Last week, the New York Times reported that the Trump administration will direct its Department of Justice to attack affirmative action policies in college admissions. CNN reports that the DOJ will specifically focus on the plight of Asian American students facing racial discrimination in Harvard’s admissions department. It’s great that the DOJ no longer supports radical leftism. However, this is now an opportunity for conservatives to test their own commitment to principle and reject this encroachment of the federal government onto private institutions.
What is Affirmative Action?
Affirmative action is a disgusting policy that benefits no one. It’s racist, and it undermines the principle eloquently articulated by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, that people should “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” It hurts qualified candidates whose race is disproportionately represented in higher education, and it fails to help minority candidates who are supposed to benefit from such policies.
All affirmative action does is set up unqualified minority students to fail at a school with more rigorous academic standards. In the process, it robs more qualified students of an opportunity to attend an elite school. According to a Princeton study, a child born to Chinese parents starts her SAT with a 50 point penalty, while child born to black parents starts his test with a 230 point bonus. I guess the scholastic aptitude of the student doesn’t really matter anymore on the “Scholastic Aptitude Test.”
I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help!
Affirmative action is a reprehensible policy and should absolutely end, but the solution should not be more government intervention.
Earlier this year, conservatives nationwide stood up to defend Christian bakeries from the government’s encroachment on their businesses. Affirmative action is merely an extension of these same encroachments. Private institutions, including universities, have the right to conduct their business as they see fit. That includes discriminating against potential customers or employees for any reason.
We would betray our conservative principles if we didn’t apply this principle to eliminating affirmative action in private schools. If the DOJ wants to go after racist affirmative action policies, they should do so in public universities where the government has the authority and obligation to prevent such discrimination.
As for private schools like Harvard, conservatives should stick to their principles and defend private institutions from government tyranny (even if we disagree) just as we did for a Christian baker in Colorado.