Well, Hopwood didn't say we should have a color-blind society. Of course,
we should. It wasn't trying to remedy, you know, what's in the heads of every
last resident of Texas. It was simply saying the messages that we deliver in
our public law and through our public institutions have to be messages that
downplay the importance of skin color and that tell Americans it's the content
of your character, and not the color of your skin. And that of course is what
the fourteenth amendment was all about. Stop sorting people. That's what Jim
Crow America did. |
And in terms of the Office of Civil Rights, their standards for finding de
jury or de facto segregation may not be mine. Of course I would have to
look--and I haven't done so very carefully--at what they thought. But in any
case, I mean address specific problems when you find them. If you find that in
a police department, for instance, there is rampant discrimination in a method
of voting. You really do have the exclusion of Black voters, fine, address
that problem directly. What do racial preferences, racial double-standards in
higher education do to address those problems and indeed--I mean one of the
interesting things about preferences in the highly selective schools like
UTexas is that you're not doing anything for disadvantage kids. These are
mostly advantaged kids, it's their parents who made it into the middle-class
and in the case of the law school of the University of Texas, most of the Black
students weren't even from Texas, they were from other states.
Bok and Bowen make the point that affirmative action helped build the
Black middle-class, and that they believe it's one of the stunning success
story for Blacks in the last 25 years.
That isn't even plausible on its face. We now have 44% of the American
Black population as belonging in the middle-class. You have a tiny number of
Blacks who have been admitted preferentially to institutions of higher
education that are very selective. 4,000, whatever, it's a tiny number. That
tiny number has made the Black middle-class? It's ridiculous.
Aside from the fact that if you look at the emergence of the Black
middle-class, it's from 1940 to 1970. 1970 is the point at which preferences
really begin. It's from 1940 to 1970 that you really see the growth of that
Black middle-class and there's no reason to believe that growth would have
stopped had preferences never started. I mean, America was changing. And
again, these are mostly privileged kids. They were already
We talked with Christopher Jencks, and there's some very interesting
points that are raised in his book about environmental differences versus
We're not the slightest bit interested in IQ. What we're interested in is
the racial gap in academic performance. We know that that gap can be closed.
That gap was closed. And Christopher Jencks in The Black-White Test Score
Gap doesn't really talk about this, but the fact is the racial gap in
academic performance, if you look at the national assessment for educational
progress data, that's our nation's report card on how we're doing.
It's very interesting. It starts in 1971. 1971 to 1988 the racial gap was
closing in academic performance. In 1988, the Black scores started to get
worse. So you have a turn around. Obviously that has nothing to do with IQ.
I mean Black IQ hasn't changed, White IQ hasn't changed, other things are going
on. But if the trends of those years, 1971 to 1988 had continued, well there
would be no racial gap today. We've got to get back on track.
I do disagree with Jencks in one very fundamental way. He thinks, I mean
you can tell me more about this, but he thinks that the story is really pretty
much over. By the time schools see the kids in kindergarten or first grade,
that there are messages in the family, the use of language, the absence of
reading to kids, etc., and you know stuff that he can't quite put his finger
on, but in any case, he thinks the story is pretty much over by kindergarten,
first grade. I really disagree. I think good schools can make an enormous
difference and I'm not going to let schools off the hook. I'm on the State
Board of Education here in Massachusetts and I believe in schools. And I
believe in good schools and I think all over the country, we do have good urban
schools dealing with highly disadvantage kids. We don't have whole school
districts yet, we will.
Are Blacks and Latinos being disadvantaged because of the types of tests
that we give? Should we try to be developing alternate tests?
I do not blame the tests there, simply because the tests are measuring the
cognitive skills that students need to succeed in college and in the workplace.
And we have very good national data on precisely those correlations that as you
do well on those tests you're going to do well in school, you are not going to
drop out in college. The college drop-out rates for Black students are very
high, but the Black students who do well on the SAT scores stay in college and
do well in college. They finish and they have higher earnings. And when you,
when in general, you look for instances at Black unemployment and you look at
skills once again. They are employment in earnings are correlated very, very
closely with how Blacks do on tests that measure cognate of skills. You can say
well there's something wrong with the society, that this is an economy that
rewards high-skilled people, but I don't know what we're going to do about
You say that when critics of standardized tests or testing procedures
pick on the SAT, they're picking on an easy target?
No, I said--when critics pick on the SAT's, they are saying, well,
something must be wrong with them because Whites and Asians do much better on
them than Blacks and Hispanics, and I'm saying those tests test the skills that
students need to do well in college and to do well in the work place. And we
know that they do, we've got piles of evidence to that effect and so our job is
to make sure that those skills are learned by every child and not to say, as so
many educators do, oh well, we know Black and Hispanic kids can't learn this
material, so forget it. I mean, my view is quite the opposite. Of course they
can learn this material and it is our job to make sure that they do.
But you also make a point about if we got rid of the SAT, what about
other measures of performance?
Yeah, if we were to scrap, get rid of SAT's and look just at grade point
averages, it wouldn't change for instance college admissions to the selective
schools unless you go to a formula of top ten percent as Texas does, it changes
it a little bit, but not much.
But what is the point of taking into a very competitive school, like
Berkeley, like the University of Texas, like Yale, like Wesleyan as students
who, yes, fell in the top ten percent of a very bad school, where students by
and large, are not academically interested-oriented, trained, that student is
not going to do well in those highly competitive schools. You can change the
schools, but then they're going to be very different schools.
It's very important to a member, however, when you're talking about Black
students being disadvantaged by SATS because they don't do as well, whatever.
Not only do those tests test skills that they need, but if they don't get into
a highly competitive college because they've been disadvantaged by their K
through 12 education, there is always a school for them to go to. We have
3,500 institutions of higher education in this society. Suppose in California,
instead of going to Berkeley or even UC Santa Cruz, you go to a school in the
state college system, and then you move into one of the UC schools when you
have managed to get on your feet academically.
But our problem is not the kids who just missed Berkeley or just missed
Wesleyan. Our problem is the kids who in 12th grade either aren't
in school, or they have 8th grade skills. I mean, that's the
catastrophe and that's the problem we should be thinking about.
The real problem is K through 12 education. That's what we should be
talking about. That's what we should be focusing on and Bowen and Bok are
really writing a brief on behalf of a band-aid over, you know, a terrible
cancer, in the society that is elementary and secondary education.
The elite schools, for better or worse, are the pathways to privilege
and power in the country. So just to say, you don't go to Berkeley, you go to
Cal State, is not a sufficient answer.
As I said in a piece in the Wall Street Journal, the Bowen and Bok picture
that they draw--on the basis of that, you might think it's Yale or jail in this
country. You either go to one of these elite colleges or you're going to sink
in life. And that is ridiculous. This country is so open and fluid.
Successful people come from all sorts of colleges. And in fact, we have good
lists of where successful African Americans have gone to college. Whether you
look at people like Vernon Jordan or whether you look at people high... Whether
you look at judges, or whatever. By enlarge, they did not go to elite schools.
I, myself, went to three colleges, and actually the worst of the three colleges
was the best one I attended. I shouldn't have left it.
You could very well wind up with a two tiered system. Or a system in
which blacks and Latinos go to one set of schools, and whites and Asians go to
another. Is this okay with you?
It is not okay that we end up with a two tiered society, defined by race
and ethnicity in this society, altogether. The question is, what is the
remedy? And I think that Nathan Glazer's saying, the remedy is racial double
standards in admission to highly selective schools is simply wrong. For one
thing, what you want to know is not the racial composition of the freshman
class at a place like Berkeley. What you want to know is the racial
composition of the graduating class. And the black drop out rate is more than
three times that of whites and Asians at the highly selective schools that
Bowen and Bok looked at in their book, The Shape of the River. And
that's, those are students that disappear from college altogether. They don't,
they drop out of college period. Getting a BA makes a huge difference.
Aside from that, nobody has used, done what is called a study with a
control group. That is, you take a black student with, let's say, a combined
SAT's of 1000. You ask, you look at, at that student at say We, Wesleyan. You
take a comparable student. Same profile. Same academic profile. Look at what
happens to that student at a less selective school over the long run. Do we
know that that student, with the same skills, is going to do worse in life?
And Bok and Bowen, in their book, do something very interesting. They had
data from four historically black colleges. They didn't use that data. And I
suspect because it would have contradicted much of what they have to say in the
book. For instance, we know that if you look at the schools from which black
PhD's come--the top schools from which black PhD's come--nine out of the ten
top schools are the historically black colleges. The tenth is [Wayne] State.
Hardly a selective school. If you look at lists of successful African
Americans in this society--whether they're judge, judges, or people who work in
important federal government jobs, or people who, blacks who've gotten
McCarthur Fellowships--you name your list. A huge proportion of them went to
non selective schools. And many went to the historically black colleges. So
there is simply no data to say that the brand name advantage of going to a Yale
or Penn State--or whatever--in the long run makes for higher earnings and a
more successful career.
At one point in the book, Bowen and Bok say Martin Luther King--he didn't
have high SATS. And look how far he got in life. Well, yes--he also didn't go
to Yale divinity school. Would he have been better off? Ah, would he have
been historically more important if he had gone to Yale? I mean, the point is
They site what appear to be very impressive figures for graduation
rates. It seems that they've disproved the hypothesis that--put kids into an
environment that's too hard for them, and they'll fail. Instead, it actually
seems that they flourish.
Bowen and Bok do site very high graduation rates, in highly selective
schools. But those are schools that graduate almost everybody. And the most
selective of them are the richest. And they have a whole system of nurturing
students and getting students through. Despite that, the white graduation rate
is still more than, ah--I'm sorry. Let's look at drop out rates instead of
graduation rates. The black drop out rate is still more than three times that
of the white. And to simply look at graduation rates, and not look at drop out
rates, is like looking at black employment rates and not unemployment rates.
You can say, well most blacks are employed. Look, actually very high numbers
are employed. But the fact is that the unemployment rate is two and a half
times that of whites, even though the employment gap doesn't look very large.
And I would say you want to focus on unemployment 'cause it's the problem. You
want to focus on drop out, because it's the problem.
And indeed, we have very good numbers for Berkeley. And you can calculate,
given the record of black drop out at Berkeley. Black be, ah, the record of
black students not finishing that school, that with--and in the UC system as a
whole. That it is likely, in absolute numbers, you are going to have, have--it
is probable--you are going to have more black students getting their Bokelor's
degree from a UC school than you had before when there were racial preferences.
And that is really what should count.
You talk about the fact that we've insured diversity in a freshman
class. But where we really need to be looking is at the other end. What's
going to happen senior year or in graduate school?
I think that we are passing the buck in letting kids in and letting them
over--too many of them, over the long run. But I think we're passing the buck
in a more important way. And that is, we're letting elementary and secondary
schools off the hook. Chancellor Tien at the University of Berkeley, when the
preferences were rolled back at Berkeley, said, well, if we're not going to be
able to use racial double standards in admissions, we're going to have to go
into all the elementary schools, all the junior high schools, all the high
schools, and do mentoring and tutoring. Well Chancellor Tien, where were you
all those years?
But I do think you make another very, very important point. Yes, we can
preferentially admit students who are academically weak. And they do not, on
the whole, do well in college. On average, the black students at the Bowen and
Bok--ah, what's called the college and beyond schools--are in the
23rd percentile in grade point average. And that includes the half
of those, of the black students who needed no preferences to get in. So the
preferentially admitted really must be doing very badly. Although Bok and
Bowen do not give us those break downs. But they do say, well a high
percentage go onto medical school. A high percentage go onto law school.
Those schools have preferential admissions. And we know very well that for
instance 43 percent--nationally--43 percent of preferentially admitted black
students who entered law school in 1991, either didn't make it through the
school or didn't pass the bar exam. We have comparable figures for medical
I mean, what is the point of setting kids up for failure? And there is
another point--I think equally important point. You know, when there used to
be Jewish quotas at the Ivy league schools--and so there were preferences for
WASP's, in effect. The Jewish kids who got in had to be very, very good
academically. Extremely well prepared. It was harder for them to get in. And
when they arrived at college, they did very well. And a, and a Jewish
stereotype developed. Jews are academically smart. We're letting in black
kids that nurture the traditional stereotype, the traditional very poisonous
stereotype, about black students. Black students aren't any good academically.
They can throw a ball. They can't do math. I can't imagine a worse formula
for race relations in this already highly race conscious, and in many ways
When I interviewed Bob Sternberg, he said his new tests were actually
good predictors of academic success. Is this one way to develop alternative
As far as I'm concerned, institutions of higher education that are now
selective, can admit students by any formula they want. They can throw the
applications down the stairs and pick the ones that arrive at the bottom first.
Um, they can develop alternative testing. They can, ah, whatever. Ah, you
know, it can be any kind of criteria--except race. Race is special. I don't
want racial sorting, racial preferences, for all the reasons I've mentioned.
If these other tests are really predictive of doing well at schools that
are academically competitive, you can change the nature of the schools. That's
fine with me. But at the moment, they are very academically competitive. If
these other tests are predictive of academic achievement--great. That's
terrific. But I do want to say something else about the whole question of
diversity. I'm not sure why we define diversity only along lines of race and
ethnicity. I mean, no school worries about how many Christian fundamentalists
there are. How many, how much political diversity there is. I mean,
individuals are diverse. Harvard College now has close to half Asians. A
combination of Jews and Asians are making up about half of its classes. Well,
those are two populations that are about five percent of the American
population. Is Harvard horribly un-diverse because it's got this
disproportionate number of Jews and Asians? I mean, how many is the right
number? And why does race and ethnicity alone count for diversity? If you
were to go to the Harvard law school and say, how many believe in the death
penalty? You'd probably get almost nobody. Certainly among the faculty. How
many are Catholics? Go to a sociology department--how many are Catholics?
They're mostly Jews. Um, for, you know, a variety of reasons. I mean, why is
it that the only kind of diversity we care about is skin color?
You've sacrificed a certain racial make up at a university, for the sake
of the principle of not taking race into account. Is it acceptable?
The question is--what is the down side of racial double standards? And how
much weight do you place on that down side? And at the end of the day, that is
a judgement call that no data can settle. I think the down side is too great.
I think in terms of perpetuating racial stereotypes. In terms of putting kids
in a competitive environment in which they cannot survive or barely survive.
In terms of violating a sense of fairness on the part of other students,
including Asians. Those things I would weigh very heavily. Others will weigh
them differently. And you can't say, I'm right or you're right. Because there
is no right. What we're really engaged in are judgement calls about the future
of America. We're not disagreeing over the end of racial equality. We're
disagreeing over the means by which to get there. We used to disagree over
ends in this country. We used to have, you know, a whole region of this
country that looked no different than the, apartheid in South Africa. This
country is now debating means, not ends. And that is really the difference
between what I say and what a Nathan Glazer says.
You say we have racial double standards. We also seem to be willing to
abide many other double standards. Why is this one the one that's under such
Racial double standards are different than alumni double standards. For
one thing, we're giving a much greater edge on the basis of race. These are
race driven admissions. I, you cannot, to the same degree, argue that they are
alumni driven. But the question of alumni preferences does belong, when it
comes to state institutions, in the public arena, in the state legislature.
Private institutions certainly can decide to get rid of alumni preferences, to
get rid of athletic preferences. But it is only racial preferences that in the
law are highly suspect. Not only in the 14th amendment of course,
but in the civil rights act of 1964, which covers private institutions as well.
Title six covers private institutions as well. Race is the American dilemma.
It is race that, that, you know, keeps this country in agony. It is our most
serious domestic problem. And therefore, we want to think specially hard about
anything that involves sorting people out on the basis of one drop of blood of
this or that.
The problem is K through 12. Why is it necessary to get rid of
affirmative action while you work on the problem?
It is a very tempting deal to say, let's keep affirmative action until we
can close the racial gap in academic performance. But to begin with, I think
that taking away the Band-Aid, the power to, of racial preferences, is going to
light a fire under those K through 12 schools--the K through 12 systems. It's
going to be a wake up call. But I also think these racial preferences are very
pernicious. I don't think they do black students much good. I think they're
poisonous in terms of race relations. And I do not think they are fair to the
Asian student, for instance, who have worked very, very hard and is kept out of
a Berkeley because a student with a slightly different skin color has gotten in
as a consequence of racial identity.
Even if we're talking at a school of 35,000 and freshman class of 120
kids? Isn't that worth the trade off--the benefit to society?
Bowen and Bok make what I regard as a very odd point. They say, well, the
impact on let's say the Asian kids, is very small. Because they're a small
group. Well, impact is on individuals, not on groups--that's to begin with.
They say, well it's like a handicapped parking place. Very few--you know, you
have to find a different spot. So what? Well, I don't like that
analogy--what, blacks are crippled? I mean, that was the analogy that Lyndon
Johnson made in 1965 and his famous Howard University speech. And I think it's
a very pernicious image. But if we're really going to make that argument, I
mean, why don't we give much higher salaries to male teachers and reduce the
salaries of female teachers? You would be benefiting--that is in the K through
12 years--you would be benefiting a very small group. And you would be
slightly harming a very large group, since most elementary and secondary
teachers are female. I mean, this argument just doesn't wash, it seems to me.
You want to think about people as individuals. And why in general, do we think
of blacks, and whites, and Asians, and Hispanics, as [fungible] members of
groups? They all think alike. They're all culturally alike. They all bring
the same thing to a classroom. If you're black, you speak for all blacks.
You're not an individual. You are a black individual. So you have a certain
voice and it's very different than a white voice, even if you are middle class
and grow up in [Scarsdale]. I mean, this is race think. That, it perpetuates
this terrible habits in this country. Why do we want to do that?
You said that Asians were being harmed by the affirmative action
policies. The Asian kids are going to be scoring higher than the white kids.
The blacks and Latino's would be in competition with white kids, not with
Asians. So Wouldn't more white students be displaced, even at the small numbers
of 120 kids.
Asian kids are being disadvantaged by preferences. And the proof that
pudding is in the UC numbers. The Asian enrollment, with race neutral
policies, the Asian numbers have gone up. The white numbers have not.
Whites are under represented in proportion to their population in
California. Whites are under represented in the UC schools. That's fine with
me. I don't have any problem with that.
I think we have a racially caring policy that is in fact cruel to students
in a variety of ways. But yes, dumbing down the curriculum, asking less of
students--packaged as being sensitive to the fact that they don't do as well
academically, and they don't do as well on standardized tests--that does not do
students any good. Students who have to enter an economy in which skills, high
skills, are the only quality that is going to get you a high income.
The test score gap did close in 70's and 80's. Then in 88, it took a
nose dive. Do you have any guesses or theories as to why that
There is a mystery. The racial gap in academic achievement was closing in
1971 to 1988. And in 1988, the black scores start to turn around. And the gap
has been widening. It looks like it's plateaued now. But the picture is not
good. And the question is, why the change? Why, when we were making so much
progress, should that progress have stopped? It's the one place in our book,
in America in Black and White, where we say we're stumped. We don't
know. Then of course, we go on to write 40 pages making some guesses.
I have a few guesses. One, I think the level of disorder in the schools
increased with the rival of crack cocaine. People talk about violence in the
schools. I mean, when somebody's shot, it makes headlines. What they don't
talk about is the day in and day out chaos--that five percent of the kids in
the classroom, or at most ten percent of the kids in the classroom. And which
in fact, ruins education for everybody else. So I think that the increasing
violence and disorder in the streets began to spill into the classrooms. I
also think that we're going to discover that there were changes in the 80's in
the educational culture. An increasingly, an increasing nervousness on the
part of teachers about holding black students to the same standards. In the
name of sensitivity, they were dumbing down their expectations for black kids.
I'm not sure what else explains it.
You make an interesting point that the higher levels of income and
education of black parents are not translating to the next generation. Can you
talk about that at all?
One of the most disturbing, I think perhaps the most disturbing fact in our
whole book is that black students coming from families earning over 70,000 are
doing worse on their SATS, on average--it's always on average--than white
students from families in the lowest income group. You want to cry hearing
that figure. I mean, it's so terrible.
I don't have an explanation for it. I was having lunch with somebody who
is African American, and very distinguished, and very smart, and thoughtful
about these issues, the other day. Who said to me, you know, middle class
habits, in terms of the way children are talked to the books that are read to
kids, the books in the household altogether--they take more than one
generation. So you can't look at income alone. And maybe that's true. And so
it's a question of time. So many of these questions are a question of the time
table and how impatient you are. And I don't blame blacks in this country for
being very impatient. They've waited too long for equality. They're still
waiting. I understand that. The only question is whether short cuts can get
us where we want to go. And my answer is no.
There's another factor here which we have not touched on. And that is the
academic skills of the teachers. Particularly, in the urban school districts.
I'm not a teacher basher. I think a lot of teachers work incredibly hard and
do a very good job. But I also think that too many have education degrees.
They mainly took courses in pedagogy. They don't know enough about the
subjects they have to teach. Even elementary school kids. And that's
particularly true for math and science.
Bowen and Bok say racial preferences were used to select a significant
fraction of their entering classes. But you say by national standards blacks
remain woefully under represented.
But you also seem to be saying that these kids are not qualified. But
the numbers, in terms of graduation rates and even lower grades--they get
through. So, is this a cause for national concern?
Bowen and Bok argue that, look, by national standards, these are highly
qualified students. But national standards aren't the issue when the question
in admission to Yale. When you are admitting whites and Asians that are in the
96th percentile or above, and blacks and Hispanics that are in the
75th percentile or above--which is what these schools are
doing--you're talking about racial double standards. And I object to them.
And they have an impact on how these kids do at these schools.
Bowen and Bok also way, well, by 1951 standards, these black students
measure up. Well, sure--the standards in 1951 were very different. Would a
track coach at one of these universities recruiting for the varsity team
say--well, you run the mile at a very fast rate by 1951 standards. We'd love
to have you. Of course not. Standards have changed. And the question is the
context today. The relevant standards are the standards in these schools
today. Not the national standards and not the standards in 1951.
So isn't the heart of the issue--whether or not a student is qualified?
Not that he's less qualified maybe than some of his classmates. But that by
the standards of the university, he's qualified.
By the standards of these universities, a black student who is in the
76th percentile nationally, um--his or her SAT scores--is qualified.
An Asian student who is in the 76th percentile is not qualified. An
Asian student has to be in the 96th percentile or above. The fact
is, qualified is always a matter of relatively. So it's a matter of context.
In these schools, the 76th percentile doesn't do unless the, the
color of your skin is that of blacks or Hispanics.
The standards at Cal rose in the last 30 years. Do you agree that
attempt to achieve diversity may very well lead to a lowering of academic
If schools want to sacrifice the profile of academic excellence for the
sake of diversity, that's up to them. They can take randomly picked students
who's SAT scores fall in the top 50 percent. Whatever. It doesn't matter to
me as long as they are not racially sorting students. But they will change the
nature of the education at those schools. And the question is, is there a
place for academically selective schools in this country? Is there a place in
the K through 12 years? We have Boston Latin in, in, ah, in the city of
Boston. You have [Stuyvesant] and Bronx Science. In New York you have Lowell
High School. In San Francisco, where the Asians--where the Chinese
specifically--have just won a suit. Um, there were preferences for whites in a
effect at, um, Lowell High schools. Um, I lost my thought. Where did I start
on that? Um.
The idea that you're harming black students by dropping them in a pool
that they're not qualified to swim in, which has been a central argument for
those opposed to affirmative action or preferences--it seems that you put that
argument to bed.
The fit hypothesis, which we call the mis-match theory, is alive and
kicking. I think it's been substantiated by the Bowen and Bok numbers. Um,
that is with a drop out rate for blacks more than three times that for white
students at the highly selective schools, you are better off dropping one level
down and making sure, being sure you are going to finish and finish with
feeling good about how you've done in that school. Because you will have done
academically better in a slightly less competitive environment. And at the end
of the day, what counts is getting that degree and having the confidence that
you are good. Remember, the average student, black student, at the Bowen and
Bok schools--and this includes black students who needed no preferences--is in
the bottom quarter of his or her class in terms of grades. That can't make
those students feel very good about themselves or their future.
Colin Powell comes up from City College. No where on the map in terms of
elite schools. And he was never, at any point in his career, the beneficiary
of racial preferences. He was the beneficiary of affirmative action in the
best sense, in the outreach sense, at one point in his career. And I really do
not think, um, that his views on this subject address the question of this, of
the student who has been admitted to [Weslian] instead of going to a slightly
easier school to get into.
What he's saying is, I'll be the judge of whether or not I'm
stigmatized. But it sounds like you're second guessing his feelings about it.
You talked about the racial preferences creating a poisonous
It is perfectly correct to say that it is the black students themselves who
have to talk about stigma. But we must also talk about the attitude of white
students who have in their heads--eh, you're black. I know what standards you
got into this school under. Or the black patient who looks at the black doctor
and has doubts. The black, the, you know, white looking for a lawyer, and has
doubts about a black lawyer who shows up. I mean, these are horrible feelings.
And they perpetuate racial stereotypes that have been too much a part of our
history. Why do we want to perpetuate them? It's exactly the wrong thing to
What Derek Bok and Bill Bowen say is that this is not a debate between
principle and expediency. This is a debate between principle and principle.
Bowen and Bok say this is an argument between people with different
principles, at the end of the day. I don't think that's accurate. I think
it's an argument primarily about what is efficacious--what works. What is
going to get us to a situation, to the point of racial equality in this
society? I don't think any of us disagree on the end we're trying to get
there. We disagree on the means to that end.
Now, I am more concerned than they are about racial sorting, racial
classification, making judgements about people, on the basis of a few
shades--lighter or darker skin color. That is a concern that no data can say
is right or wrong. But I do think that if you are cognizant of the history of
racial subjugation in this country, and you know, to what horrible uses racial
classifications--the sorting of people along racial lines, judgements about
people on the basis of their color, the color of their skin--if you understand
what horrible uses that mind set has been put to, you should be very, very
weary of continuing to judge people by the color of their skin and not the
content of their character.
who got in? |
the race issue |
sat & test prep |
history of the sat
the screening process |
test score gap |
getting in to berkeley |
tapes & transcripts |
pbs online |