Portales: Why We Must Insist

via email
March 5, 2004

I dislike being so insistent, but sometimes

one
has no choice–given where we have to go.
Did others notice yesterday’s [Mar. 4] Houston

Chronicle
editorial titled “For Green”? The editors wrote
that they recommend Paul Green and

not Steve
Wayne Smith to serve as Place 5 justice on the Texas
Supreme Court.

They

point to the fact that they prefer Green because
Smith is credited with the Hopwood lawsuit

that
“injuriously halted” race as an admissions factor in college admissions, which lost financial

aid for countless students in Texas. If students were injured by Hopwood almost 8 years ago this

March 18th [1996], what can we say today about our admissions policy at Texas A&M?

We

continue to follow Hopwood’s color-blind policy.
In GRUTTER (June 23, 2003), the Supreme

Court
allowed institutions like Texas A&M, who are
struggling to recruit minority students, to

tailor race as one of other accepted factors in college admissions.

We have, in short,

now a LEGAL tool–just as Hopwood
WAS legal–to recruit more minority students, but we
are not

using that tool.

Indeed, our administration refuses to avail itself of that

tool.

Why? Because it basically does not want to. For there are now no constitutional

grounds for embracing Hopwood’s failed color-blind policies, especially when there is a perfectly good

and legitimate tool for recruiting the minority students that Texas A&M so badly

needs.

I believe that we now have no choice but to challenge the administration to

provide legal support for not considering race when that option is now legally acceptable. Not to do so

would make us remiss in our responsibilities to the changing demographics of the state of

Texas.

So, how should we proceed?

Sincerely,

Marco

Portales, Ph.D.

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