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The
Fatherhood

Coalition

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... Supreme Court's U. Michigan Decisions

By Mark Charalambous, June 26, 2003

Published:

Worcester Telegram & Gazette July 3, 2003 "Two lies predominate in Michigan decisions"
Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise July 12, 2003 "Supreme Court erred in its ruling on affirmative action"

Cultural Divide–and Litigation–Sure to Grow Following Court Decision

A lie misrepresented as the truth is always a main ingredient in any recipe for political correctness. In the Supreme Court's decision affirming racial preferences in college admissions, there seems to be two lies that predominate.

The first lie is that affirmative action for minorities in the form of racial preferences is not, in fact, racial discrimination at all, and thus, not racism.

This lie requires little effort to dismiss once politically correct blinders are replaced with logic. If race is considered favorably for one group, the race of others clearly is a detriment, and hence they are being discriminated against because of their race.


To claim that a student studying math, electronics, or contract law, for example, is going to benefit because there is an African-American student sitting next to him, is just absurd.

The second lie is more subtle, and in fact contradicts the first lie, which is typical any time political correctness is in play.

This lie is that education derives benefits from the ethnic and racial makeup of the student body. A case could be made for this for a specific curriculum that dealt with race relations and relied upon student participation in the classroom. But this represents a small minority of the subject matter taught in classrooms.

To claim that a student studying math, electronics, or contract law, for example, is going to benefit because there is an African-American student sitting next to him, is just absurd.

This kind of argument is specious at best. Yet incredibly enough, the hundreds of friend-of-the-court briefs submitted by schools in favor of racial preferences purported to offer evidence that this is so. It should be clear that such arguments could only be subjective, not based on empirical data showing any clear cause-and-effect relationship. In fact, opponents of racial preferences can make a much stronger case that allowing less qualified students into college to promote diversity has harmed the quality of education overall. After all, the proof is in the pudding. Is there anyone out there who actually believes that academic standards have actually risen since open admission policies to colleges were implemented in the early seventies?

Bottom line: racial preferences discriminate against those who aren't included in the favored group. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor says that racial preferences to permit minorities to enter higher ed. who might not otherwise gain admission are a good thing because the ends justify the means. After all, she says that affirmative action should be temporary (no more than another 25 years), therefore admitting that it is, in her mind, a necessary evil.


The question is, what other, ostensibly "good," reasons for racism are lurking out there waiting for some future politically correct wind to blow in another direction?  To O'Connor & Co., the greater good served is living in a "diverse" society. What about living in a safe society? Could not some future demagogue make a case for racial profiling in the interest of say, public safety?

The question is, what other, ostensibly "good," reasons for racism are lurking out there waiting for some future politically correct wind to blow in another direction?  To O'Connor & Co., the greater good served is living in a "diverse" society. What about living in a safe society? Could not some future demagogue make a case for racial profiling in the interest of say, public safety?

It is a slippery slope. Minds more intelligent than those that sit on the highest court in the nation long ago realized that discriminating based on race is purely and simply an inherently bad thing. Martin Luther King was one such person. I can't help but wonder what he would think of how his life's work to end racial segregation and ensure equal opportunity for African-Americans has transmogrified into racial preferences for them.

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Mark Charalambous, a resident of Leominster, MA, is a founder of, and the Spokesman for, CPF/The Fatherhood Coalition. He is an instructor in the Massachusetts state college system.


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