The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, and of the Rev. Martin Luther King’s memorable “I Have a Dream” speech, is a time for reflections — some inspiring and some painful and ominous. At the core of Dr. King’s speech was his dream of a world in which people would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by “the content of their character.”

Judging individuals by their individual character is at the opposite pole from judging how groups are statistically represented among employees, college students or political figures. Yet many — if not most — of those who celebrate the “I Have a Dream” speech today promote the directly opposite approach of group preferences, especially those based on skin color.