The Michigan Mess: On Cognitive Dissidence About Quotas – And The Need For A Constitutional Amendment

"I applaud the
Supreme Court for recognizing the value of diversity on
our Nation`s campuses. Diversity is one of America`s
greatest strengths. Today`s decisions seek a careful
balance between the goal of campus diversity and the
fundamental principle of equal treatment under the law."

George W. Bush,

June 23, 2003

"The Supreme
Court delivers a victory–but not a total one–for

James Taranto, WSJ`s
of the Web

June 23, 2003

Unlike the President, the only good news I can find
regarding Sandra Day O`Connor`s majority decision in the
University of Michigan racial preference case was that
this time James

perpetual cluelessness

stuck out
like a sore thumb.

Back in January, lots of rightist pundits besides
Taranto were at least temporarily beguiled by the
Administration`s duplicitous (and ultimately disastrous)
briefs to the Supreme Court.

But now what I

in immediately after their filing
appears to be widely accepted: "The
Bush-Rove Plan will entrench the

Industry and make it a more amorphous target (`Quotas?
We don`t need no


This time, a more typical reaction that Taranto`s was
that of one scholar active in the movement against
racial-ethnic preferences who instantly told a private
email group: "We got nuked."

That doesn`t mean

mainstream conservatives
aren`t still rather naïve.

the aftermath, some are diligently listing logical
inconsistencies in O`Connor`s opinion that could provide
the basis for future litigation. I fear, however, that
they are missing the larger point.

The obvious incoherence of the majority opinion serves
as a warning from the Supreme Court majority to all
future litigants:

"If you come back to us, we`ll just make up some more
nonsense! Can`t you see we`ll do whatever it takes to
justify quotas or goals or critical masses or who knows
what new euphemism we`ll dream up next time?"

Many believe that O`Connor placed a 25-year time limit
on reverse discrimination.

But when she wrote, "We expect that 25 years from
now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be
necessary to further the interest approved today,"

she was merely uttering a politically correct obiter
about how she had faith that minorities would
be acing their

s by 2028. If they haven`t … then carry on

After all, “diversity” i.e. proportional
representation is now officially decreed to be a
"compelling interest."

O`Connor would be 98 years old in 2028. So she`s
probably not expecting to suffer any embarrassment in
case her prediction doesn`t come true. But even she
might not have been so glib if she knew psychometricians
are already able to test her test score forecast. And
the prognosis looks bad.

Age three is the first point at which children can be
effectively tested for mental aptitude. Unfortunately
for O`Connor, the racial gaps that cause demand for
quotas are

[PDF] apparent among preschoolers.

Some of the kids who will be applying to law school in
2028 are already alive. The rest will be born fairly
soon. Unless the race gap in aptitude among toddlers
suddenly, miraculously, vanishes in the next few years,
there`s no hope for O`Connor`s forecast.

Meanwhile, in


Jay Nordlinger
gave classic

to establishment conservative

Righteous Right
thinking, such as it is, about the
future of

affirmative action

"I think that affirmative action – a.k.a. race preferences,
a.k.a. reverse discrimination – will come to an end when
one of two things happens: 1) K through 12 education so
improves as to make black and Hispanic students
competitive for college, obviating the need for
affirmative action (this is the Thernstrom/Kirsanow
theme, and a true one)…"

(But how can schooling,

as it is, ever be a cure-all for
inequality when the

racial gap
is measurable two years before
children enter kindergarten?

"Or 2) black Americans themselves become so disgusted that
they demand an end to this racial favoritism."

Sure, Jay. That will happen Real Soon Now.

One of the sillier responses to O`Connor was

George Will`s
: "Crude Remedy for A
Disappearing Problem."

Why does Will think the problem is disappearing? Because
"the Census Bureau reported that Hispanics have
supplanted African Americans as the nation`s largest

Hmmmm … Exactly how is the problem being solved by
importing an even bigger “protected
” minority group that suffers almost as severe
academic deficiencies as blacks? (Hispanic 12th graders

3.8 grade levels
behind whites in reading on the
2002 National Assessment of Educational Progress test.
Blacks were only about another grade back. And the
Hispanic figure is skewed upward somewhat by their

higher dropout rate
, which winnows out the less

Will tells us that affirmative action must collapse of
its own weight because black and Hispanic are
increasingly seen as dubious "scientific categories."

But, George, nobody ever said that Hispanics comprise a
“scientific category.” If the government started giving
out goodies to people born on

, within a year we`d see pressure groups
with names like

The Children of Woe
lobbying for continuation of
Wednesdayians` privileges. PBS would be running
Wednesday Pride documentaries during Wednesday History
Month about famous

like Jimmy Carter, Bruce Lee, and
Rosie O`Donnell.

Will has it exactly backwards. The rapid growth of
legally-preferred Hispanics won`t make the current
moderately bad quota problem go away. Instead, it will
make reverse discrimination a major threat to

American harmony
as the ratio of minority
beneficiaries to white victims rises.


essence of statesmanship
is heading off dangers
before they become acute. Obviously, we can`t rely on
the Supreme Court (average age 69) to protect us from
perils that will hit hardest after they have gone fully

Americans need political action now. If we can`t win
today when the unprivileged majority outvotes the
privileged minorities by more than four to one, how are
we going to do it in the future?

Karl Rove
won`t like it. But the

Boy Genius
tarnished his own reputation by letting
Alberto Gonzales

Ted Olson`s briefs back in January.
briefs on the Michigan case: Grutter (Law School)

; Gratz


All the

suggest that the more voters know about racial
preferences, the more they


Republicans control the federal government – the
executive branch and the legislative branch. If the
Democrats were in power and the Supreme Court dared
challenge any part of their proliferating Affirmative
Action racial spoils system, it is inconceivable that
they would react so passively. (In fact, that`s

why they passed the 1991 Civil Rights Act –
supinely signed, needless to say, by President George

What are the Republicans waiting for?

One hugely popular response: legislation banning

legal preferences

illegal aliens

The ultimate redress: a Constitutional Amendment
restating the equal protection clause, Section 1 of the

Fourteenth Amendment
– and adding “we mean it
this time, bozos!”

invite VDARE.COM readers` further suggestions.

[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and

movie critic

The American Conservative
His website
features his daily