It is a curious paradox that those who inveigh most vehemently against race as a concept also campaign most vigorously for racial quotas by means of affirmative action. It is only a seeming paradox, however, because it is possible to acknowledge the existence of discrimination on the basis of mere physical difference without ascribing to that difference any greater taxonomic significance than its capacity to evoke the discrimination itself. Nevertheless, the very vehemence of the denial suggests some kind of whistling in the dark. And there is one further oddity to be remarked: While history is full of instances of discrimination against others, now is surely the first time in history that a group has proposed to discriminate against itself (no positive affirmation being possible without its negative corollary). Expiation for the sins of one’s ancestors, rather than truth or justice, is what is...