Angry White Man does not like diversity efforts:
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill weighs race so heavily in its admissions process that it is the predominant factor in determining whether many black and Hispanic students get in, according to court papers filed on Friday by an anti-affirmative action group that is also suing Harvard.
The group, Students for Fair Admissions, says the university is excluding white and Asian applicants in favor of less qualified black and Hispanic students.
There's a couple of things you need to know about this before having that conversation with a fence-sitter: First, the man driving these lawsuits is the same man who successfully gutted the Voting Rights Act provisions that monitored and supervised historically exclusive Congressional districts. And as a result, minorities have (once again) suffered voter suppression the VRA was enacted to stop. The second thing you need to know is the inclusion of Asian applicants is a beard, a disingenuous approach to make this look less like white vs. black. In UNC's case anyway, said Asian plaintiff simply does not exist:
It took Blum nearly three years to find a friendly face for his attack on the affirmative action program at the University of Texas, his alma mater. He even set up a website called UTNotFair to attract potential plaintiffs. In the end, he settled on Fisher, the daughter of an acquaintance.
Fisher has said she filed her suit because UT-Austin rejected her while letting in her black and Hispanic high school classmates with lower grades. However, her grades and test scores would not have won her a spot at UT even if she had been black, according to documents filed by the university. Nor was she completely shut out: The university told her that if she attended another campus in the Texas system for a year and maintained a B average, she could transfer to Austin—an offer she rejected. (Fisher has since graduated from Louisiana State University.) During oral arguments, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg quizzed Fisher’s lawyer about what compensation Fisher could possibly gain at this point. The answer was, essentially, her application fee of roughly $100.
Court watchers and civil rights advocates believe the Fisher case might be a warm-up for a couple of Blum’s “sleeper” cases that could deal a death blow to affirmative action in college admissions. An organization Blum created, Students for Fair Admissions, is suing Harvard University, accusing it of discriminating against Asian American applicants and drawing comparisons to the university’s past record of bias against Jews. The complaint, filed in federal court in Boston in November 2014, argues that exceptionally qualified Asian kids, including many with perfect SAT scores, are being shut out because Harvard wants to limit their numbers. Blum’s group has launched a similar case against the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
For now, the sole plaintiff in these cases is Students for Fair Admissions, rather than actual students. Its legal filings suggest Asian American students are not exactly lining up to join Blum’s latest cause. They cite a single, unnamed Asian American student who was denied admission to Harvard. Pages and pages of the complaint against UNC outline the university’s alleged discrimination against Asians. Yet the only student identified as having been rejected is not named as a plaintiff. He is white.
Of course for a zealot like Blum, going fishing for plaintiffs and not catching any doesn't stop them from having a glorious fish fry. Because they were never concerned for the Asians referenced in the lawsuit anyway, that's just a front. And an ironic one, since they're leaning on a minority class to give them credibility.
But let's set aside the nature of the true plaintiffs for a moment and look at the underlying issue, the effort to diversify the UNC System's flagship University.
Over and above the need to make the Chapel Hill campus more reflective of the growing diversity of the state itself, the socioeconomic impact of that effort is huge. Chapel Hill grads enjoy an outsized advantage over graduates from other institutions when competing for leadership positions in both the private and public sector. That's not a bold claim, it's just a fact. In the years I've been writing for Blue NC, I've researched the CEO's and Boards of Directors and Provosts and otherwise Grand Poo-Bahs of industry and government, and I can safely say that Tarheels pretty much run the Tarheel state.
Whether that's due to the quality of education or a deeply-ingrained discriminatory effect is almost beside the point. The phenomena exists, and that means if we want to diversify the controlling influences in NC, and we most definitely should, the logical starting point is the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It's not just a "good idea," UNC leaders (and faculty) have a responsibility to make that happen; to help engineer our state to be more inclusive. To ignore that outsized influence would be hypocritical, frankly, and it would merely serve the goals of those who would maintain the white male patriarchy that has been the driving force behind the starvation of progress here.