proposals.
A recent poll by Georgetown University and the Public Religion Research Institute highlights the ongoing racial tensions over the affirmative action question. “Fifty-seven percent of Americans ages 18 to 25 are opposed to racial preferences playing a role in college admissions or hiring decisions…” reports the Christian Science Monitor. “Only 9 percent of respondents said such programs are appropriate to make up for past discrimination, while 28 percent agreed that they are justified to increase diversity on a college campus or in the workplace, the survey found.”
The report, according to CSM, states that “Less than one-in-five (19 percent) white Millennials favor programs designed to help blacks and other minorities get ahead because of past discrimination, while nearly two-thirds (66 percent) are opposed.” In contrast, “…three-quarters (75 percent) of black Millennials and more than six-in-ten (63 percent) Hispanic Millennials favor such programs,” states the report.
The authors of The Century Foundation report argue that today’s race-based policies benefit rich minority members and that a focus on class to promote “diversity” is more appropriate and, they argue, more likely to be accepted by the Supreme Court.