15.1.03

DISCRIMINATING FOR EQUALITY. Northern Star coverage of the University of Michigan case. Note especially this comment by LaVerne Gyant, director of the Center for Black Studies. "People of color have been denied their rights for so long, and affirmative action came about in the civil rights movement,” she said. “If people have the grades and test scores, they should just be let in." Actually, affirmative action as national policy came about in the Nixon administration, and the current case isn't about people who have the grades and the test scores. Rather, it is about using different admission standards for different people to the detriment of people who have higher grades and scores but not protected status (the gravamen of the case) and incidentally about setting the protected status students up to fail. Extending Discriminations, "If the University of Michigan were forced to abandon its race-based preferences and the minority students who would have been admitted under the abandoned program instead attended Michigan State Univ. or Eastern Michigan Univ. or Wayne State Univ. or Northern Michigan Univ., they would receive all the diversity-specific benefits they would have received in Ann Arbor. It is only the non-minority students at Michigan who would have experienced any loss," it is likely the case that some of the students at Ann Arbor received fewer diversity-specific benefits; precisely those students who flunked out or dropped out of Ann Arbor who might have done well at one of the other universities named -- where they would have provided those interaction benefits to other students that the University of Michigan is claiming are so important.

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