Thursday, April 12, 2007

Not So Bad After All

Back during the campaign season, the opponents of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative leveled every attack they could think of against the proposal. It was compared to hurricane Katrina, said to repeal civil rights, and bring back the Jim Crow South.

They weren't telling the truth.

The Herald has an article on the less than dire consequences of the MCRI.

"The projections are that Western won't get hit hard, if at all, because Western doesn't have a lot of programs that will be affected," Lipson said.
What about other universities?

Because of U of M's high competition for enrollment, it is likely that their numbers of minorities will drop, Lipson said. After Proposition 209 passed in California, minority enrollment dropped at some of its most elite universities, such as the University of California, University of California, Berkeley and University of California, Los Angeles.

Lipson said that drops in minority numbers at these elite universities actually caused an increase in minority numbers at less prestigious universities, such as the University of California, Riverside; the University of California, Irvine or the University of California, Santa Barbara.

"The two super elite ones, that highly ranked saw huge reductions in African American numbers, but the other ones have seen a substantial increase," he said.

Lipson said a similar phenomenon might happen in Michigan universities, a process called cascading.

"The other institutions, such as Western, Eastern [and] Wayne State may have more students of color," Lipson said.
Cascading is a good thing. Because minorities will be judged on merit, not race, they will be matched with universities where they have the best chance of success. This means that minority graduation rates will increase across the board. Take it to the bank. That's exactly what happened in California after they banned racial preferences.

Will liberals be glad that minority graduation rates increase, or upset that U of M is less "diverse"?

A number of plans have been proposed to "deal with" the MCRI. Greater minority recruitment is a good thing as long as everyone is judged by the same standards, as the MCRI requires.

Other plans would simply hide racial preferences behind other variables like location and generation of college attendance. Such standards ignore the fact that college admissions should seek to find the most qualified students. They would only misserve those who "benefit" from them by gaining admission to institutions above their qualifications.

The MCRI will benefit minorities as long as liberals don't succeed in subverting it.

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