Friday, February 25, 2005

America's global affirmative action search

According to Gene Expression, US universities are now looking internationally for students to meet their affirmative action requirements:

Whatever you may think of Affirmative Action now, its genesis was noble (though misguided) in intent - to right the wrongs of the past and to equalize the paths to success for members of discriminated racial groups. I would imagine that those who wrote the legislation thought that the program would have a finite life and would end when the wrongs of the past had been righted.

However, University administrators, in their striving for diversity, are doing their best to insure that Affirmative Action never sees a sunset. (surprise!) They are recruiting students internationally to meet their diversity goals.

Around the Blogosphere:

Some blacks more equal than others

The End[s] of Affirmative Action?

New Debate Over Black Identity

For the first time in history

2 Comments:

At 11:02 AM, Blogger D. B. Light said...

You are right, affirmative action was originally intended to serve a noble purpose, but became an institutionalized form of racism that long overstayed its welcome. Rather than promoting integration, it often became a stimulus to racial antagonism. It is hard to see the logic of ending racism through the mechanism of institutionalizing racial discrimination.

That is not to say that affirmative action did not have a positive effect for a while. The modern black middle class has benefited greatly from the program. But it also had the negative effect of demeaning the real achievements of many middle-class blacks who would have succeeded on their own. I once had a long and eye-opening conversation with Shelby Steele on this subject. Many middle-class blacks feel that they have been stigmatized by the existence of affirmative action.

You are also right that universities have behaved reprehensibly in recruiting overseas to fill ethnic quotas. But the problem goes far beyond the precincts of academe.

What is interesting to mr in all this is the ways in which immigrant competition for racially-defined roles in our society has scrambled our understanding of race and forced us to reconsider the boundaries of racial identity.

 
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