The Court's analysis was straightforward. When reviewing admission applications, the decision instructed, applicants should be judged based on their individual experience, not race.
Unfortunately. as Justice Roberts wrote:
Many universities have for too long done just the opposite. And in doing so, they have concluded, wrongly, that the touchstone of an individual's identity is not challenges bested, skills built, or lessons learned but the color of their skin. Our constitutional history does not tolerate that choice.
Indeed, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg suggested as much in her dissenting opinion in Gratz v. Bollinger. This is what she wrote: "One can reasonably anticipate, therefore, the colleges and universities will seek to maintain their minority enrollment . . . whether or not they can do so in full candor . . . " Justice Ginsburg concluded her dissenting opinion by saying, "If honesty is the best policy, surely [Michigan University’s] accurately described, fully disclosed College affirmation program is preferable to achieving similar numbers through winks, nods, and disguises."
Despite warnings from fellow students that my application would be rejected, I applied for membership on the Harvard Educational Review's editorial board.
My application was rejected. Of course, there was no written policy banning white men from being on the journal's editorial board, and board members could surely articulate alternative reasons for the board's decisions. Nevertheless, I believe board members were selected based on race.
As my Harvard studies drew to a close, I traveled to Washington, DC, to attend a faculty recruitment conference sponsored by the Association of American Law Schools. I hoped to get a job as a law professor.
When I arrived at the conference, I found that job applicants were sorted into three waiting rooms. One room was reserved for women attendees, another was reserved for people of color, and a third waiting room was open to anybody. Only white men were in that room.
I got a couple of interviews, but I spent most of the day watching other white men reading the Washington Post in the white men's waiting room. Meanwhile, women and people of color were busy attending job reviews. In my opinion, I was witnessing affirmative action.
I am not bitter about those experiences. I had a good career as an educational policy researcher. I feel sure that I published more scholarly articles than the combined output of everyone else in my Harvard doctoral cohort.
I'd like to make one point regarding the Supreme Court's recent decision to strike down affirmative action in college admissions. The universities should be honest about what they are doing. If the Supreme Court declares affirmative action to violate the Constitution, universities should stop practicing affirmative action.