By: Anthony Hadford, Sarah T. Hermann Intern Scholar
Liberals often forget that equality is not trumped by the word
"diversity." When a college admission officer faces a decision
between a poor white student and a poor black student, should they
automatically choose one over the other simply because of race?
In a liberal mind this may be fair, but is it constitutional?
The U.S. Supreme Court handed down their opinion in Fisher
v. University of Texas at Austin. In the 7-1 ruling, Justice
Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, saying: "The reviewing
court must ultimately be satisfied that no workable race-neutral
alternatives would produce the educational benefits of
diversity." With that said, the Supreme Courts punted to the Fifth
Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider their initial ruling.
The question still remains, is racial preference through
affirmative action constitutional? Justice Clarence Thomas filed a
concurring opinion stating that he would have abolished affirmative
action entirely if the question had been presented in the case.
Because this decision did not fully answer the constitutionality
of racial preference, colleges and many universities will continue
to unfairly evaluate the merits of students. How so? I call it
modern discrimination; considering an applicant more or less
desirable based on the color of his skin instead of fully relying
on the applicant's competence, character, or other
Racial preferences are commonly regarded as acceptable and
praiseworthy components of the liberal agenda. However, John F.
Kennedy did not intend to initiate race-based admissions when he
said, "I shall ask the Congress of the United States to act, to
make a commitment it has not fully made in this century to the
proposition that race has no place in American life or law." In
this statement to the American people on June 11, 1963, President
Kennedy asked the American people to abandon the idea that race is
an appropriate basis for making decisions about others.
Today, liberals often claim to fight for equality and for those
who are unfairly disadvantaged. However when people like Alveda
King, Clarence Thomas, or Marco Rubio advocate for conservative
ideas, liberals denigrate them by calling them traitors or "Uncle
Toms." Liberals champion minorities-as long as they support liberal
Let's examine Milton Friedman's perspective on the issue: "A
society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither.
The society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a
great measure of both."
Our Founding Fathers wrote that all men are created equal and
are intrinsically guaranteed life, liberty, and the pursuit of
happiness. Instead of deciding which students deserve college
acceptance or a job based on the color of their skin, isn't it time
that we, as a nation of opportunity for all, begin to focus more on
the individual merits of students?
Anthony is a second year student at the University of Virginia where he plans to double major in business and economics. He is the founding chairman of the Young Americans for Freedom Chapter at UVA.