Copyright 2015 by John T. Reed
On 5l15l15, a coalition of 64 Asian-American organizations filed a federal complaint—the Wall Street Journal did not say with what federal agency—claiming that Harvard University has long systematically discriminated against Asian-Americans in admissions.
Among other things, it cited research that showed that Asian-Americans have to score 140 points higher than whites to get into Harvard; 270 points higher than Latinos; and 450 points higher than blacks on the SAT. 2400 points is a perfect score on the SAT.
The current percentage of Asian-Americans at Harvard is 21%. But the complainants say it would be much higher absent the discrimination. 5.6% of Americans are Asian.
The complaint says the discrimination is based on stereotypes that Asians are “not creative enough or risk-taking enough.” That’s a big a lie as Harvard’s claim that they are “fully compliant with the law.”Yo-Yo Ma and Maya Lin are pretty creative; also graduates of Harvard and Yale respectively.
We all know Harvard and the other elite colleges are doing this. And we all know the reason: They do not want to have “too many” Asians lest their image become one of a college for Asians. They probably get disproportionately more gifts from whites and fear that would change if they became “too” Asian. They also fear not getting the best whites to apply to Harvard and the others if they were “too” Asian.
Obviously, there is a ceiling on Asian admits, and it is 21%. Just as obviously, there are floors—quotas—on white, Latino, and black admissions. This “required” mix is nothing but political correctness. I expect evidence would also show a redistribution of wealth from whites to the other races in the amounts paid by each group to attend Harvard and in the amounts donated to Harvard by the various groups.
The Obama Administration will side with Harvard. Obama and his wife both benefited from this exact affirmative action. But if there were a lawsuit and discovery were permitted, I expect Harvard’s denial would be laughed out of court.
We now have a number of states, like CA and MI, who truly adopted race-blind admissions policies because of state-wide refererdums. The stark results are in and have been for decades. If Harvard’s admissions policies are as race-blind as they claim, their results will look exactly like the state universities in CA and MI.
Ha! Fat chance. At the U. of CA Berkeley law school the first year they did this, only one black got admitted and he chose to go elsewhere after learning that.
With a racist administration like Obama’s—about the only large group of racists left in the U.S. now are the blacks—Harvard will not be forced administratively to stop illegally discriminating by any federal administrative agency. What courts will do depends on the jurisdiction and judge. But judicial discovery might shame Harvard into behaving better.
A total boycott of Harvard by Asians, including the Asian faculty members, would be well deserved and probably improve the situation. If Asians are not willing to do the boycott, they should shut up about the discrimination. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton will drop a boycott on you at the drop of a hat, and they generally get what they seek when they do. They are risk-takers if you’ll pardon the expression. I suspect most Asians already at Harvard would decline to support the boycott, and most who have not applied yet, would be afraid not applying might diminish their futures. If that’s the case, Harvard has proven it is so powerful it can blatantly violate the law and no one can do anything about it.
I offer a modest proposal. Make Harvard admissions literally race-blind by removing all indications of race from all applications before the admissions committee looks at them—name, membership in ethnic groups, identification of school or neighborhood of residence—just have numbered applications. That is how private high schools decide who gets financial aid to avoid being accused of recruiting and “paying” top black athletes. They use an independent agency in another state to make financial-aid decisions based on applications stripped of all individual or group identity information.
How about running this in parallel with the current admissions approach for a year or two as a test? If Harvard is race-blind, the results will be the same as those of their current “holistic” policies.
Ha! There is not a snowball’s chance in Havana that Harvard would ever agree to such a test. Or that they would ever be anything but grotesquely embarrassed by the results if they did.
Harvard should have known about that old Confucian saying: “Never ignore the academic results achieved through decades of effort by an army of Tiger Moms and their children” and the phrase “catch a Tiger Mom by the tail.” (The notorious Tiger Mom, Amy Chua, has two daughters, both of whom went to Harvard.)
(Full disclosure: my wife and I are Harvard MBAs and our oldest son was admitted to Columbia, Dartmouth, and Yale and graduated from Columbia.)
John T. Reed