Harvard's legal team denied any discrimination in its opening statement at Boston's federal courthouse, saying race is just one factor that's considered and can only help a student's chances of getting admitted.
For institutions that have a limited number of slots available, it's impossible to say race can only help an applicant. I'm not making a value judgement here, just balancing a math equation. If we determine as a society that taking action to correct our structural biases is warranted, then own it. Not just the plus, but also the minus.
Harvard's strategy thus, and that's what's reflected in the argument you quote, must be to (1) defeat the allegation that it is affirmatively trying to keep Asians out; (2) explain that any knock-on effects to Asians from affirmative action benefiting other groups is within the bounds of what the Supreme Court has found acceptable in cases like Bakke and Grutter.
But that's the exact same thing.
If you have a system where there are 1000 slots and the 1000 applicants with the highest scores get in, and you give Asian applicants +0, white applicants +5, Hispanic applicants +10 and black applicants +20, the outcome is entirely identical to giving Asian applicants -10, white applicants -5, Hispanic applicants +0 and black applicants +10. There is no meaningful difference, the people who consequently get in are exactly the same in both cases.
Harvard is accused of excluding more than half the asian applicants who otherwise would have made the cut. Harvard does not admit anywhere near enough disadvantaged minorities where giving those folks a boost would lead to that many asians not getting a spot.
The personal rating differs widely between the admissions committee and the the alumni volunteers (who give Asians roughly the same ratings as other groups). This happens for no other ethnic group. This is the smoking gun for racial discrimination.
If there are only asian, black and hispanic applicants, it gives exactly the same results. When there are also white applicants, that change is equivalent to adding a -5 modifier for white applicants equal to the original -5 modifier for asian applicants. In neither case is the result a system in which race can only help you -- there are a finite number of slots.
It seems obviously wrong that if you gave +20 to white applicants it would not be a disadvantage to black, hispanic or asian applicants just because they all have the same equally-disadvantaged modifiers.
Especially in the latter case, the effect on asians is indirect and attenuted. For example, say Harvard would have been 60% white, 30% asian, and 10% underrepresented minority. You can double the representation of disadvantaged minorities by reducing the asian representation from 30% to about 27%. So basically the bottom 10% of asians get exluded.
What is instead being alleged here is that Harvard exluded more than half the Asians that otherwise would have been admitted.
The only possible difference is adding white people (or some other separate group) to the "discriminating against" set. And the combination of that precedent and intersectional politics makes even those equivalent as soon as you start adding more non-asian subgroups to the set of disadvantaged minorities.
For example, the white population at Harvard is overly culturally homogeneous. It would legitimately be a significant benefit to their cultural diversity to get some more rednecks in there, using some suitably more specific definition with regard to income, hometown urbanization level, etc.
So if you want to discriminate against a specific group, easy -- just enumerate a bunch of underrepresented groups that don't include them and give them each a bonus. Any given applicant outside of the target victim group is likely to be in one of them.
> So basically the bottom 10% of asians get exluded.
That's just because you're using convenient numbers. If the merit-based numbers would have been 60% asian (e.g. because Asia has a couple billion people who would all like to go to Harvard), you do have to exclude half of them to get them down to 30%.
I know it is hyperbole. But college admissions are zero sum games. Giving points to one person, is the same as taking those away from another.
I thought that there was a period in american history after the civil war where black people's vote counted for 3/5th of a white person.
Turns out it was how electoral votes were decided, in which only slave owner voted before the civil war.
Well, you learning something new every day. I am an idiot.
Think of it as a lottery. If the selection was actually random, what would be the price of the lotto ticket? Based on last year's acceptance rate of ~3% and the expected lifetime earnings of ~$3,000,000, then the price you should pay for that lotto ticket should be $89,800. Now, compare that to the actual price of ~$75 for an application fee. Even a flimsy application to Harvard is totally worth the money.
If Harvard were to drop the act and state that it was basically random chance to get in, then their entire school would become essentially a lotto. That would quickly devalue the enterprise, not just monetarily but also in a holistic and educational way.
Essentially, they have to at least try to CYA and make some real effort at determinism in applications or the whole thing falls apart. Unfortunately, they pissed off some pretty smart people and this legal battle threatens to lift that veil, hence the fight.
Lets say that only 10% of the applicants that enter can win. If you think that you are a possible winner in terms of scores, grades, etc. then what should you pay to enter the lotto? Please correct my math if I am wrong (probability is always a mind warp). The further reduction in probability to win makes the nominal acceptance rate not 3%, but 0.3%. That means that the price of the hypothetical lotto ticket should be $8,980. You just move the decimal over.
Still, compared to the $75 application fee, this is a steal. The acceptance rate would need to be ~0.003% to get the lotto ticket price to be about what the application fee is. That means Harvard would need to be ~1000x more picky than they currently are to get the lotto priced correctly.
Harvard had ~40k applications last year. At 1:1000 odds being considered 'worthwhile' due to the hypothetical lotto ticket cost, then you should apply if you think you are better than the bottom 40 applicants. You can play with the probabilities and make up a lot of hypothetical curves yourself. Nonetheless, the math seems to indicate that the $75 application fee is really low if you think you have nearly any chance of getting in and the process has nearly any randomness to it.
It's not the lifetime earnings from a Harvard education that are relevant, it's the increase of lifetime earnings at Harvard relative to a school one is effectively guaranteed to get into (say your state school that uses objective criteria).
That number is pretty difficult to evaluate, but I'm confident it is well under $1M.
> . Now, compare that to the actual price of ~$75 for an application fee. Even a flimsy application to Harvard is totally worth the money.
The cost of applying to an additional college is generally in time, not money. The money is just there to discourage low-quality shotgunning.
Good catch on the tuition! I did subtract it but did not mention it as I thought it would not read as well. In the end, the price of the lotto ticket should be MUCH higher when compound interest is factored in. How much is anyone's guess.
For a concrete example, consider how Dartmouth College went about admitting women back in 1972. The campus was already full. Yet they committed to not reducing how many men were admitted, with no new construction, and without increasing class size. In short they said that the new women would come at no cost to men trying to apply, and little cost to the university itself (certainly less than the benefit of the tuition.)
They succeeded. How? They moved from a semester to a quarter system. Then arranged to have required second year courses that were only available during the summer to get rid of any stigma about "summer school". These changes let them go from the usual part time academic calendar that most schools follow to operating at capacity year round.
The result? They met their apparently impossible commitment. And the new slots opened for women indeed came at no cost to the existing population of men.
Yes, they could "possibly" do that, but they aren't, so why the hell is this relevant?
Harvard admitted 2,200 undergrads in 1988. In 2018 it admitted 2,000. It took me 30 seconds of googling to find this.
It is absolutely true that if you do something for group X, you could have done more for group Y instead with the same resources. But saying that doing something for X automatically takes away from group Y is arguing the counterfactual, "Here is what you would have done if you had not done that." But you don't actually know what they would have done. Maybe they would have reduced admissions even more than they actually did. Can you prove otherwise?
That may seem like a rhetorical question, but it is not. Discovery gives access internal communications which could make that case one way or the other. But it is a case that has to actually be made, and isn't simply a foregone conclusion.
It is generally possible to expand enrollment by paying money to construct larger dorms, open classrooms, and hire staff. Virtually no university in the country is anywhere near its theoretical physical capacity. If I give an institution a large grant earmarked for doing this to create slots for a particular minority, that institution can create those slots without changing what is available to any other minority.
Now I provided a hypothetical case of a large grant from a single individual. That's an admittedly unlikely scenario. But Harvard's affirmative action programs are one of the wonderful things that can be talked about to potential donors. How many were pushed over the edge into donating because of it? Particularly given the fact that a former minority student who went to Harvard was in the press a lot over the last decade. Being the first black President will do that.
The point remains. The fact that one group got something doesn't mean that another group had to get less.
For another area where the same type of fallacy is rampant, consider immigration. People object to immigrants because "they are taking our jobs". When in fact immigrants make a net contribution to our economy, and make a net contribution to how many jobs are available for existing workers.
The way that they did the quarter system reduced breaks and filled the campus year round. The result was an increased number of hours of classroom time. Yes, this was more work for the faculty. But faculty is cheaper than buildings, and the primary mission of the school is teaching.
They did not double the hours. But in the early years, they also had a pretty lopsided male/female ratio. They kept their promise.
Of course, this solves nothing. There are still a finite number of slots, the number has just changed. The question of how to allocate the slots remains, and there are still more applicants than slots.
Fine, but are you sure that you are working on the proper one?
Having followed a number of these threads, I think people understand the admissions process as some simple equation where "high academic achievements" + extracurriculars entitle them to a golden ticket @ Willy Wonka U. That's just not how this game works!
I have no affiliation w/the school, but have been through the game elsewhere and done a bit of research on their (and similar institutions') process. Their addy process is complicated, but not exactly inscrutable.
As has always been the case, the school has an agenda and admits the people it thinks most likely to further it. (A number of books do a pretty good job of spelling this all out. I've mentioned at least one of them in previous posts on this topic and the search engine of one's choosing or a librarian can help the interested find the others.)
The practice(s) in question aren't even specific to "elite" schools." A few months ago I attended an event where a State U president explained why they'd ratcheted down the admits for qualified "Asian" students (who actually would pay full freight to attend). Nothing to do w/ making room for "black" or "hispanic" students. But I guarantee you that his school's rationale is the same as Harvard's, Yale's, etc...
I've pondered posting the recording of the event, but honestly, I never sense that the information would change the conversation(s) here. A lot of the comments here smack of attempts to scapegoat others and assuage bruised egos.
Facts: "Asians" get gamed. "Blacks" get gamed. "Hispanics" get gamed. Btw: people should spend a little asking themselves 'WTF do those quoted terms even mean?' Chances are that your defs aren't the same as those of the addy staff, but I digress.
Respectfully, be smart, folks. This is not an issue to be taken at face value.
That just can't be. If having a certain quality increases your chances of admission by any amount, then it's the case that lacking that quality will hurt your chances by some amount. The only way around this is if the size of the incoming class is elastic.
I don't think the admissions process is a simple equation. My "balancing" statement was referring to the size and composition of the admitted class.
Also, I need to stress that I'm not anti affirmative action. My feelings on the subject are complicated. I assure you I don't take any of this as face value, and I see legitimate concerns on both sides of the debate.
What if a candidate's race results in him/her being placed in a 'race' pool? At that point, one's race doesn't help or hurt.
Then once the pools are formed, one starts looking at the #s. I'd wager that lots of European(-Americans)/"Whites" apply. So that pool = competitive.
The Asian(American) pool, lower #s, but higher than the groups not yet mentioned, and thus = competitive.
Probably few "Black" applicants, same w/ "Hispanic", and since Senator Warren is a topic of conversation, absolutely the same w/ "Native Americans." (BTW, I hate using these race terms.)
Then start thinking about who did (didn't apply) and why (self-selecting). Anyway, if we assume that many of the "Asian" applicants are "model minorities" who have been driven by their parents to, well, be model, the Asian pool is going to be ultra-competitive academically. (Wish I knew how to play w/ formatting here, because I want to highlight 'academically'.) So all that happens there, is that they've gone all cut-throat on each other because they're still in the "Asian" pool. Anyway, the argument could then be made that it was simply the numbers and competitiveness of the applicants (which I believe is always stated in the ding letters) that results in getting rejects getting dinged, not their "race".
Anyway, the factors that make different candidates desirable are, as previously stated, 'complex'. But people who want to figure it out can with some digging and quite a bit of logic. These places are not bastions of altruism. They're businesses and extensions of "things". The schools admit the applicants who they think will best serve their purposes. Take a look at the range of characters who have attended their various programs.
As for Affirmative Action, again, people would be wise to do some research. Ira Katznelson has an interesting book on the development and implementation. Admittedly, the title may seem inflammatory so some, but it isn't entirely wrong and was given to him by another "White" guy who's currently at a DC think tank founded by a 'Republican'. It should also be said that there are many "Black" people who would be happy to see AA done away with because it has essentially been used to benefit everyone but them, even though it was written (supposedly) exclusively to benefit African-Americans. But this would be an even longer conversation that then reaches back into how and why "Asians" came to be the "model minority", and whether or not the achievements that another poster mentioned here are actually solely their own, etc. All stuff I'm not really interested in doing here now, or have done a bit of in related past posts.
Anywho, thanks for following up, and all the best.
legal logic often is. your error is in reading it out of the tight legal context/boundaries it is part of.
It's still disingenuous to argue that there is only benefit and no harm when re-balancing the scale here. Nothing irritates me more than intellectual dishonesty, and I perceive it here.
But if that's the argument, then you're not "helping" anyone either.
You can look at it either as removing bias so nobody is helped or hurt, or you can view it in comparison to a 'race-blind' process where it helps some and hurts others.
You can't cherry-pick half of each.
In a world with finite resources (admission spots at Harvard) that are already utilized at their full capacity, it is not possible to have one without the other.
Hispanics are not discriminated against in mexico, for instance.
Diversity isn’t about you, it’s about how society treats the group you’re a part of. Concrete example: I’m about the least “diverse” person you could meet. I’ve had friends literally forget I’m not white (“wow we’re the only white people in this theater”). But I’m brown and my wife is white, and a majority of Americans disapporved of such marriages until 1998 (when I was 14 and had just gotten a kick-ass PC with 300 MHz Pentium II). When Trump was elected, my wife was low key making contingency plans to move to Germany. Frankly, she’s kind of a prepper anyway. And I’m not worried about Trump or Bannon. But if shit does go sideways, I doubt the jack booted thugs are going to be like “oh, you go to church and subscribe to National Review? Free to go!” Society “otherizes” people-you don’t do it by recognizing that fact.
(And genuinely, I’m not complaining. I think life here is pretty great for immigrants from Muslim countries—Americans are incredibly welcoming, much more so than the people where I’m originally from.) But at least part if my point of reference for that is how much better off we are than African Americans, who are treated like second class in their own country.
I doubt the extent to which that gap is caused by extant social forces. It strikes me as far more likely that the lion's share of that gap is historical; at a certain point discrimination sharply declined but by that point whites and blacks were on different tracks. There are social forces that exist which close the gap (integration, affirmative action, and a desire to reverse historical injustices); there are other forces which expand the gap (the widening wealth gap, residual discrimination), but I doubt the net of these two is a significant driver of the gap. Besides historical artifacts, I'd guess the next biggest driver of the household income gap (or perhaps the number one driver) is the fact that white households are more likely to have two parents (thereby more likely to have two incomes), which is a social force but not an external one and certainly not one that affects all blacks.
And who is to say that a black Harvard candidate even has "average black expriences" or whatever that means. It seems entirely possible that the pipeline of black Harvard students more closely resembles the pipeline of white Harvard students (in terms of life experiences) than it resembles "black America".
For all of this complexity, using skin color as a proxy for lived-experiences seems like one of the least effective, most flat-footed approaches to achieving an experientially diverse student body imaginable.
I don't buy that speculation. Until 1998 (the year Google was founded), a majority of Americans disapproved of interracial marriages. If you think they were like "yeah, blacks marrying whites gives me the heebie-jeebies" but were nonetheless free of discriminatory mentalities when it came to hiring, promotions, etc., I don't know what to tell you.
> I'd guess the next biggest driver of the household income gap (or perhaps the number one driver) is the fact that white households are more likely to have two parents (thereby more likely to have two incomes), which is a social force but not an external one and certainly not one that affects all blacks.
External forces have impacts on marriage rates: people are more likely to put off marriage if they are financially insecure, incarceration breaks up marriages, etc. Unless you're positing that black people just want to be married less than white people (which is an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary proof), the cause must be external.
> skin color as a proxy for lived-experiences
Skin color is not a "proxy" for lived experience. It's a determinant of lived experience in a country that treats you differently based on your skin color, independently of your socioeconomic status.
I was quite clear that I don't believe discriminatory mentalities disappeared, but if you think that discriminatory hiring practices _didn't drop precipitously_ in the '60s-80s, I don't know what to tell _you_.
Anyway, I don't know where you're getting that 1998 figure, but Gallup says the last time a majority of Americans disapproved of interracial marriages was 1978 (two decades earlier than your citation) and more Americans approved than disapproved sometime around 1988 (Pew also agrees with this figure ) (note that there are 3 categories--approve, disapprove, and no opinion).
> External forces have impacts on marriage rates: people are more likely to put off marriage if they are financially insecure, incarceration breaks up marriages, etc. Unless you're positing that black people just want to be married less than white people (which is an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary proof), the cause must be external.
First of all, being financially insecure isn't an external force, it's a state--specifically it's the state we're trying to approximate. So if you're going to justify household incomes as an indicator of financial security, then it doesn't make sense to argue that it depends on financial security. It's simply a bad metric and you should find another one to argue your case.
> Skin color is not a "proxy" for lived experience. It's a determinant of lived experience in a country that treats you differently based on your skin color, independently of your socioeconomic status.
I'm sure it's a determinant for some kinds of experiences, but that doesn't tell us
1) how well race predicts those experiences
2) what percentage of total human experiences are predicted by race
3) how significant these experiences are compared to other kinds of human experiences (for example, do you really want to argue that Asian Americans whose ancestors have lived in the U.S. for 8 generations have more in common with first generation Asian Americans than with 8th generation white or black Americans?)
4) whether the predictive power holds true as true for minority Harvard candidates as it does for minority Americans generally
So I say again, the notion that racial diversity will produce a meaningful diversity of experiences for Harvard's student body is _at best_ an extraordinary claim that requires extroardinary proof.
Racial diversity is only part of the equation. You also want gender diversity and class/income diversity - any of the major factors that shape how we view the world.
WTF are “Whites and Asians?” Whites own America, good and bad. They wrote the Constitution and they wrote the Three Fifths Compromise. They created the racial oppression system that Asians fought their way out of. And now because we’re successful we’re just bucketed in with them when convenient to anyone but us.
AA is supposed to be about raising groups who have been systemically disadvantaged to raise them to a fair playing field. This isn't supposed to be everybody except whites get help. Its supposed to be help for those whose racial identity is the reason why they are doing so poorly. Asian Americans are doing well in the U.S. .
The only way you can sell AA is if you say its to help people by race. Its not to sell it as a program to disadvantage whites...
The whole issue is that AA for race really generalizes advantages and disadvantages for a race and trades advancement of the race in exchange for some merit and fair consideration for the individual. Maybe there is a balance, maybe its gone to far, maybe it hasnt gone far enough. But the point is that it pisses people off because they are no longer treated like an individual and a person unfairly carries the history of people who had the same skin color as themselves.
If a white person struggles to get somewhere they can now blame AA. If a black person gets in they can have an internal struggle wondering if they really earned it, as well as the judgment that they might've only made it due to their race.
The point is that we need to move on. AA makes it so people who have fallen far behind have a chance to catch up.
That being said, Asia does account for a ridiculous proportion of the world's population, so it probably wouldn't be a bad bet to bet on an Asian country becoming the next dominant superpower. You know, on purely general principles.
Since this is one of my common beefs...
The compromise was written at the behest of the Northern, non-slave states. The Southern slave-holding states would have been perfectly fine with five-fifths representation for each slave. Further, the point of the compromise was to limit the Congressional power of the Southern slave-holding states and was not intended as a value judgement as to the worth of slaves.
That wasn't actually always true. In many places there were no race requirements for suffrage and if you were a "free negro" who met the other then-qualifications (male, land owner, etc.) then you could vote. Of course, hardly any black men of the time did, not least because they didn't even have citizenship.
This is how we, unlike most other countries, ended up with birthright citizenship after the civil war. It was another compromise. The former slaves don't get citizenship but their children do.
And the issue with counting non-citizens is still true today -- the census still counts non-citizens and federal representation is apportioned based on the census, so the states with large non-citizen populations get representation disproportionate to their number of eligible voters.
Assuming the local official followed the law as written (hint: they didn't). Much like they would have for most of the post-Civil War, pre-Civil Rights Act era, they would have simply come up with an excuse not to let the rare free blacks who met the legal qualifications vote.
I don't like the label "asian" and "white", they make very complex mosaic look like monoliths.
The US Census Bureau's labels (White Caucasian, Jewish, Hispanic, etc.) is singular in that its the stupidest and most harmful nomenclature ever created, even contextualized with US history.
It has introduced conceptual confusion at every level and is all the more devastating as it is the standard mental model people use to reason about these issues.
It is setting back the US by at least a few decades, the time people realize its inaccurate, and discard it as what it is: trash.
They are conveniently white/white-passing and such can take advantage of that.
There has been a historical bias against anyone who is not WASP and this bias subsist to this day. And that's not restricted to jewish people or asians.
I have seen lots of disdain for some of my french coworkers despite their talent and value-add and overheard "banter" (behind their backs, mind you) that would have been unacceptable for any other minority.
So, as you see. This is not a matter of white/not-white/white-passing. It's clearly an issue with the cultural identity of the majority-minority of this country and multiple thick layers of biases that need to be scraped.
If you killed off the least successful 50% of white Americans, then white attendance at Harvard (presumably unaffected) would go up relative to the (now halved) white proportion of America.
If this is their best argument, they'll fail miserably. You're not considered in a vacuum. Your resume is considered relative to the others that have applied. If most other applicants receive +10 bonus points and you don't -- that hurts you. It's not rocket science.
> Yet Mortara argued Monday the lawsuit is not a broader attack on affirmative action, saying Harvard has simply gone too far in its "zeal" to consider race. "Diversity and its benefits are not on trial here.
I don't see how they can argue this with a straight face. It's all the same thing just called by different names.
I think you can argue there is a difference between affirmative action (proactively seeking candidates for racial diversity) and penalizing based on race to keep the number of a particular race down.
Which is a nice way of saying unless you would have advanced and now you're not.
Clearly in this scenario helping a few is the same as hurting a few. Helping many is the same as hurting many.
Harvard has ~2000 slots a year. How many of those would be asian if not for this discrimination?
This isn't to say that the former scenario is acceptable; I certainly do not appreciate the typical level of intellectual dishonesty surrounding endorsement of the status quo. But it is important to be precise regarding what we are talking about. You are making a mathematical error, and you need to correct it before this discussion can usefully proceed.
What is the difference in practice? If we proactively filled all of Harvard with disadvantaged races and didn't accept any asians, would you still be saying the same thing? Proactively helping one race is the same as hurting others.
Maybe there would be a difference if Harvard was helping disadvantaged races only at childrearing-time instead of at application-time (the definition of pro-active), but they're not.
Suddenly someone with high scores and other non-technical skills can still be considered not well-rounded.
You should stop framing this in terms of White vs. X. This is misguided and largely a nomenclature issue which is now perverting the way people reason about these things.
What you perceive as "white" does not superpose perfectly with what the actual in-group perceives as white. It's a combination of ethnicity, cultural background, and social standing. The right combination opens a lot of door. Otherwise you are treated like a plebeian, with various degrees of aggressiveness.
If you want to see power, take a look at Harvard's rowing club and discreet but powerful positions of power their alumnis hold.
FAANG are the public facing massive corporations which everyone knows about. There are many more companies with clout and cash that no one talks about and who have their monopolies unchallenged, their position enshrined by regulation, and which are cash machines funding a particular establishment that no one ever talks about.
I view it not as "discrimination against asians" but a tax to pay for debts long ago incurred. My family came here long after the decision to go to World War II, but I'm obligated to pay taxes to pay off the debt we still carry from that war. Likewise, the United States and the state governments enslaved and discriminated against african americans long before I got here. But those governments still exist as going concerns, are obligated to fix the damage they did, and as someone coming along after the fact benefiting from living in the U.S., I have to pay my fair share of the "tax" needed to fix that damage.
And perhaps even more biting: what about discriminating against asians to help white numbers?
More important: what the British did to India isn’t America’s problem. Blacks in America continue to suffer huge disparities compared to whites. They live like second class citizens in their own country. That’s our burden to fix. We can’t absolve ourselves of the responsibility by saying “it was before my time.” Our Congress is the same Congress that passed the Fugitive Slave Act. Our Supreme Court is the same Supreme Court that upheld Plessy and Dredd Scott. Especially asians, most of whom came here voluntarily, and who knew the obligations that had been incurred by the society they were trying to be a part of. We can’t avail ourselves of the benefits of being American but then say we are unwilling to help pay down our societal debt because it’s not our problem.
I oppose this lawsuit because I see no evidence that this is anything but sour grapes on the part of the aggrieved parties, all of whom seem to have gone to other elite institutions that I could have never gotten into (like Duke). I am fundamentally opposed to the implication of this suit - the acknowledgement that literally any outcome outside of getting into Harvard is a net detriment to life outcomes significant enough to warrant a lawsuit. I believe this to be un-American and incredibly elitist. In addition, the DOJ's tacit support for it appears to be nothing more than a cynical ploy to drive a wedge between Asian-Americans and other people of color. I've seen some analysts claim that this could convince Asian-Americans to start voting Republican again - something I find amusing, because this country and community have significantly larger problems than pearl-clutching about whether one gets into elite school A or elite school B.
I haven't been convinced of it, no.
> Harvard and Duke are both more selective/prestigious than UNC, therefore they are equally selective/prestigious?
No, but some 86% of applicants can't get into Duke and 95% can't get into Harvard so I'm not sure if that extra 9% is really worth complaining over. It reeks of incredible elitism.
For the record, Yale and Stanford are in the same tier. Most of the ordinary folks in this country don't go to competitive schools at all, if they go.
In addition, I'm in-state. For the year before me I believe in-state acceptance was in the 40-50% range, which isn't very competitive IMO.
I don't think that's the implication. I think the point of the plaintiffs is that the admissions process is racist against asians of equal capability to other races. Now no doubt some of them might be motivated by a personal vendetta against Harvard for being rejected, but I don't think they're asking to be personally admitted to Harvard if their case succeeds.
I'm not american but this is literally institutional racism, and it's bizarre to me how people, and especially asians, seem okay with it.
Has anyone actually read the book? Is the topic settled?
If you look at https://www.insidehighered.com/admissions/article/2017/08/07... you can see that indeed Asian Americans do not get in at the rates that their test scores would suggest that they should. That is evidence of bias against them. However it is hard to prove because it is hard to control for all of the other factors that colleges look for.
That and other things that I am aware of strongly suggest that Asians are somewhat discriminated against. Given that, I would be more inclined to suspect bias is more important than fact in anything that claims to be a debunking.
If we are going to make up for systematic oppression of the past, why not do so far earlier in a person's life instead of waiting til college?
I think it's fairer to help minority mothers with day care help or schooling assistance for their children and even out the playing field there rather than discriminating at the college level to even the playing field.
I just don't see how more discrimination is the answer to past discrimination against minorities. Especially when it's discrimination against one set of minorities to make up for the discrimination against another set of minorities in the past.
That's how bad it is in the US for Asian kids at every level after High School.
Another aspect of what ends up happening due to this is that Asian grads from such universities are always considered to be top notch by default, because it is assumed that they had to be more competitive to get through the sieve.
> He downplayed the influence of any single numerical rating, saying the final decision comes down to a 40-person committee that spends weeks reviewing and discussing applications.
I love how Harvard's defense is "We aren't 100% racist, we're only a little racist, but for good!"
Instead, data is suggesting that Harvard actively is discriminating against Asians in favor of all other groups (including Whites). That is absolutely not justified by "systemic racism" of the past (esp. given that Asians also suffered systematic racism in the past)
... and in the present.
There are two competing implicit narratives here -
1) The school you go to doesn't matter and you should do the best where-ever you are (I personally heard this quite a bit).
2) You will be irreparably harmed for life because you didn't get into School N instead of School N - 1.
Which is it?
The Asian community has a legitimate beef if some of the details regarding Harvard's admissions are true. I would hope that the judge is taking this case with full context and knowledge of SFFA's role, and if they choose to rule in the favor of SFFA, do so narrowly.
American's need to become more aware of organizations like SFFA and The Federalist Society and how they are shaping the court. If you thought the courts were supposed to be a neutral arbiter of law you thought wrong due to how these organizations operate. When you can easily tell how the Supreme Court will vote on major issues simply by knowing the party of the president that appointmented them something is wrong.
Either you base admission on merit, or you base it on racial % of the US population, and then take from the top of each racial bucket, splitting it 50/50 for men and women. There are good arguments for both cases, but you can't really have a system that tries to be both without having massive exceptions.
If you read Amy Chaus book The Triple Package, its not just Asians that do historically better than native Whites in the US, but also Indians, Cuban exiles, Jews, Nigerians, Lebanese, Iranians and even Mormons. Its often assumed that a merit system favors only Asians and Whites, predominantly Jews, when this is not entirely true.
A private club can refuse admittance for any reason, or for no reason. Is this not the case for private schools?
I recall in grad school being in an econ
We all know the score: For some, it's a way to undermine affirmative action and also a way to distract from the much larger prevalence of racial discrimination against African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans - a way of implying that those issues aren't special problems. Others take the opposing side in order to push back on these issues.
Let's not pretend it is considered on its merits either here or in wider society, though most discussions try to talk as if it is. Possibly it will not be decided on its merits the politicized American judiciary: If it reaches the Supreme Court, for example, I think by only knowing the politics - and no facts or law - we could predict how several justices would vote.
I just wish we would discuss it honestly.