Friday, December 11, 2015

Diversity threatens free speech

NPR reports on a new US Supreme Court case:
Abigail Fisher's lawyers contend that, in any event, holistic review is unnecessary because the Top 10 Percent law creates enough diversity. Moreover, for the first time in this case, the Fisher legal forces seem to challenge the idea, previously accepted by the Court, that universities have a compelling interest in admitting a diverse student body in the first place.

Justice Kennedy, likely the key vote in Wednesday's case, has long agreed that having a diverse student body is sufficiently important to justify consideration of race in admissions, but only if all other race-neutral systems have been tried and failed — like consideration of economic status.
I thought that the main argument for diversity in colleges was to encourage a broader range of opinion and discussion. But events of this fall have proved just the opposite. A diverse student body is the biggest barrier to free speech, because of complaints that some views are offensive or insensitive to certain groups.

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