Bollinger Agrees!

I have argued here too many times to count (but here’s a start: here, here, here, here, and here) that even the rhetoric of the defenders of “diversity” reveals that its primary intended beneficiaries are whites, not minorities.

A substantial number of white and Asian students (a number equal to the number of minorities whose admission depended upon the racial preference they received) are denied admission to selective universities so that the whites and Asians who are admitted may have the benefit of being exposed to the “difference” exuded by the preferentially admitted minorities.

Once again, in short, blacks are being used for the benefit of whites. If this seems harsh, keep in mind that, in the absence of racial preferences, the minority applicants who no longer would be accepted at the most selective institutions would still be able to attend less selective majority-white institutions, and thus they would still be able to receive all the benefits “diversity” has to offer, whatever they are. (Or, as Justice Thomas implied in one of his exchanges with John Payton, who was defending Michigan’s undergraduate preferences, they could decide that diversity isn’t so important after all and choose to attend a historically black college.)

As indicated above, I’ve been arguing this for quite a while. I would have added “to no apparent effect,” but now the eagle eye of Erin O’Connor turned up a gem she sent me confirming that Lee Bollinger, Michigan’s former president and named defendant in both cases just argued in the Supreme Court, agrees with the analysis presented here! As quoted in the Michigan Daily article sent by Erin, Bollinger is now (unwittingly) on record agreeing with DISCRIMINATIONS:

“White students interacting with African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans sometimes come with stereotypes about these minorities,” he said. “That kind of breaking down of expectations is the essence of what a liberal education is all about.”

Say What? (12)

  1. T April 3, 2003 at 8:06 pm | | Reply

    Here’s a theory of mine. When an elitist like Bollinger says “white students” he’s referring to the elite white students attending highly ranked colleges and universities. Bollinger thinks that leadership class in America is composed largely of students from highly ranked schools. However, Bollinger doesn’t think it necessary that whites at lower ranked institutions receive exposure to “differences” because he doesn’t expect them to eventually lead America. So racial diversity at Michigan is more important than at Michigan State which is more important than at Wayne State, and so on.

  2. Laura April 3, 2003 at 8:43 pm | | Reply

    “White students interacting with African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans sometimes come with stereotypes about these minorities,” he said. “That kind of breaking down of expectations is the essence of what a liberal education is all about.”

    What about the stereotypes that minorities have about themselves? Do those get broken down too?

  3. John Rosenberg April 4, 2003 at 12:41 am | | Reply

    Laura – I’m sure Bollinger would say yes, diversity is good for minorities for the same reason. My problem with that is not that it isn’t true but that it does not justify a racial double standard so that more minorities may attend schools like Michigan instead of Michigan State or Wayne State or Eastern Michigan, schools they could attend if the were not preferentially accepted to Michigan. They would receive the benefits of diversity there just as much as they do at Michigan, but whites at Michigan would lose the benefits that allegedly flow from being exposed to them if they weren’t there. Hence my argument that “diversty” uses blacks for the benefit of whites. It also forces those whites and Asians who are rejected to make room for the preferred to suffer overt racial discrimination so that the more fortunate whites and Asians may benefit.

  4. Laura April 4, 2003 at 7:51 am | | Reply

    I’m actually not sure that diversity does anything about breaking down stereotypes held by minorities. If minority students are preferentially admitted to a school that some of them are not well suited to, so that those students see a disproportionate amount of their minority friends failing, I would think that would strengthen the perception that their group can’t compete. It would look like they just don’t have what it takes. My black coworkers have an automatic opinion of any black person, such as Powell or Rice, who attains a position of power and responsibility: “He don’t know what he’s doing.” That, folks, is a tragedy. I think AA is only perpetuating it.

  5. nobody important April 4, 2003 at 8:38 am | | Reply

    Bollinger is making a huge assumption that whites do not interact with non-whites until they attend college. While that may be true for some percentage of whites, it is not true of all whites.

  6. md April 4, 2003 at 3:01 pm | | Reply

    Bollinger is also making the assumption that whites interact with non-whites even at diverse institutions such as U. Mich. Many universities are very segregated places, with separate dorms and social lives.

  7. Laura April 4, 2003 at 4:41 pm | | Reply

    This is a thought that occurred to me when I read the blurb about the University of Memphis. U of M is located pretty much in the middle of Memphis, which is slightly more than 50% black. For a white law student to have no interaction with black people, he’d have to work pretty hard. No, actually, I don’t think it’s possible. On the other hand, it is possible to be poor and black in Memphis and never interact with a white person, except maybe a policeman. AA at the law school level wouldn’t do anything about that.

  8. Kirk Parker April 5, 2003 at 9:14 pm | | Reply

    Yikes, what about Bollinger’s stereotypes of white students? My own college experience is (cough, cough) not recent enough to bear on this question, but much of what I’ve read speaks of the increased polarization and self-segregation at the college level as compared to high school. Thus, the white kids he’s supposedly worried here are likely to have already had better cross-racial experiences than they will in college.

  9. […] Readers of this blog (at least ones with good memories) will find this argument familiar. “Diversity uses blacks for the benefit of whites,” I pointed out here. And here (“… diversity at selective institutions like Michigan amounts to using blacks for the benefit of whites”). And here (“… racial preferences are primarily for the benefit of whites, who, so the argument goes, need to be exposed to minorities”). And, most recently, here: […]

  10. […] Lee Bollinger, former president of the University of Michigan, told the Michigan Daily (quoted here). “That kind of breaking down of expectations is the essence of what a liberal education is all […]

Say What?