I thank KC Johnson for his thoughtful post below. Here is a link to the studies we released on the severe and unjustified admission preferences at the University of Wisconsin, Madison,and to the press release that summarized them and announced the press conference: http://www.ceousa.org/content/view/929/119/.
Since I was there, I thought I would also add a few observations. The mob’s protest took place in stages: The protestors began by chanting outside the hotel; then they broke into the lobby, where they chanted some more; then they insisted on opening the door to the room where the press conference was being held, which of course made their chanting more audible; and finally they physically broke into the room.
Happily and ironically, by that time,the press conference was essentially over. The only people still asking questions, which I was happy to answer, were other disgruntled students. So the protestors succeeded only in shouting down other students.
Once the press conference was over, the mob then followed me and Professor Lee Hansen, a persistent and valuable critic of preferences, as I tried to go back to my hotel room. They even tried to jam into the elevator with us. Obviously, at that point, whatever they were attempting, it had nothing to do with the press conference, which was over. I should add that throughout the day the staff of the DoubleTree acted impeccably–indeed, with great physical bravery–as did Professor Hansen. The staff and the professor always kept between me and the protestors. I would urge all Americans to patronize DoubleTree hotels, and to thank God for brave men like Lee Hansen.
I agree with KC’s condemnation of the diversicrats at the university and their behavior. But I want to praise the university in one significant respect. Later on the day of the press conference, I was scheduled to debate the issue of “Affirmative Action in Higher Education” under the auspices of the law school’s student chapter of the Federalist Society. Given the events that morning, and given the fact that students had announced plans to protest the debate, I was afraid that the debate would be canceled by the school on some pretext or other, giving the protesters a victory of sorts. To the university’s credit, it not only did not do that, but moved the event to a larger facility (which was fine with me), and sent plenty of campus police to ensure that the debate took place. The police did a great job. A huge number of students indeed attended the debate, and while they were occasionally unruly, I was able to have my say.
The bottom line: The studies got lots of publicity, and the issue of racial and ethnic admissions preferences is on the front burner in Wisconsin (a state legislator has already announced that he wants to have hearings on whether the university is violating the law). And our opponents have been revealed as intellectually bankrupt, if not downright thugs. So all in all, a very good day. I look forward to returning to Madison soon.