Author Dinesh D’Souza told the GW Federalist Society at the GW Law School Tuesday that affirmative action is not a valid solution to racism because behavioral differences among racial groups lead to different levels of achievement.
D’Souza, author of “The End to Racism,” refuted the idea that genetic factors or differences artificially manufactured by society account for the variation in achievement. He was a senior domestic policy analyst during former President Ronald Reagan’s tenure as president. Now, D’Souza is a research fellow with the American Enterprise Institute.
He said groups such as Jews and Asian-Americans are “vastly over-represented” in higher education because of achievement, not because of discrimination.
D’Souza compared the phenomenon to the National Basketball Association being composed of about 80 percent African-American players. African Americans are over-represented in the NBA because of their basketball skills, he said. D’Souza said nobody stands up and says “let’s have an affirmative action program for Jews” or other groups.
D’Souza addressed issues such as the presence of racism in America, reasons that certain groups are generally comprised of higher achievers than other groups, and the effects of affirmative action on higher education admissions policies.
There is a concept of the “American dream that says if you play by the rules and you put in the effort, you will be rewarded,” but affirmative action is “rigging the rules,” he said.
D’Souza said college admissions and other competitive situations are like a race in which not everyone is coming “to the starting line” with the same skills.
After the speech, the Federalist Society held a reception where students huddled around D’Souza and continued to ask him questions.
“I liked it. I thought he was right on,” first-year law student Curtis Huffmire said.
He said students will be “naturally selected” by colleges and universities if everyone is judged on merit.
Leon Sequeira, a board member of the Federalist Society, said the society is a group of conservative and libertarian individuals interested in legal issues and legal order in the United States. He said the goal of the GW Federalist Society is to provoke a discussion among law students by exposing them to different ideas.
“The main purpose is just to foster debate,” he said.