In two related cases — against Harvard and University of North Carolina — the U.S. Supreme Court may overturn admissions policies that consider applicants’ race. Such “affirmative action” policies are defended for fostering “diversity” and fixing “underrepresentation.”
But what are the philosophic ideas underlying these goals? Are these goals coherent? How can collectivized, race-conscious thinking remedy racism and its legacy? In this podcast episode, Onkar Ghate and Elan Journo analyze the philosophic issues raised in these cases.
• How the court cases reveal a pernicious reliance on race in college admissions;
• Ayn Rand’s opposition to quotas and affirmative action;
• How previous rulings left the value of “diversity” unchallenged;
• Why the role of diversity in education doesn’t justify race-based admissions;
• The baseless claim of diversity as a “compelling state interest”;
• Justice Sotomayor’s shocking claim that there is de jure racial segregation;
• The crucial difference between private and government-mandated racial standards;
• The arbitrariness of legal racial categories;
• Why rhetoric about racial “representation” still amounts to racial quotas;
• Why current admissions policies are racist, not a remedy to racism.