“Colorblind” Alternatives to Quotas


As I mention below in “Upcoming Affirmative Action Ploys,” there’s a growing push to come up with supposedly race-neutral ways to put a thumb on the hiring and college admissions scale to deviously craft ways to produce the same number of black and Hispanic beneficiaries.

Commenter Anthony adds:

The other piece of this that tends to go unmentioned is that, yes, you can design a scheme that preserves existing racial diversity while improving economic diversity – but only if you significantly increase the proportion of kids who are getting admitted due to those demographic preferences as opposed to academic merit or whatever else is currently getting used. Racial preferences are large in size but relatively small in terms of the number of kids they actually affect. Use income, geography, or anything else and, because most of the kids who you capture with that are white or Asian, you have to take way more kids through that process to get the same number of black and Hispanic kids as you’re currently accepting with direct racial preferences. (And then, as pointed out, they aren’t even the black and Hispanic kids who are most likely to succeed.)

Right, these contrived methods would produce the same percentage of each race, but a worse selection of individuals from each race. It’s like how the Chicago Fire Department made their hiring test so easy that 96% of white applicants score high enough to get into the lottery round.

In contrast, using rigorous selection methods and then imposing hard quotas so that you pick from the top down for each race produces better performing members of each race on average than hamstringing the selection processes in the name of colorblind methods of diversity. After all, colorblindness is a form of blindness.

Perhaps we should agree to simple quotas for blacks and American Indians, but limit the number of people who qualify to only those individuals who can prove, using both genealogical records and DNA analysis, that at least 25% of their ancestors were blacks or American Indians who were living on United States territory in 1860? E.g., Michelle gets affirmative action, but not Barack.