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Michael Barone - Racial discrimination on campus likely to go on & on

"Affirmative action" will continue to be the routine course of business of college and university admissions for the foreseeable future. That's the bottom line from the Supreme Court's June decision in Fisher v. University of Texas.

By a 4-3 vote, the court essentially approved the University of Texas' "holistic" admissions as not violating the civil rights of white plaintiff Abigail Fisher. Justice Anthony Kennedy, as a Wall Street Journal editorial noted, "overturned himself." That leaves five votes for racial quotas (counting Justice Elena Kagan, a lockstep liberal on this issue, who recused herself from this case) regardless of who eventually takes Justice Antonin Scalia's seat.

When the same case came up three years ago Justice Kennedy wrote, "Any official action that treats a person differently on account of his race or ethnic origin is inherently suspect." This time he wrote that a university is owed "considerable deference" when choosing students with "intangible qualities which are incapable of objective measurement but which make for greatness."

If you've followed this issue at all, you know what all this mumbo jumbo means. It means that college and university admissions officers can discriminate by race, in favor of blacks and Hispanics and therefore against whites and Asians.

That's what they've been doing, aggressively, for almost all of the half-century since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited such discrimination. Some institutions, it seems, are so high-minded and well-intentioned that they can systematically and repeatedly disobey the Constitution and the law.

Backers of this form of racial discrimination argue that it does a lot of good for some people and not much harm to others. Applicants accepted because of their race will benefit. Applicants rejected because of their race by one selective school will probably be admitted to another one pretty much as good.

The facts may support the second proposition; Abigail Fisher will probably do all right in life. Unfortunately, they don't support the first proposition. And what is fascinating is that this was foreseen, more than half a century ago, by another judge whose wise advice was rejected.

That was Justice Macklin Fleming, who graduated from Yale Law School in 1937 and was appointed to the California Court of Appeals in 1964 by Gov. Pat Brown. In an exchange of letters with Yale Law Dean Louis Pollak in June 1969 (the month of my graduation there) later printed in The Public Interest, he criticized Pollak's policy of admitting "10 percent of each entering class without regard to qualification under regular standards." Fleming called this what it was: racial quotas, which are "highly malignant, no matter how high-minded the purpose." Moreover, positive quotas for one or more groups mean negative quotas for others.

Fleming also argued that racial preferences won't actually benefit the intended beneficiaries. "The present policy of admitting students on two bases and thereafter purporting to judge their performance on one basis is a highly explosive sociological experiment almost certain to achieve undesirable results."

The results of this sociological experiment at Yale and other selective schools are only too apparent to anyone reading Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor's 2012 book, "Mismatch." As Fleming foresaw, racial quota admissions inevitably create a visible minority of students who tend to be less well-prepared than their schoolmates on average. This reinforces rather than dispels stereotypes of group inferiority.

Those admitted under quotas tend to drop out more often, tend to avoid college science and math, tend to flunk post-graduation bar and other professional tests. Admissions officers get to brag that they've admitted lots of blacks and Hispanics. But many of those admitted would have done better in the long run at a school where most students had similar levels of preparation.

It's easy to imagine why such students cherish grievances and are on the alert for signs of racism, even from schoolmates of the least racist generation in American history. They know that administrators are lying when they say they don't use racial quotas, and they resent the inevitable stamp of inferiority. You would too if you were in their shoes.

There will be, as Justice Fleming predicted, "demands for reduction of competition (and) reductions in standards of performance," and some quota students "will seek personal satisfaction and public recognition by aggressive conduct."

The results, 47 years after Justice Fleming's letter, are Orwellian campus speech codes; "safe spaces" where students can avoid allegedly offensive words; and demands for increased racial quotas. Thanks to Justice Kennedy, you're likely to see the same things 47 years from now.

(Syndicated columnist Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner, is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.)

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How many gun owners could you kill to take their firearms away?

To The Daily Sun,

One recent Sunday morning, America woke up to hear of the most outrageous terrorist attack on us since 9-11-2001. While the bloody bodies still lay where they fell, President Hussein Obama held a major press appearance and without any knowledge of the facts, blamed the whole thing on me and you — American gun owners, the NRA, and that damn Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Shortly there after we learn that the shooter considered himself a soldier for the Islamic state, and was a registered Democrat.
No wonder the left wing extremists among us are upset to the point of insanity! Yellow journalism disguised as a history lesson from Mr. Cracraft. It takes some kind of mental gymnastics to paint Trump supporters as some kind of Third Reich while they are the ones promoting violence and organizing brown shirt thugs to start trouble. And please don't ever tell us again that "nobody wants to take away your guns."
As for Ms. Loesch, where do you begin? Incredulously, she claims that gun owners use them at will without penalty. Apart from the thousands of laws and regulations in place that either don't work or are not enforced, she is describing the freedom that we as Americans enjoy. She is trying to tell you that the Revolutionary War was fought with muskets so that should be good enough for us as well. Really Bernie? Any one with a clear vision of firearm development in our history knows that people had access to and used the most modern gun designs available at the time. For instance, lever action repeaters were introduced in small numbers during the Civil War. Within 15 years, everybody was using them including the Indians. Then came the next wonder weapon, the bolt-action rifle. Soon the whole world was using them for war but also for sport. Next came the self-loading guns, introduced to the world well over one hundred years ago. By the 1930's anyone with $175 could buy a Thompson machine gun. The fact is that we as Americans have always had access to military-style guns, because it is our birthright.
It is reported now that, since BHO came into power, there have been 52,000 background checks done for gun transfers every single day. There are around ten million AR-15's alone and maybe 100 million other self loading guns too. Who is so delusional to think that is possible to even track them all down? Who is so stupid to think that if we just ban them that they will all go away? How many gun owners would you be willing to kill to take them Bernadette? You are the one making cowardly threats against our civil rights.
So go on, you sniveling "progressive" socialist fascist lefties. Throw your hissy fit tantrums, and your vile lies about American gun owners. Do your sit ins, marches, candle light vigils or chain yourself to a fence somewhere for all I care. You are not fooling any one. Gun control has always been a losing argument for you. But then again socialists are slow learners.
Alan Moon


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