He could, of course, have listed more “structural inequalities,” such as various academic achievement gaps (reading and math scores, SAT scores, high school and college graduation rates, etc.), but his list is sufficient to confirm that “civil rights” today has nothing to do with eliminating discriminatory “barriers” that treat people differently because of their race.
If they reflect discrimination, it is discrimination without any discriminators.
One does not have to deconstruct the president’s speech — one has only to read it — to see that he believes the “steepest barriers” holding down blacks are nothing less than the very nature and performance of modern American capitalism itself. The current downturn, in his view, did not result from correctable flaws in the system but from the system itself, a system “built on sand,” a system not in need of reform but of transformation…
Whatever the president and Ms. Guinier are smoking, it it clear that in their view “structural inequalities” will never be reduced, the playing field will never be level, until our capitalist economy, built as it is “not on a rock, but sand,” has been replaced with one more to their liking.