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Let's Do, Ourselves, What the Supreme Court Refused to Do

I agree with David Frum: the Supreme Court decisions in the case of University of Michigan affirmative action feel like a defeat for progress toward a racism-free society. They are not, to be sure, the crushing defeat that some on the other side claim to have delivered, as Jonah Goldberg points out, but they do give the weasels of the academy room within which to wriggle.

My reaction, this "day after," is to say, "So be it." It's an unhealthy addiction to look to the Supreme Court, or the government in general, to resolve all issues of public conscience. Let society do what society's leaders refuse to do. This suggestion will take two broad forms:

1) Learning from Donald Rumsfeld and resorting to some straight-talk diplomacy. At its most explicit, this would involve calling the race-obsessed academics what they, in actuality, are: racists. Closed-minded bigots in robes. There's no two ways about it: they want to define Americans according to the color of their skin and construct policies accordingly. As with all bigotry, this is good for neither side, benefiting only the prejudices of the elite.

2) Wielding the free market. Expanding on the clarity encouraged in the previous point, it is obvious that we can no longer, in good conscience, patronize racist institutions. Would many folks send their children to a university that explicitly diminished the applications of blacks for admission? As consumers of the product of higher education, let's put a premium on race-blind admissions policies, making the lack of affirmative action a selling point for innovative college administrators.

Posted by Justin Katz @ 11:26 AM EST