June 01, 2009

A Logical Result of Affirmative Action

Roger Clegg notes an inevitable but often overlooked result of affirmative action:
"[Sotomayor] led an effort at Princeton to impose hiring goals and timetables for Hispanic faculty members, but was insulted when a law firm interviewer asked her at Yale, 'Would I have been admitted to the law school if I were not a Puerto Rican?' 

Now, unfortunately, goals and timetables for minority hiring are not uncommon, and any law firm interviewer who asked such an honest question should have his head examined, but still: If you support goals and timetables, then you support racial and ethnic preferences (since the former are designed to create pressure to meet quotas, and that means the thumb of preference is going to be put on the scale); and if you support racial and ethnic preferences, then that means you support less qualified members of some groups being chosen over more qualified members of other groups. Those are just the undeniable facts. 

And one of the many costs of this discrimination is that its so-called “beneficiaries” will have their credentials questioned — if not out loud, then silently and even unconsciously. So those like Judge Sotomayor who support goals, timetables, and the like really have no one to blame but themselves when others question the qualifications of those who belong to the groups receiving the preferential treatment."