SAN DIEGO -- I have a list of things I want to teach my kids -- ages 3, 5 and 7. Near the top is this:
There will be disappointments in life. Count on it. Youre not going to get everything you want. There will be times when you compete for something and you come up short. Winning is easy. Its how you respond to losing that matters. Take a deep breath and resolve to work harder. Know that you got beat, fair and square. Dont be a victim, and dont blame anyone else for your failure. Otherwise, you will have failed twice.
Apparently, 22-year-old Abigail Fisher never learned this lesson. If she had, it might have saved us all a lot of trouble -- and freed up a spot on the docket of the Supreme Court.
In 2008, Fisher was denied admission to the University of Texas. She sued, claiming the school discriminated against her because shes white.
Thats loony. But, lucky for Fisher, in America, there is a constituency for looniness. There are plenty of Americans who, in the era of affirmative action, believe that white people are being shoved to the back of the bus and systematically disenfranchised just like Latinos and African-Americans were in the last century. For people who embrace this thinking, its a short walk to also believing that minorities have it easier than whites.
Mitt Romney told an audience at a fundraiser in Boca Raton, Fla., that -- if he were Latino -- hed have a better shot at winning the presidential race. As if being white holds him back.
Many Americans never liked the idea of race and ethnicity being part of the admissions process for colleges and universities. And they like it even less as time goes on. Polls routinely find that most Americans oppose taking race and ethnicity into account.
Much of the blowback is probably coming from folks who feel that white students are being discriminated against in the admissions process.
This argument would be more compelling if there werent a steady stream of white applicants being admitted each year to colleges and universities across the country. Still, when you think youre entitled to more, youre not going to settle for less.
Who knows? You might even get a hearing before the Supreme Court, which has been down this road twice before.
Copyright 2012 Washington Post Writers Group