Jan. 2004 Site Announcement Archive

Jan. 2004

On De-Segregation and Civil

Rights at A&M

Welcome. This site has a working thesis:

the Texas A&M University Board of Regents, as party to an on-going de-segregation plan, should respect

its own civil rights responsibilities and restore affirmative action in admissions to the Texas A&M

With respect to this thesis, it is widely doubted that Texas A&M has any civil rights

responsibilties when it comes to affirmative action in the admissions process. But if this is true for

Texas A&M, while it is party to a de-segregation plan, then what role does affirmative action play?

David Skrentny’s work shows that affirmative action was devised by civil rights

enforcement agencies who otherwise would have been left with only the tool of case complaints–a

procedure that will leave with you a higher stack of complaints each day. Without a tool for adjusting

“institutional” behavior, civil rights cannot be adequately enforced. Without affirmative action,

then, how else are civil rights to be e m nforced?

Everyone forgets that Texas

A&M was the first campus in Texas to adopt affirmative action as a show of “good faith” that was

supposed to signify a commitment to self-responsibility for de-segregation. As a result, Texas was

allowed to negotiate its own de-segregation plan.

If, 22 years later, the state

higher education system is still not de-segregated, then what does the unilateral revocation of

affirmative action signify?

The suspension of numerical goals cannot signify that

Texas A&M needs to abolish affirmative action in order to free the admissions process to consider each

applicant “for who they are rather than what they are,” because if it were necessary to abolish

affirmative action in order to achieve “individual consideration,” then affirmative action would not

have survived its fierce and persistent cons :So what is Texas A&M saying about any of its students

who have been admitted under affirmative action? That they were never invited as individuals, but only

as “whats”?

In short, the decision by Texas A&M violates its own “good faith” sign

of self-responsibility, ignores constitutional law, and demeans the very process of affirmative action

as a responsible civil rights policy wherever de-segregation persists.

With miraculous

pitching, the abolition of numerical goals was spun as a “diversity initiative.” But how can this


If what Texas A&M did last year is not illegal, it should be. It presents an

intolerable civil rights environment when state agencies (in Texas or any other state), while operating

under a de-segregation plan, can allow site administrators to suspend their commitments to numerical


True, no one expects excellence in civil rights from Texas A&M. But these low

expectations of the College Station campus in Texas may fool us into agreeing to something more than

letting A&M be A&M. Without numerical goals, how are the civil rights of de-segregation to be


If desegregation requires no numerical goals, then what does?

Greg Moses
Site Editor


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