Center for Equal Opportunity

The nation’s only conservative think tank devoted to issues of race and ethnicity.

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Skin Color Determines “Who Gets In”

A new book by Rebecca Zwick, Who Gets In?, has some interesting data on, among other things, the effect of racial preferences on university admissions.  According to the discussion this week in Inside Higher Ed:

What she found is that an admissions system based solely on grades and test scores would result in significant increases in Asian [and white] enrollments and declines in enrollments of underrepresented minority [i.e., black and Latino, and sometimes American Indian] students. …

Model for Impact of Different Admissions Models at Colleges That Admit Less Than 10% of Applicants


Race/Ethnicity

Current

If Decisions Based Only on Grades/Test Scores

If Race-Based Affirmative Action Added

If Socioeconomic Affirmative Action Added

Asian

12.1%

15.6%

12.5%

14.9%

Underrepresented

12.4%

2.5%

15.6%

5.6%

More than one race

3.8%

1.5%

1.4%

2.3%

White

71.7%

80.4%

70.5%

77.2%

The article notes, “Zwick is a major proponent of affirmative action, but some of the data in the book may well be useful to those trying to eliminate the consideration of race in admissions.”  You bet.  And of course the Center for Equal Opportunity has done many, many studies (scroll down to the bottom of this page on our website for more information) that likewise document the heavy weight schools are giving to race in their admissions.

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The lead editorial in the New York Times on Monday this week bemoaned “Segregation in New York Schools.”  Of course, there are no segregated public schools in New York or anywhere in this country in 2017:  Segregated means telling kids of one color that, because of their color, they cannot attend schools with kids of a different color, and that doesn’t happen.  What we have are racial imbalances, but those imbalances are labeled “segregation” if they are of a sort that the Left doesn’t like. 

But the silliness of the editorial continues beyond its title.  The Times is unhappy not only with imbalances that can be traced only to residential living patterns, but also if they are a result of school choice.  In particular, the Times doesn’t like the fact that sometimes school choice is limited by a student’s ability to pass some sort of academic requirement.  Can’t have that! 

No doubt if parents of certain colors are, statistically speaking, more likely to become informed about where the good schools are and to put their children in those schools — well, that too would be “segregation.”  The Times admits that its criterion for whether the choice system is working or not is whether it meets the racial quotas that its editorial writers want.

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I was on the Samantha Bee show last week, to defend the practice of disenfranchising felons until they have shown they have turned over a new leaf.  Ms. Bee is not my favorite television personality, but she was kind enough to invite me and introduce me as “the leading voice” on our side of the aisle.  Here was my basic message to her:

If you aren’t willing to follow the law yourself, then you can’t demand a role in making the law for everyone else, which is what you do when you vote.  The right to vote can be restored to felons, but it should be done carefully, on a case-by-case basis after a person has shown that he or she has really turned over a new leaf, not automatically on the day someone walks out of prison.  After all, the unfortunate truth is that most people who walk out of prison will be walking back in. 

I suppose if Jesus felt obliged to eat with sinners and tax collectors, I should be willing to talk with Samantha Bee.

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Speaking of the felon voting issue, a bill that would automatically reenfranchise felons has passed both houses of the Nevada state legislature.  Here’s hoping that Nevada governor Brian Sandoval will veto it when it’s presented to him, as Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts did last month.  The Center for Equal Opportunity had urged Governor Ricketts to take that action, by the way, and we have done so with Governor Sandoval as well.

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Samuel Johnson famously said, “People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.”  And so in that spirit, let me remind you of the mission statement of the Center for Equal Opportunity:

The Center for Equal Opportunity is the nation’s only conservative think tank devoted to issues of race and ethnicity. Our fundamental vision is straightforward: America always has been a multiethnic and multiracial nation, and is becoming even more so; this makes it imperative that our national policies not divide our people according to skin color and national origin; but rather, these policies should emphasize and nurture the principles that unify us. E pluribus unum. . . out of many, one.

We work to promote a colorblind society, one within which race and skin color are no longer an issue and so accordingly we oppose admission, hiring, and contracting policies that discriminate, sort, or prefer on the basis of race or ethnicity. We oppose racial gerrymandering. We oppose bilingual education, because it segregates students by national origin, encourages identity politics, and fails to teach children English — the single most important skill they can learn and the most important social glue holding our country together. And, whatever one believes to be an acceptable level of immigration, all should agree that those coming to America must become Americans, and this means that assimilation is not a dirty word, but a national necessity.

When you think about it, what — besides protection from foreign enemies — is more important to our country’s long-term health than making sure Americans are not divided into racial or ethnic enclaves, but instead share fundamental common values and see each other and themselves as, first and foremost, Americans? And can there be any doubt that we need to attend to this with more care than we have in recent years? Doing so is the mission of the Center for Equal Opportunity.

It seemed to be a good time for such a reminder. Sad to say but there are still racial and ethnic divisions, and of course it is always important to ensure the assimilation of our immigrants.  The path forward is not identity politics (of Left or Right); or multiculturalism; or institutionalized discrimination of the politically correct kind — or lowered standards — to ensure predetermined racial results.  The right policy remains colorblind equal opportunity and the principle of E pluribus unum, of sharing fundamental common values and seeing and treating each other as Americans first.