Justice Scalia, Black students can thrive at elite campuses

The U.S. Supreme Court recently took up affirmative action in college admissions, revisiting the case of Fisher vs. University of Texas.

Abigail Fisher is a white student who said she lost a spot at the University of Texas at Austin because of her race. Under Texas' "talented 10" policy, students in the top 10 percent of any state high school are assured admittance to any state institution of higher learning. Seventy-five percent of students admitted to the UT Austin campus reflect the "talented 10" policy. Fisher did not make the cut for the remaining 25 percent of admissions based on multiple considerations, including race.

While questioning a lawyer during last month's hearing, Justice Antonin Scalia suggested the practice of considering race might undermine black students by putting them into an academically demanding environment for which they are not prepared.

“One of the briefs pointed out that most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas. They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they’re being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them,” he said.

His remarks set off a firestorm of protests. Brian L. Pauling, president of 100 Black Men of America shares his objections in the AJC Get Schooled blog on MyAJC.com. Among Pauling’s comments: “Justice Scalia’s comments are as wrong as they are discriminatory.”

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