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Admitting racism: Ending college discrimination

August 06. 2017 9:19PM

College admissions is not the largest remaining source of institutional racism left in America.

That would be the public education system that leaves so many students in America’s urban centers unprepared for college, or the workforce.

But setting different standards for college freshmen based solely on their race and ethnicity is repugnant.

The U.S. Supreme Court has been steadily moving toward the end of affirmative action, but we should not wait for the courts to do what is right.

Columnist David Harsanyi today addresses the Justice Department’s reported effort to investigate college affirmative action policies. It is a welcome development.

Colleges should seek out students who have faced obstacles, even if this meant lower grades or test scores. These students deserve consideration, and the chance at a college education. But using race as a proxy for opportunity is short-sighted, counter-productive, and immoral.

As Chief Justice John Roberts wrote a decade ago, “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

Racially-based college admissions standards are unfair both to those students who are blocked from a college they would otherwise attend and for unprepared students these backfiring policies are supposedly helping.

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