NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 1, 1995

Differences among racial and ethnic groups in academic achievement, economic performance and social stability can be accounted for by differences in cultural values, rather than inherited genetic abilities or the effects of racial oppression, according to author Dinesh D'Souza.

Affirmative action assumes that racism is the cause of differences in academic performance between blacks and other groups and abandons merit in favor of affirmative action in order to achieve social justice. If college admissions were based only on merit, it would not lead to equality of results:

  • Studies show that if admissions to the University of California at Berkeley were by grades and test scores only, a majority of students would be Asian and only 1 to 2 percent black.
  • Data from the College Board, which administers the Scholastic Attainment Test (SAT), show that the racial gaps on the verbal section of the test are equaled or exceeded on the math section.
  • Independent studies show that the SAT predicts college performance equally well for all groups, and is even slightly "biased" in favor of blacks.
  • College Board data shows that academic differences aren't due to poverty, since on average, whites and Asians from families earning less than $20,000 a year score higher on the SAT than blacks from families earning more than $60,000.

But due to affirmative action, blacks from middle-class and affluent families are granted preference at the expense of poor whites with stronger academic credentials. And Hispanics, who have historically been classified as white, get preferential treatment at the expense of Asians -- a minority who have also suffered discrimination.

Source: Dinesh D'Souza, The End of Racism: Principles for a Multiracial Society (Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute, 1995).


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