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An End to Racial Engineering?

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in two important racial discrimination cases. Parents in Seattle and Louisville are challenging their children's exclusion from neighborhood schools on the basis of race. The schools argue that doing so is necessary to racially balance the schools. Five of the nine justices expressed skepticism about the schools' claims that they should be allowed to continue to assign students based on their race. CEI filed a brief in favor of the parents challenging the Seattle schools' use of race. Joanne Jacobs has interesting comments about the cases at Volokh.com. CEI's brief argues that the Seattle schools' rigid and unthinkingly mechanical use of race is unconstitutional. It also brings to the Supreme Court's attention the bizarre and racially inflammatory statements made by Seattle school officials -- such as the claim that "individualism" is a form of "cultural racism," and that planning ahead is a white characteristic that it is racist to expect minorities to exhibit. They also have claimed that the concepts of a "melting pot" and colorblindness are failures, and that only whites can be racist. Thus, they seem to be hostile to the very concept of integration.