Even Progressive Voters Don't Like Racial Affirmative Action

As the Supreme Court moves towards its expected affirmative action ruling, a backlash among supporters of racial quotas is already brewing. One magazine, The Nation, suggests that the lawyer pleading the case for Asian American students is serving the cause of “white supremacy”, while top college presidents, interviewed on PBS, predict that any move to curb race quotas would constitute a “disaster.” Some schools are going a step further by exploring how to get around the potential new law — just as corporations, always keen to please the chattering classes, do the same thing.

Affirmative action is not a winning issue for progressives. Indeed, a majority of both Democrats and Republicans, as well as roughly half of African Americans, say that colleges should not factor race and ethnicity into the admissions process. Asian Americans are even more hostile to the idea: one recent national poll found that four in 10 of the group saw affirmative action as “racist” and more than half welcomed a Supreme Court ruling outlawing it.

The fundamental flaw with affirmative action is that it directly contradicts what the Swedish sociologist Gunnar Myrdal defined as “the American creed” — a notion, too often ignored, embracing equal opportunity for all its citizens. But where the early goals of the Civil Rights movement backed this ideal, the new affirmative action regime embraces race-based discrimination as an unadulterated good.

Read the rest of this piece at UnHerd.

Joel Kotkin is the author of The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class. He is the Roger Hobbs Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and Executive Director for Urban Reform Institute. Learn more at joelkotkin.com and follow him on Twitter @joelkotkin.