Saving Affirmative Action

And a Process for Elites to Choose Elites

To become such a society, we need to take account of race. At the same time the court makes clear that racial diversity is an interest best managed by elites. Those already privileged handpick who is best qualified to join them. Of course it is a good thing when the select few are motivated by considerations of inclusion, and knowledgeable experts often make fine decisions. But undue deference to local elites at Michigan's law school and in Georgia's state legislature creates the dangerous moral hazard that those already privileged may seek only to reproduce themselves.

While the law school trains a national elite and the Georgia legislature selects a local political elite, the path to leadership will be neither an escalator nor even a bridge. It will become a toll road in the absence of a commitment to democratic accountability. And although Harvard now enjoys, under last week's Supreme Court opinions, the constitutional green light to give my father financial aid, he still would be too poor to attend Harvard if they said no.


Related Story:
"A Court of Two Minds: Race Counts ... Just Don't Say How Much" by Thulani Davis

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