June 19 2013

Affirmative Action Sidestep

Vicki E. Alger

Time’s Sally Kohn insists that affirmative action has overwhelmingly helped white women. Never mind that the subject of her article is Abigail Fisher, who was denied admission to the University of Texas at Austin precisely because she’s a white woman.

Kohn devotes most of her article to studies claiming that affirmative action has helped women get jobs (most of those studies, however, deal with government sector jobs). Conspicuously absent was any mention about how women undergraduates now far outnumber men. What’s more, women earn as many or more advanced degrees than men across more than 20 of the fastest growing fields.

Let’s get real: strengthening equal opportunity for all Americans to pursue their preferred educational and career paths is the surest path to genuine equality—not government paint-by-numbers mandates. As Chief Justice Roberts wrote back in 2007, “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

The same holds true for gender discrimination.

The Supreme Court will soon be ruling on Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. Let’s hope they uphold the Constitution and liberty rather than, as Kohn does in her piece, trying to tear down a young woman who just wanted a fair shot.

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