Retargeting Affirmative Action: A Program to Serve Those Most Harmed by Past Racism and Avoid Intractable Problems Triggered by Per Se Racial Preferences

St. John's Law Review, Vol. 80, p. 323, April 2006

66 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2006

Abstract

Affirmative action programs at elite schools have long neglected those suffering most from the effects of racism. After concluding that inferior K-12 preparation has left such students too far behind to handle their rigorous academic programs, elite schools have focused their programs on better prepared middle and upper-class minority applicants. Although the resulting diversity is a positive, this Article contends that affirmative action programs need to be retargeted to directly aid the most disadvantaged minority students. It offers a three-part program. In the first, and most significant element, schools would designate a substantial number of places in each class for the most qualified students who both demonstrated their qualifications to mentor and tutor those students during their K-12 years and made a binding commitment to do so. The article also discusses three intractable questions triggered by per se racial preferences and, in its second and third parts, proposes a racially conscious, but race-neutral alternative for avoiding the problems they raise and a few other shortcomings of per se preferences. The approach is particularly relevant in the current environment, where Grutter v. Bollinger could soon be reinterpreted, if not effectively reversed, by the current, more conservative Supreme Court.

Keywords: affirmative action, admissions, quotas, racial preferences, reparations, diversity

Suggested Citation

Nadel, Mark S., Retargeting Affirmative Action: A Program to Serve Those Most Harmed by Past Racism and Avoid Intractable Problems Triggered by Per Se Racial Preferences. St. John's Law Review, Vol. 80, p. 323, April 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=897989

Mark S. Nadel (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

1600 South Eads St.
22202
703-920-1884 (Phone)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
87
Abstract Views
989
rank
352,062
PlumX Metrics