Reviews > Q&A

Negative action

"Negative action" Continued...

Issue: "Boston Terrorthon," May 4, 2013

Still, a third counter-argument: On the campus as a whole, wouldn’t a ban on racial preferences lead to less diversity? If racial preferences were banned tomorrow and everybody complied, there would not be one iota less diversity in American universities collectively than there is now. There would be some redistribution—less diversity at Harvard and other top schools, more diversity at the ones farther down, with all of the black students doing better at every level. The argument for diversity, on closer examination, becomes an argument that you’re going to have more blacks in leadership positions if we have more of them at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, etcetera. 

Getting jobs at elite law firms they otherwise would not get? They will get jobs at elite law firms—but the same partners who said, “We gotta have more black faces here,” will say if a memo is not what they expect it to be, “I don’t want him working on my case!” You end up with a lot of careers ending unhappily fairly early at these big law firms, and a lot of understandably embittered black people. They have been told, “You’re going to do fine at this college, this law school, this firm,” but nobody’s ever told them, “You’re not well-prepared for this. You’d be better off somewhere else.” 

A fourth counter-argument: Seeing more people from their race in colleges inspires some middle-school and high-school students. John McWhorter, a black critic of affirmative action, wrote in his book, Losing the Race, “I knew from at least the age of ten that there was something called affirmative action. It meant that I would not have to work as hard or do as well as my white classmates in order to get into a good college. That had an effect on me.” That has an effect on a lot of kids.

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Watch Marvin Olasky's complete interview with Stuart Taylor Jr.:

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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