The U.S. Supreme Court has proved disappointing on many occasions, most notably with the June 2012 ruling upholding the constitutionality of Obamacare. (Given the misery this ruling has caused Americans, not to mention the political hammering the Democrats are enduring, it may well have been a Pyrrhic victory for the Hubris Administration, but that's a subject for another blog.)
Today, however, the justices issued a wise ruling (by a surprising 6-2 margin) upholding Michigan's 2006 amendment to its state constitution prohibiting race-based preferences. The amendment ensures the state may not “discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education or public contracting.” The issue stems from admission policies at the University of Michigan that were litigated as far back as 1996 and resulted in two cases decided by the Supremes in 2003: Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger (Bollinger being former U-M President Lee Bollinger).
Predictably, U-M President Mary Sue Coleman is upset about the ruling, and the usual left-wing riffraf like By Any Means Necessary are spouting off with indignation and threats. But as is a tendency of left-wingers, they often do not think logically but instead allow emotion and idealism to cloud their reasoning.
The typical university admissions process has long been a ridiculous charade. It includes factors such as "legacy preferences," prospective students' extracurricular activities in high school and often an application essay. (How can the ivory tower salons be sure one or both parents didn't really write an applicant's essay? I am sure it's been done, and not infrequently.)
Racial preferences have gone a long way toward greasing the skids for minorities who already had the intelligence, grades and financial resources to pursue a college education and would have done so regardless. Granted, some minorities would not be admitted to a prestigious school like U-M without a little nudge in the admissions process, but they still could/would have been admitted to another quality university or college.
And what about the Asians? At U-M and MSU, you see thousands of them, often driving around in expensive cars many alumni could not afford. Obviously, these students may fill the racial quotas that university administrators secretly desire in their pie-in-the-sky diversity dreams, but they do nothing to diversify socioeconomic statuses in the student body. What the Asians have accomplished, however, is fattening up the coffers of the big universities, which jack up tuition rates so that out-of-state students pay about three times as much per credit hour. Follow the money.
As it stands, the left's obsession with skin color would prefer middle-class minorities over poor whites with equal or better grades and test scores who perhaps are much less able to afford college. And it goes without saying that diversity outreach efforts are not at all involved in reaching out to the types of whites many leftists would despise and denigrate: Poor, rural whites who are staunch Christians and possibly gun owners. In the minds of the Ivory Tower diversity denizens, any middle-class black, Asian or hispanic with supportive parents and a solid academic record in good schools would be far preferable to a poor white kid with great test scores but whose school district has been found wanting. You see, in the lefitst mind, diversity only means skin color and sexual preference. You can check diversity of thought and ideology at the door.
I would be remiss not to note that minority groups tend to associate with themselves on campuses rather than mingle with the student body at large. This flies in the face of any melting pot aspirations. Don't believe me? Head over to any major university library, student union or cafeteria. Or witness the crowds at football or basketball games. You'll see Asians sitting together, blacks sitting together, and whites usually not with minorities. Sorry, libs, but that's the reality.
One way universities could reduce an advantage many white applicants have over blacks and hispanics is by eliminating the legacy factor. Doesn't it stand to reason that since blacks and hispanics have made tremendous economic gains only in the past 30 to 50 years, that the odds are they did not have parents or grandparents who attended a major university such as U-M or MSU? Why should competing applicants be shown favoritism just because they were fortunate enough to be the third or fourth generation in their family to attend college?
Well, enough on that for now. But believe me, we haven't heard the last of this issue as several other states are contemplating amending their constitutions with similar laws. What's the over/under on hack Eric Holder interjecting himself into this discussion?
BASKETBALL BITS -- I am weeks behind on this one, but better late than never... Time to comment on the NCAA Tournament and the state of Spartans basketball.
First off, I eat crow as I predicted Florida would win the national championship. Connecticut dispatched the Gators with more ease than I would have dreamed (a 10-point margin), considering Florida entered the semi-final tilt with an imposing 36-2 record, while Connecticut was 29-8. The Huskies defeated the Spartans 60-54 in an Elite Eight game and beat Kentucky by the same score in the national championship game.
Connecticut was not on anyone's radar screen as a national championship contender when the preseason polls came out last fall. But the Huskies got hot at the right time and rode the wave of their dynamic guard duo (Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright) to win it all. I would congratulate them, but I do not respect UCONN as it has committed numerous recruiting violations in recent years and has an abysmal academic track record. The Huskies were banned from even participating in the 2013 tournament. They are an example of what's wrong with college sports.
As for the Spartans, they lose seniors Adreian Payne and Keith Appling, plus sophomore Gary Harris, who declared for the NBA draft. Next season is bound to be a rebuilding one and the Spartans may well be a middle-of-the-pack team. But you never know. That's what the "experts" predicted for U-M, which lost Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. to the NBA draft after making it to the 2013 national championship game, which they lost to Louisville.
But Nick Stauskas, Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton Jr. stepped up bigtime for Michigan, giving them a potent team that won the Big Ten regular season title and came close to reaching its second straight Final Four. Fortunately for MSU and the rest of the Big Ten, Stauskas and teammate Glen Robinson Jr. declared for the NBA draft, so Michigan also figures to sink a bit in the conference standings next season. But one or both of these teams might find some unexpectedly talented and poised newcomers who will boost them back among the elite. Time will tell.
Meantime, MSU's spring football game is coming up on Saturday. That ought to be interesting. My co-blogger or I will probably comment on the game in a few days.