Are Quotas Good For Blacks?

"Are Quotas Good For Blacks?," Commentary, June 1976, p. 39-43.


Today’s grand fallacy about race and ethnicity is that the statistical “representation” of a group — in jobs, schools, etc. — shows and measures discrimination. This notion is at the center of such controversial policies as affirmative action hiring, preferential admissions to college, and public school busing. But despite the fact that far-reaching judicial rulings, political crusades, and bureaucratic empires owe their existence to that belief, it remains an unexamined assumption. Tons of statistics have been collected, but only to be interpreted in the light of that assumption, never to test the assumption itself. Glaring facts to the contrary are routinely ignored. Questioning the “representation” theory is stigmatized as not only inexpedient but immoral. It is the noble lie of our time.