Randall Kennedy on Affirmative Action

Randall Kennedy, one of my favorite writers on race issues, has a provocative essay on affirmative action in the American Prospect. Kennedy’s argument is that in the last 20 years, the diversity rationale for affirmative action has proved surprisingly effective at making affirmative action considerably less controversial than it used to be. From the conclusion:

The true measure of affirmative action’s staying power is that its absence now is virtually inconceivable. Liberalism has made racial homogeneity uncool and unacceptable. Even many conservatives are made uncomfortable by lily-white gatherings — hence the enhanced value to the right of Clarence Thomas, Shelby Steele, Condoleezza Rice, Linda Chavez, and any well-spoken Negro or Latino who consorts with the Tea Party crowd. That conservatives practice affirmative action even as they condemn it is a tribute to liberalism’s handiwork.

What do you think?

Hat tip: Ann Althouse.

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