David Leonhardt, in his column “Rethinking Affirmative Action,” argues that Affirmative Action supporters have lost their way because the arguments in the Fisher v. University of Texas case (among others) focus on diversity rather than fairness.
It is impossible to know whether affirmative action could have had a more enduring foundation were it based on a broader equal-opportunity approach. Proponents never tried this alternative.
Leonhardt, however, fails to mention the unequal distribution of societal power. The unequal distribution is the real reason why progress has been halting and why affirmative action is still needed.
There is a huge difference between equal opportunity and true equality. Because the society has an unequal distribution of power.
United States (population: 308,745,538) (2010 Census)
|Race||Percentage of population||Number|
In addition, the Supreme Court must demonstrate that the institution follows its pronouncements in the hiring practices for its legal staff. The positions seem to go to a limited (wealthy or socially connected) few. Yet, the Court makes rules for all citizens. Many of these citizens are not at the elite level of society.
Until power is equally shared there will always be a need for affirmative action.