[Ed. – Time for genuine equality.]
The Supreme Court has held repeatedly that “all government racial classifications must be analyzed by a reviewing court under strict scrutiny.” Now, thanks to a pending lawsuit and a new presidential order, affirmative action is under strict scrutiny from an even higher court, the one of public opinion.
Here’s hoping this renewed attention marks the beginning of the end.
Affirmative action has become the gateway drug to identity politics, or the breakup of America into antagonistic “oppressor” and “subordinate” groups constantly engaging in power relations. It suborns adolescents filled with angst about not getting into the right college into ticking the right box.
But the government should have never gotten into the business of racial classifications in the first place, let alone deciding whom among them stands to receive privileges and who goes to the back of the line. The Civil Rights movement was supposed to rid the country of that, but it metamorphosed into its opposite when the focus shifted from ending unequal treatment to a crusade for statistical diversity.
Now two cases will once again motivate individual Americans to apply “strict scrutiny of all race-based action” by government, in the words of the court in 1989. One was last month’s rescindment of Obama-era guidelines by the Trump administration. The other is a lawsuit by a group of Asian-Americans against Harvard.