Supreme Court Wrong on Affirmative Action
By Edwin A. Locke (San Francisco Examiner, June 25, 2003; Providence Journal, June 27, 2003)
Monday's Supreme Court pro-affirmative-action decision represents one of the lowest points in American judicial history. Although the Court's rulings were somewhat convoluted--basically they said race can be used but not too flagrantly--the bottom line is that they affirmed the legitimacy of making race a factor in admission to public universities and by implication to other institutions.
This decision represents an enormous betrayal of America's founding principles. We are a nation founded on the concept of individualism, the doctrine that each person is a sovereign entity, an end in himself, possessing the same rights as every other citizen.
The affirmative action ruling undermines the principle of individualism. It asserts that people have special rights because they are members of a racial minority, thus elevating primitive tribalism over individualism. The claim that racial "diversity" is a proper goal of an institution is wrong.
The principle should be that the most qualified individuals--without regard to race, ethnicity or any other non-essential characteristic--are selected, whether the institution involved is in the field of education, business or the military. Selecting for diversity means endorsing racism--an ugly doctrine no matter what its purpose. Racism in any form should be abhorred by every American.