GOOD RIDDANCE TO AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
By Ken Dalecki
As the grandfather to two adopted grandchildren from China, I am delighted that the Supreme Court has finally nixed racial profiling in college admissions. My granddaughter is a math whiz and can qualify at any elite school based on her grades. But she has been afraid to include a photo with college applications because she is Asian! Hopefully that has changed, although I fear woke schools will do as much as they can get away with to perpetuate affirmative action.
My opposition to affirmative action started long before having Asian grandchildren. In 1979, I was a National Endowment for the Humanities Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. One of our seminar topics was the 1978 Bakke decision in which the Supreme Court's oxymoronic ruling declared that affirmative action was constitutional but racial quotas were not. I was the only one of a dozen journalism fellows to argue Bakke's position against quotas. (One fellow said he agreed with my arguments but was too liberal to endorse my stand.) At the end of the discussion, our professor weighed in in opposition to quotas. "You know why he opposes quotas," one fellow asked me? "He's Jewish, and Jews were once excluded to many schools." I guess that made his position illegitimate in the eyes of my liberal colleague.
A guest speaker at the seminar made a point favoring diversity in medical school admissions that did make some sense to me. He was from the university's medical school and argued that you don't have to be a genius to be a doctor. If that's true, why limit admissions to only students with top SAT scores, especially if that means minority communities will have fewer doctors? A good point. But if accurate, why can't all students with lower SAT scores be admitted to medical school? Why reject some in favor of others based on race?
I have a cousin who overcame the obstacles quotas put on his road to becoming a doctor. He qualified for medical school in the 1980s under a race-neutral system, but not under quotas. Undeterred, he went to Mexico, learned Spanish, graduated from medical school there and passed the demanding medical boards to practice in New York. He's not alone in taking that challenging route. Let's hope that kind of grit will no longer be necessary for those determined and able to practice medicine or any other profession.
Ken Dalecki is a Member of the Montgomery County Central Committee, LD 20.