that should be undertaken with the samernenthusiasm of Judge Sand and the federalrnjudiciar”s earlier expcrmients.rnWilliam /. Wtitkins, ]r., is the assistantrneditor of The Freeman.rnThe Dirty FactrnAbout CollegernAdmissionsrnby Daniel f. FlynnrnPitting the state of Texas against fourrnstudents who had been denied admissionrnto the Universits’ of Texas Schoolrnof Law because of their skin color, the recentrnllopwood V. Texas ease could spellrndoom for racial preferences in public educationrnif affirmed b’ the SupremernCourt. The Sth U.S. Circuit Court ofrnAppeals, whose jurisdiction covers Texas,rnMississippi, and Louisiana, ruled in Hopwoodrnthat the use of race as a factor inrnadmissions at public educational institutionsrnviolates the 14th Amendment’srnEc]ual Protection Clause, sending intornpanic an academic establishment alreadvrnreeling from the lJniversit of CaliforniarnBoard of Regents’ decision last Julv tornelnniuatc racial preferences on staterncampuses. Though Uopwood may veryrnwell be ocrturned h- a higher court, orrnlike the Bakke case (1978), be subvertedrnb’ uniersit’ administrators who o|3eraternoutside the kw, it’s already succeeded inrncx])osing the ugh truths about affirmatirne action.rnIn the spring of 1992, Cheryl Hopwoodrnwas rejected from the University ofrnTexas School of Law despite posting nearrnperfect test scores and a 3.8 grade pointrnaverage (GPA). This 32-ear-old motherrnwho had to raise a severely handicappedrnchild while working her wav throughrncollege apparently lacked a “diverse”rnenough background for UT Law admissionsrnofficers. While her test scores andrnGPA outranked 40 of 41 black studentsrnaccepted by the school, and all but threernof 55 Cliicanos offered admission,rnCheryl’s placement on the “diversity”rntest lagged far behind the Mexican andrnAfrican-American students, and she wasrndenied a spot at the law school.rn1 he general impression in academia isrnthat affirmative action gi’cs minorities arn”helping liand” while not really harmingrnwhites and other nonpreferred groups.rnThe reality is quite different, as a largernnumber of Cheryl I lopwoods across therneountr can attest. So disadvantagedrnwere the nonpreferred groups at the L^nivcrsityrnof Texas that approximatcK’ 700rnhigher-scoring whites were rejectedrnalong with Cheryl 1 lopwood before thernfirst in-state black resident was deniedrnadmission.rnUT l^aw admissions records, madernpublic only after Hopwood’s four plaintiffsrnfiled suit, reveal sizable discrepanciesrnbetween the grades and test scores ofrnwhites and those of preferred minoritiesrnaccepted by the school, hi 1992, the yearrnMs. I lopwood and her three eoplaintiffsrnwere rejected b’ UT Law, white studentsrnaccepted by the school had a mean CPArnof 3.56 and I,SAT scores in the 91st percentile,rnwhile black students offered admissionrnposted a mean CPA of 3.25, withrnLSAT scores below the 75th percentile;rnMexican-American accepted applicants’rnmean GPA was 3.27. w ith I ,SAT scores mrnthe 78th percentile.rnTexas Law admits students on a scalernknown as the Texas hidex, which combinesrnCPA and law school entrance exams.rnStudents fall into three categoriesrnon this index: “presunrptive admit,” thern”middle discretionar’ zone,” and “presumptixcrndeny.” For whites, Texas Indexrnscores of 192 or lower fell under the “presumptixernden” category. Preferred minoritiesrnwho scored 189, three pointsrnlower than the threshold for denying admissionrnto whites, were classified underrn”presumptive admit.” Among applicantsrnwho fell within the 189-192 range on thernTexas Index, 100 percent of blacks, 90rnpercent of Mexican-Americans, but onlyrnsix percent of whites were offered spotsrnat the school.rnSo immersed in special-interest politiesrnis the school’s admissions policy thatrnNative Americans, Asians, non-MexicanrnHispanics, and even foreign-born blacksrnare penalized in favor of Chicanos andrnblacks. Surch UT Law admissions officersrndo not view Nigerians as adding lessrndiversity to its campus than Americanbornrnblacks? Or Vietnamese refugees asrnhaving experienced any less hardship andrndiscrimination than Mexican-Americans?rnMan sympathetic to the aims of affirmativernaction have een suggested thatrnthe Lfnivcrsity of Texas may have gottenrnits just due in court because of the extremernnature of the school’s admissionsrnprogram. But there is no reason to behevernthat Texas’s admissions programrnwas any more rigged than the programsrnof other schools. In fact, administratorsrnfrom law schools around the country refutedrnthis argument in an effort to tiltrnthe court to UT’s side by testifying thatrntheir affirmative action policies werernnearl- identical to those at Texas.rnRepeated assurances by “civil rights”rnactivists that affirmative action does notrndiscriminate against whites but ratherrnserves as a boost to minorities in competitionrnwith whites of roughly the samernqualifications have repeatedly beenrnproven false whenever academic institutionsrnhave been forced to open their admissionsrnpolicies up to outside examination.rnAt I n Law, Georgetown Law, thernUniversity of California, and other institutionsrnthat have had their admissionsrndata pried open in recent ears, affirmativernaction programs have been shown tornbe little more than punishment for havingrnbeen born white, Asian, or any otherrnnonpreferred group.rnIn those rare eases when the public isrnallowed to view the true nature of affirmativernaction programs, it is seldom therncase that they do so with the approval ofrnuniversity administrators. More often,rnthe reality of affirmative action isrnbrought to light bv renegade studentsrnwith access to admissions data orrnthrough lawsuits. The latter was the easernat both UT Lavy and the U’niversity ofrnCalifornia schools of law and medicine,rnwhich released data only after being suedrnLIBERAL ARTSrnTHE NEW GEOGRAPHYrn”Western culture is based on exclusion.rnIts society places ‘others’—rnwomen, blacks, children, the old,rnthose with alternative lifestyles, gavs,rnthe disabled—as outsiders. At therncore of this marginalization is therntendencv of powerful groups to ‘purifv’rnand dominate space, to create fearrnof minorities and to ultimatelyrnexclude their voices and their knowledge.”rn—from Geographies ofrnExclusion by David Sibley,rnprofessor of geography at thernUniversitv of Hull.rnSEPTEMBER 1996/43rnrnrn