Cultural Revolutions

Exclusive Institutions

Mills College recently repulsed the male invasion invited by the college's board of trustees, and it will remain all female, for the immediate future at any rate. At the same time, in the once proudly independent Commonwealth of Virginia, the state's attorney general, a woman, is attempting to defend the prestigious Virginia Military Institute against a federally ordered female invasion. A private institution's board of trustees may well prove easier to beat into retreat than the federal government's immense equal opportunity and affirmative action machinery.

Most observers and commentators have applauded the victory of the Mills College women, while at the same time—and often in the same article—approving the federal mainmise against VMI. Such is the case with William Raspberry, who is unhappy about what he calls his "inconsistent opinions." As though to confuse an already complex question, Raspberry evokes the phenomenon of black colleges—no longer segregated, as they once were, but still predominantly black.

Mr. Raspberry defends the existence of black colleges and, indeed, sends his own children to them. He even defends the existence of separate colleges for black women and for black men. His reasoning: black men and black women should have the right, if they so desire, to pursue their studies under circumstances that they find comfortable, even if they prefer to...

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