I have argued too many times over the years to cite that in practice “diversity” exploits minorities for the benefit of whites. (“Diversity” As Exploitation is one, Means, Ends, And (Of Course) “Diversity” is another, and Diversity and Equal Respect (Or Not) II (“Let me state it bluntly: diversity uses blacks for the benefit of whites“) is another, which states the exploitation argument as follows:
admitting the preferentially treated blacks to any highly selective university does not provide them with any diversity benefits they would not receive at less selective majority-white institutions. The diversity benefit that preferences are said to provide, that is, flows to the non-minorities exposed to the preferentially admitted minorities. This is treating them as a means, not an end.
A particularly vile form of this exploitation involves turning young kindergarten and elementary school students into what a decade ago, in Diversity And School Transfers: Diversity For Whom?, I called “hostages to diversity”:
In two recent cases the Fourth Circuit invalidated diversity-based racial assignment policies, one in Arlington County, Virginia (Tuttle v. Arlington County School Board, 195 F.3d 698 [4th Cir. 1999]), and the other in Montgomery County, Maryland (Eisenberg v. Montgomery County, F.3d 123 [4th Cir. 1999], cert. denied, 529 U.S. 1019 ). In Eisenberg, a white student was denied a transfer to a math and science magnet program because allowing him to leave his current school would have a negative “impact on diversity.” The county created a “diversity profile” of each school, and transfers were routinely denied on the basis of race in order to maintain “diversity.” Revealingly, the county argued that this wasn’t discriminatory because it was common practice to deny transfers for racial reasons to students of all races when the requested transfer would have a negative “impact on diversity.” The Fourth Circuit disagreed, saying that a policy did not cease to be racially discriminatory simply because it was practiced against all races. The court concluded that the county’s policy of promoting diversity by carefully regulating transfers on the basis of race was “mere racial balancing in a pure form.”
An even more revealing case had erupted in bitter controversy in Montgomery County in 1995 when the school board prevented two Asian-American kindergartners from transfering to a one-of-a-kind county French immersion program because of their race. According to a Washington Post article,
The parents of Eleanor Glewwe and Hana Maruyama had sought to enroll the girls in a French immersion program at Maryvale Elementary School in Rockville. But school officials denied their requests, saying their departure from Takoma Park would further deplete the number of Asian students there. [Sept. 14, 1995, p. A1]
One of the parents told the board that there were no more Asians in the school where her daughter wanted to transfer than there were where she was enrolled and thus that allowing her to transfer would not have any negative impact on diversity. Paul L. Vance, the Superintendent, replied to the board, according to the WPost, “that nothing in the school system’s policy permits ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’ by hurting the diversity of one school to help it at another.” [Sept. 1, 1995, p. B1]. Public outcry eventaully caused the board to relent.
One other Maryland episode was even more bizarre. The writer Ted Gup wanted a transfer for his adopted son, who was born in Korea. He was currently enrolled in a school that was divided between a Spanish immersion program, which had predominantly white students, and an English program that was 90% minority, including large numbers for whom English was a second language. Gup wanted his son in an English program with native English speakers. The transfer was denied because — you guessed it — there weren’t enough Asians at his school and thus allowing his son to leave would have a “negative impact on diversity.”
At the time many readers thought these examples of young “diversity” hostages were bizarre outliers, the result of ridiculous local school boards simply going overboard after having swallowed an overdose of the prevalent “diversity” Cool Kool Aid [Spelling corrected by the estimable Roger Clegg, who is obviously more familiar with Kool Aid than I am]. And maybe they were, but now the Obama Department of Justice, Kool Aid-dispensing Eric Holder presiding, is attempting to nationalize the effort to turn schoolchildren everywhere into “diversity” hostages.
As Clint Bolick explained yesterday in the Wall Street Journal, the Obama DOJ is suing the state of Louisiana to block a bipartisan state program providing scholarships that allow poor children to escape failing public schools. “The year,” Bolick (an attorney representing some of those students) notes, “roughly 8,000 children are using vouchers to attend private schools. Among those, 91% are minority and 86% would have attended public schools with D or F grades.”
Attorney General Eric Holder argues the program runs afoul of desegregation orders, which operate in 34 Louisiana school districts. By potentially altering the racial composition of those schools by taking minority children out of failing public schools, the Justice Department asserts the program “frustrates and impedes the desegregation process.”
As Jillian Kay Melchior pointed out this afternoon on National Review Online,
the Department of Justice has bizarrely decided to fight this program on racial grounds: Minority kids mustn’t leave for better schools, the DOJ is essentially arguing, because then the bad schools would be less diverse….
The DOJ is making two main demands: First, it wants information about how the voucher program would affect the racial composition of public schools; and second, it wants parents to get pre-clearance from federal courts before they’re allowed to transfer their own children to a school of their choice.
Perhaps the best proof of the extremism of this latest Obama administration attempt to impose “diversity,” turning schoolchildren into hostages of its social engineering, is that even the Republican leadership has been moved to oppose it.