Sotomayor's affirmative action paradox

Affirmative action is alive and well, it continues to be divisive, and it may be a bit of a disappointment to supporters of our first post-racial President to see him nominating a Latina steeped in identity politics. Is this really the way to end the tired old politics of racial division?

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The oddest thing about affirmative action is that it is promoted as a vital program with no actual beneficiaries. Sonia Sotomayor is going to the Supreme Court! Yet instead of hailing this as a triumph of affirmative action (since Princeton might very well have overlooked this qualified candidate many years ago) Ms. Sotomayor and her supporters want to pretend that affirmative action has had nothing to do with her success.

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