Being fair to each other helps us all

The Supreme Court just acted to get rid of decades-long practices at colleges and universities that have been an illegal, unconstitutional, unprincipled means of discriminating against qualified applicants wanting entry as students.

Some instead granted admission in accordance with skin color, which happened in this case to be black, the exact opposite of white preferences that have assaulted human decency for so, so long in this country.


Philosophically, this thing called affirmative action joined the Jim Crow past in reducing humans to their pigmentation as the core of their being. Legally, it has done away with equality under the law. As a practical matter, it reduces the role of merit facilitating accomplishments. Emotionally, it has been experienced as a lifetime downfall for highly qualified applicants who arrive in all kinds of skin colors.

There’s an ideal behind it all, of course, namely to help lift Black Americans out of the racial discrimination that has constantly encircled them, leaving so very, very many so very, very poor and left out and cursed, surrounded by crime. But affirmative action, which got started under President John F. Kennedy, has been pursued through what itself is an unjustified, discriminatory technique of judging hardship and talent by what is seen on the surface instead of what resides deep within.

A principle, after all, is not something ripped apart for the sake of intended results but an attempt at fairness, justice, integrity and an improved society. Consider, for instance, that Black Americans are hardly the only poor people in America. Far more white people are poor than are Black people even if white Americans, in general, receive preferential treatment with a better chance for high salaries.

Consider, too, that middle-aged working-class white citizens once thrived through the sweat of their manual efforts and were then largely left jobless by interventionist technology. As Democrats deserted them, some turned to Donald Trump and then were assaulted by Hillary Clinton saying they were “a basket of deplorables,” meaning “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic.” President Joe Biden has called such Trump supporters “semi-fascists.”

Yes, there were something like 2,500 white, Trump-devoted rioters at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, but there were also some 74 million people who peacefully voted for him. There were 574 Black Lives Matter riots with 10,000 arrests and maybe a cost as high as $2 billion but also thousands of peaceful protests.

According to at least one studious observer, the chief good of affirmative action has been more Black professionals, such as lawyers, engineers and doctors, but not all that many more. Others say Black progress has slowed down in recent years although we now have a Black middle class, far more Blacks Americans living in suburbs, more wealth and more college attendance. A chief disruption, also seen among white Americans, has been the crisis of one-parent families replacing biological mothers and fathers. Public schools have not come close to doing their jobs although there now seems a much stronger push toward teaching reading better and school choice.

I have so far neglected something I think hugely important: Asian Americans. They are the best educated and wealthiest large group of Americans, have also faced affirmative-action discrimination and, now that the doors are opening, will contribute more and more and more. Blacks, Hispanics and whites will, too, if we insist on nationwide fairness, esteem and coming together by means or our equality as patriotic, fair, loving human beings.