Affirmative Action for White College Students — The Oldest AA Programs

Inside Higher Education reports on a new book that shows there is still very widespread affirmative action that is mostly for white Americans—the huge number of programs at colleges and universities that offer the mostly white children of alumni/ae special preferences in admissions. Since in previous decades many had blatant discrimination in their admissions, their alumni/ae are mostly white at historically white institutions. These affirmative action programs get very few attacks from “principled conservatives.” White preferences are still fine in this society.

The account reviews a new book from the Century Foundation, titled Affirmative Action for the Rich, actually overwhelmingly the white affluent and rich:

What if the alumni preferences are significant? What if significant numbers of these alumni children wouldn’t have gotten in anyway? And what if — contrary to conventional wisdom — alumni preferences have no impact on alumni giving? Those what-ifs are all true, according to a book being published and released today by the Century Foundation (and distributed by the Brookings Institution Press). The book is a collection of research articles by scholars, journalists and lawyers arguing that much of what colleges have said over the years about alumni admissions preferences isn’t true — and that they amount to the book’s title: Affirmative Action for the Rich.

And then adds this:

Further, the elimination of affirmative action [for students of color] in several states (a shift Kahlenberg expects to spread), he says, makes it “hard to justify alumni preferences when you have gotten rid of help for minorities.” Finally, he noted, “we are going through a populist moment in this country, where there is anger at illegitimate preferences or unfair advantages for wealthy people, and it seems to me that this issue is one that’s plainly unfair and Americans get that.”

Actually the white majority is not populist in this regard, and does not see this as unfair. This country is founded in and maintained under the reality of such white power and privilege—and this almost never is questioned in the mainstream media. “Liberty and justice” for all?