Affirmative Action On The Docket At Cornell Debate As I Argue Against Racial Preferences (October 25)
On October 25, I will debate at the non-partisan Cornell Political Union, one week before the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the university affirmative action cases, in favor of the proposition: “Resolved: Stop discriminating on the basis of race.”
I think I may have made a breakthrough. While I am faculty advisor to several (almost all) conservative undergraduate student groups at Cornell, I’ve had relatively little direct interaction with the broader undergraduate student body (though plenty of them read or know about Legal Insurrection).
So I am pleased that I’ve been invited by two non-partisan Cornell undergraduate organizations to debate hot topics that normally go without debate because of the liberal/progressive campus monoculture and the grinding social media pressure to conform. This tells me that there is an unmet need at Cornell, that there are plenty of students who want to hear opposing viewpoints, but the campus culture does not provide diversity of viewpoints.
As is common, the burden falls on me almost alone on campus to speak against the conformist prevailing wisdom, and to give voice to what a lot of people think but are afraid to say.
The second of the debates likely will be in mid-November and has not been officially announced yet. It will revolve around my position that mandatory DEI [Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion] statements for hiring and admissions do more harm than good and should be eliminated. Cornell has such a requirement for new hires and promotions, along with an administrative mechanism dictating how such statements are to be evaluated. More on DEI statements when the November debate is announced.
The first of the debates has been announced by the non-partisan Cornell Political Union (CPU), and will take place on Cornell’s campus on October 25. It is open to the public. (details below)
CPU is an organization that invites speakers to campus to debate CPU members. The group has been bold in reaching across political divides and has had conservative speakers. You may recall the infamous 2017 incident where a CPU event featuring one of the early Tea Party organizers, Michael Johns, Sr., who was to argue a pro-Trump proposition, was forced under threat of disruption and at the insistence of the Cornell Police into moving to an undisclosed location. The protesters found that new location anyway and pounded on the doors and screamed trying to disrupt the event. See our post, Conservative speaker event forced into hiding at Cornell.
I have been invited to debate racial preferences, which is the core issue (but not the entire issue) in the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court oral argument on October 31 in the cases against Harvard and UNC. The format is that I get 30 minutes to give my view, then there are questions/debate with me from the CPU members, then the CPU members debate among themselves, then they vote.
The Proposition on the table is:
“Resolved: Stop discriminating on the basis of race.”
Who could be against that? Well, Harvard, UNC, and hundreds of universities (including Cornell) and professors who have filed amicus briefs at SCOTUS in support of the use of race in admissions decisions.
The CPU Resolution is the second part of Chief Justice John Robert’s famous line, “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”
You can read CPU’s “Whip Sheet” (Summary), which provides in part:
IT IS A DEEPLY ILL SOCIETY that considers the color of one’s skin as indicative of his worth. The United States fought a bloody civil war to prove, once and for all, that “all men are created equal.” Yet, once again, we see the ugly mark of discrimination. Our top universities have any number of metrics to choose from. Test scores, extracurriculars, GPA, letters of recommendation, &c. are more than sufficient for gauging one’s ability to withstand the rigor of these institutions. Yet they choose to examine race. In doing so, the administration denies admission to hundreds of qualified students. We cannot consider this institution a fair one until we stop discriminating on the basis of race.
AND YET, THE PATH TO EQUALITY IS A CHALLENGING ONE. Many Americans contend we still have not arrived at that noble end. Along the way, many have been left behind. Surely, if we still aspire to be the shining city on a hill, we must lift up those who have been constrained by circumstances beyond their control. Affirmative Action is but one means by which we can open the doors of the American Dream to whom it has remained shut.
All members of the Union are thus invited to the Founders Room of Anabel Taylor Hall. We shall commence no later than 6:30 P.M. with a presentation by our guest speaker, Professor William Jacobson of Cornell Law School. All those interested in speaking on the docket should contact the Events Director of CPU, Rodge Reschini….
A vote will be taken prior to 8 o’clock P.M. All inquiries should be directed to the President of the Union. Your continued participation is greatly anticipated and appreciated.
The event is open to the public, but only CPU members get to debate and vote. It will not be live-streamed (I wish it were), but CPU has agreed to record it.
See you there?
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