For that reason, affirmative action when it came to college admissions made perfect sense two generations ago. We know there was institutional racism and we knew it would take time to cure (racists had to retire or die off, and each generation would be less bigoted, but that doesn't happen right away) so giving a minority that likely did not have access to the same education, but had no less ability, a temporary boost, was both ethical and unnecessary.
But it was not meant to be permanent - and it is time to go.
Today, the old racism has been replaced by a new kind. In Science Left Behind I wrote about how progressive efforts to hijack science were not just limited to promoting fear and doubt about vaccines, food and energy, they were also designed to pick winners and losers in academia: Blacks and Latinos, large voting blocks in America, were the 'right' minority to help while Chinese and Indian students, a tiny fraction in America by comparison, were penalized by policies claiming to be about diversity.
In college admissions, it became so well-known that there was a pecking order based on skin color that Asian students who had a white-sounding name were told by other Asians to deny their heritage and check 'Caucasian' on the admissions box to have a better chance of getting in. College is not a zero sum game but progressives had created a bell curve of admissions, penalizing and rewarding in the name of equality.
It makes no sense to modern students who, whether we choose to accept it or not, are far less racist than generations ago and don't see why they should be penalized for doing nothing wrong. The courts have agreed, for the most part. And so has the data. In states that stopped using skin color as a scoring category in admissions, diversity did not go down but discrimination did.
It was only a matter of time before it came to the Supreme Court. And it did, in the case of Abigail Fisher, a white student 'on the bubble' - her scores were not good enough for automatic entry into the University of Texas at Austin, meaning they used their secret racial sauce and, she believed, chose others over her based on skin color. The Supreme Court heard the case in 2013 and told the lower court to try again. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld their previous decision that race-based admissions are legal yet again, with Judge Patrick Higginbotham writing that using unquantified racial preferences allowed for "holistic diversity' and therefore increased the "richness of the educational experience." The minority contended that arbitrary race-based criteria were exactly the opposite of what affirmative action had set out to accomplish. Now it is back at the Supreme Court and Justice Elena Kagan has to recuse herself because she argued for race in admissions in the past. That means there is some chance that we can recognize it is now 2015 and not 1965.
A society that has rightly been celebrating victories for health care and marriage has to be uncomfortable siding with fringe progressives who insist there is no tolerance in America unless whites and Asians are penalized. Because it's 2015, it is time to take an ethical stand against all racism, and not just turn a blind eye to racism against Asians and even white people.
Fisher has long since graduated from Louisiana State University so this is truly just an effort to insure fairness in admissions. The University of Texas, and every other school, should not be allowed to base entry on anything but merit.