National Review’s Rich Lowry and Washington Post’s Megan McCardle on American Racial Classifications
It’s not just that colleges and universities discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, and national origin. They do it badly.The racial categories that the schools use are completely bonkers, an arbitrary mess mostly left over from the work of federal bureaucrats in the 1970s that can’t withstand the slightest scrutiny.
The administrators who rely on these categories are beholden to senseless and unscientific distinctions — they aren’t even competent or rational racialists.
Justice Samuel Alito raised this issue in the arguments, pretty clearly relying on the work of George Mason University professor David Bernstein, who eviscerated the categories in an amicus brief and has written a book on their origin and implications, Classified: The Untold Story of Racial Classification in America.
The categories throw together a kaleidoscope of races and ethnicities in six neat categories: Asian, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Hispanic, White, African American, and Native American. Created for federal bookkeeping purposes 50 years ago, they long ago hardened into orthodoxy, with some adjustments here or there. ….
As legal scholar David Bernstein points out in “Classified: The Untold Story of Racial Classification in America,” “Experience around the world shows that affirmative action categories almost alw
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