Cultural Revolutions

Allowing Affirmative Action

The Supreme Court’s ruling allowing affirmative action at the University of Michigan but striking down the school’s system of racial quotas led Linda Chavez, in a syndicated column entitled “Supreme Mischief and Racism” (June 26), to warn against desecrating a sacred vision.  Forty years ago this August, “the Rev. Martin Luther King gave a speech that galvanized Americans of all races.”  His invocation of a color-blind society “launched a civil rights revolution that was embraced by the American people and led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968.  As a result America today is a more just society.”  What made King’s message compelling was his hope that “people will not be judged by the color of their skin.”  Therefore, it is “ludicrous” that a majority of the Court would allow the use of race as a “plus factor” for the evaluation of undergraduate candidates at the University of Michigan.

Among the problems with this reasoning is the staggering juridical importance given to Martin Luther King, Jr.  Tatters of his speeches may sound fine, but they do not constitute the document under which the American regime was founded and by which it is supposedly governed.  Moreover, it is simply untrue that King devoted his life to opposing affirmative...

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