Conservatives who oppose affirmative action as a general principle are often portrayed by their opponents as bigoted and racist. President Bush was even called an extremist because he harbors doubts about the utility and justice of affirmative action. Yet the evidence keeps piling up that the President's reservations are well-founded. Joanne Jacobs has this report on a recent study:
African-American writers like Shelby Steele and Stephen Carter have been saying for years that black students are hurt by affirmative action more than they're helped by it. Conservatives have been saying for years that race-based preferences are inherently unjust quite apart from any deleterious impact on the supposed beneficiaries. For our part we just wonder how many generations must come and go before we can assess the success or failure of this experiment. Will there ever be a time when we can say that the unequal playing field established by slavery and Jim Crow has now been evened out and we can all now compete against each other on the basis of our ability, or is affirmative action an entitlement to preference in perpetuity?