Prof: Affirmative Action in College Admissions Unnecessary and Divisive
Says SCOTUS upholding the practice is “wrong.”
Trey Sanchez 8.17.2016
Professor emeritus of political science at Southern Connecticut State University Kul B. Rai, Ph.D., believes enforcing racial preferences through affirmative action for college admissions is completely unnecessary, utterly divisive, and harmful to all students.
In his op-ed for RepublicanAmerican, Rai states that the Supreme Court was wrong for ruling in favor of the practice during a 2008 lawsuit filed by a white enrollee at the University of Texas at Austin who was passed over for black and Hispanic students with lower credentials just to meet a quota.
“Racial preferences in college admissions should end because they are neither necessary nor desirable,” he writes.
At this point, Rai proves, “equality has in fact been achieved in college admissions:”
According to the latest data prepared by the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, from 1976 to 2013, the percentage of Hispanic college students increased from 4 percent to 16 percent, and the percentage of black students rose from 10 percent to 15 percent. During the same period, the percentage of white students decreased from 84 percent to 59 percent.
U.S. census data indicate Hispanics comprise 17 percent of the population, blacks 12.3 percent and non-Hispanic whites 63 percent. In other words, Hispanic enrollment in colleges is nearly proportional to the Hispanic population, blacks are over-represented and whites are under-represented. In view of such data, it makes little sense to continue racial preferences in college admissions.
But if the quota system continues, and it will for the time being, “it clearly would be at the cost of deserving white students,” Rai argues.
Gallup shows that both whites and Hispanics share a similar opinion on affirmative action: a majority from both groups oppose racial preferences in college admissions, unlike blacks who are for it. Two-thirds of all Americans believe colleges should look at merit alone during the admissions process.
This same breakdown played out in his classrooms over 40 years of teaching, Rai said.
“Whenever I discussed affirmative action in my classes, white students rarely supported it and complained of reverse discrimination. Black students generally said past injustices against minorities needed to be addressed by affirmative action. Hispanic students seldom expressed an opinion on it.”
Rai also noted the effects of such programs in other countries:
Through a quota system, India covers nearly half of the public sector jobs and seats in colleges. Castes that are considered socially and economically disadvantaged qualify for the quota.
Affirmative action in India has further divided an already fragmented society . The results have been massive demonstrations, violence and loss of life.
“Fortunately, opposition to racial preferences has been muted in the United States. However, it makes little sense to continue it,” Rai writes in conclusion.
As Campus Reform notes, Rai is a co-author of Affirmative Action and the University. The book makes the case that affirmative action policies have created a “’two-tier employment system’ in which women and minorities languish in mid-level positions, rather than advancing to administrative positions.'”
Thomas Sowell gets the last word: