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32 Sw. U. L. Rev. 201 (2003)
Learning form Experience: Why Racial Diversity Cannot Be a Legally Compelling Interest in Elementary and Secondary Education

handle is hein.journals/swulr32 and id is 211 raw text is: LEARNING FROM EXPERIENCE: WHY
RACIAL DIVERSITY CANNOT BE A
LEGALLY COMPELLING INTEREST IN
ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY
EDUCATION
Jay P. Lechner *
Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect
liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent.... The
greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of
zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.'
I. INTRODUCTION
Malcolm X once said I'm not a racist. I'm against every form of
racism and segregation, every form of discrimination. I believe in
human beings, and that all human beings should be respected as such,
regardless of their color.2  Nonetheless, racial stereotyping and
discrimination have plagued America since its earliest days.
Unfortunately, government has clearly played a role in perpetuating
the existence of these stereotypes. Although courts have been willing
to address the ultimate effects of racial classifications, often through
the application of countervailing benign race-based classifications,
few have been willing to attack the underlying source of the problem:
the acceptance and perpetuation of arbitrary, socially-constructed
notions of race. Some argue that despite the artificiality of the
race concept, governments should maintain the use of race-based
classifications to ameliorate ongoing discrimination in a society that
still clings to race-cognizant value systems. However, this approach
downplays the predominant role that law has historically played in
perpetuating and reinforcing widely held values such as race.
* Associate at the law firm of Zinober & McCrea, P.A. in Tampa, Florida, representing
management in labor and employment law matters. The author would like to express gratitude
to the Pacific Legal Foundation for its assistance.
1. Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438, 479 (1928) (Brandeis, J., dissenting).
2. MALCOLM X, BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY 157, 158 (George Breitman ed. 1970).

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