Diversity: UNC Lawsuit Over Racially Biased Admissions

RALEIGH – There is a school of thought in this postmodernist world that something cannot be racist if the “victim” is white. There is also a phrase, often attributed to columnist Michael Gerson, about how certain policies promote a “soft bigotry of low expectations.”

Both of those ideas come in to play with the news that the University of North Carolina is asking for a lawsuit to be thrown out for insufficient standing. They are being sued for racially biased admissions policies cloaked in the ever-popular goal of ‘diversity.’

From the News & Observer:

“A group suing UNC-Chapel Hill accuses the university of improperly using race to admit students, to the detriment of white and Asian-American applicants. But UNC defends its practices.

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On Friday, the university filed a motion for summary judgment, saying the plaintiffs hadn’t established sufficient grounds for their lawsuit to continue. In a message to the campus Friday, Chancellor Carol Folt and Provost Bob Blouin said: “Our admissions policies and practices comply with the spirit and letter of the law, and we will continue to vigorously defend our position in this nationally significant case.”

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An organization called Students for Fair Admissions sued UNC-Chapel Hill and Harvard University in November 2014. The lawsuits represent a major challenge to the use of race in college admissions. Court rulings in the cases could affect universities around the United States.”

The case is indeed significant, because colleges and universities across the country often place a high weighting on race when determining whether or not to admit students to their school. The plaintiffs argue that UNC is one of the worst when it comes to this practice.

“Edward Blum, president of Students for Fair Admissions, said in a news release that the court filing “exposes the startling magnitude of the University of North Carolina’s racial preferences.”

For example, Blum said, the filing contains statistical calculations from the plaintiff’s expert witness, Duke University economist Peter Arcidiacono, who demonstrated that an Asian-American male applicant from North Carolina with a 25 percent chance of getting into UNC would have his probability increase to about 67 percent if he were Latino and to more than 90 percent if he were African-American.”

So when know the postmodernist social justice warriors do not believe it can be racists if it is to the detriment of white people, but what about Asians? Further, does such a practice indirectly promote the idea that Latino and African-American high school students need an arbitrary advantage based solely on their race? How insulting.

Never mind all that, UNC says, because this is all in the name of diversity, and the need for diversity cannot be questioned. Even though the Supreme Court of the United States already found that universities must meet a ‘race-neutral’ test in their admissions, based on a case brought against the University of Texas several years ago, UNC says that diversity is more important.

“In Friday’s filing, the university says its admissions policy meets that constitutional test. The university’s attorneys also argue that it has a longstanding commitment to diversity.

UNC also says that race-neutral alternatives don’t promote the university’s diversity goals.

“In its academic judgment, the University has determined that pursuing the educational benefits of diversity is integral to fulfilling its mission to prepare the next generation of leaders,” according to the filing signed by Chicago attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized the benefits of diversity: It promotes racial understanding, breaks down stereotypes and enables students of different races to better understand each other.

UNC says it has submitted to the judge more than 50 declarations from administrators, faculty, staff, students and alumni attesting to the value of diversity of many kinds on campus. The plaintiffs haven’t offered a rebuttal to that point, the university says.”

Oh, well if you have staff and students attesting to the “value of diversity” it can’t possibly be racist. Plus it’s just plain mean of the plaintiffs to want universities to evaluate prospective students with color-blindness and an emphasis on academic proficiency.

“In their letter to the campus, Folt and Blouin said the group that filed the lawsuit “aims to eliminate entirely the consideration of race in U.S. college admissions.”

The administrators also sought to reassure UNC students that they belong at the university. “We are proud of the contributions our students make in our community, and we want each of you to know that you rightfully earned your place here,” their message said.[…]”

That sounds nice, but even with their claimed ‘holistic’ approach that avoids having actual quotas, their practices make it clear that, on net, some students are denied quite simply because they are white or Asian, and others are admitted by virtue of the fact that they are Latino or African-American.

If it sounds racist, that’s because it is, postmodernist theory notwithstanding. Some students are admitted or denied admission because of their race, all else being equal.

The case against Harvard has already been tried, but a judge has not yet issued a ruling. If that case, and the one against UNC result in rulings against the schools’ diversity admissions, they will likely go to the Supreme Court.

Read more from the News & Observer here.

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