Affirmative action for college - a game of halves

Gary Younge in The Guardian sings the praises of affirmative action for college:

Meanwhile, the two examples that the policy's opponents use most often to restrict access to good higher education for non-white people – for that will be the outcome – actually, in quite different ways, prove the opposite.
The first is Barack Obama. His success, the argument goes, shows that such assistance is unnecessary. [...] However, Obama, like [Condolezza] Rice herself, says he probably was a beneficiary of affirmative action.
OK, affirmative action for college admissions should continue so that we benefit people like Barack Obama. News flash, Gary: Obama is only 50% black. His mother was about as white as they come. So, are you saying that affirmative action which "take[s] into account that our society has been doing something special against the Negro for hundreds of years" should also benefit students who are 50% black, 50% white? What about those who are 25% black, 75% white? Where do you draw the line, Gary? As the races blend, how are you going to determine if someone is "black enough" to benefit? The Fauxcahontas scandal around Elizabeth Warren related to her claim of being 1/32 Cherokee which was viewed as sufficiently "Indian" to give her school some affirmative action credit.

If affirmative action is to redress wrongs against Jim Crow laws, should it be extended to those of Hispanic ancestry? Chinese people have suffered racism, pogroms, mass famines - and their students out-perform white students, and indeed suffer as a result of affirmative action towards other ethnic groups. How, exactly, does this work? Asian-American groups filed an amicus brief in Fisher v Texas, an affirmative action case that went to the Supreme Court, arguing that affirmative action hurt Asian-American students. Is this fair?

The modern day practical purpose of affirmative action is to have an affirmative action program. It's a great non-job factory, creating lots of federal and state jobs, and is relatively simple in application since the judgement of its success is solely based on the changing fractions of ethnicities in students. It does not, however, fix the academic problems of African-American students. If you want to fix these, you have to fix the academic environment in their elementary and high schools. By the time they are applying to university, the damage is done.

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