HE’S RIGHT, YOU KNOW: John McWhorter: It’s Time to End Race-Based Affirmative Action.

I don’t want an admissions officer to consider the obstacles my children have faced, because in 2022, as opposed to in 1972, they really face no more or less than their white peers do.

I don’t want that admissions officer to consider that, perhaps here and there, someone, somewhere, underestimated them because both of their parents aren’t white. In the 2020s, that will have happened so seldom to them, as upper-middle-class persons living amid America’s most racially enlightened Blue American white people, that I’m quite sure it will not imprint them existentially any more than it did me, coming of age in the 1970s and 1980s.

I don’t want the admissions officer to consider my children’s “diversity.” For one thing, their diversity from the other kids in their neighborhoods, classrooms and lives is something of an abstraction. They wear clothes from Old Navy, watch (and rewatch) “Frozen” and “Encanto,” and play a lot of Roblox, just like their peers. And I will never forget a line from a guidebook that Black students at Harvard wrote two decades ago: “We are not here to provide diversity training for Kate and Timmy.” Yep — and if we salute the enterprising undergrads who wrote that, we must question the general thrust of the sundry amicus briefs that will be offered in the Harvard and U.N.C. cases, about how kids of color are vital to a campus because of their diversity, echoing the statement of Harvard’s president, just this week, that “Considering race as one factor among many in admissions decisions produces a more diverse student body which strengthens the learning environment for all.”

“Diversity” has become one of those terms (and ideas) that makes us feel cozy inside, like freshly baked blueberry muffins and “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” But how would you feel about looking a Black undergraduate in the eye and saying, “A lot of the reason we wanted you here, on our campus, is your differences from most of the other students and the life lessons they can learn from them”? Someone says, “I want my kids to interact with Black students before they go out into the world.” I ask, “Just what was it about Black people that you were hoping your kids would learn?”

Related: “Yes, it’s quite clear — if you look straight at it — that the diversity rationale for affirmative action is about the benefit to the whole student body, that is, to the mostly white students who are admitted. The black students are used as a means to an end, and the end is something quite vague and — as McWhorter demonstrates — actually embarrassing to say clearly.”