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Federal Judge Upholds Harvard's Race-Conscious Admissions Process (npr.org)
269 points by tempsy 15 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 589 comments



This ruling is a travesty and I hope the Supreme Court overturns it when this is appealed. It is very clear that race-conscious admissions are systematically racist and discriminatory. Take a look at the distribution of students by race in the University of California system, where they're not permitted to discriminate in this manner, thanks to Prop 209 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1996_California_Proposition_20...) - it is very different (more Asians) compared to private schools like Harvard.


> It is very clear that race-conscious admissions are systematically racist and discriminatory.

Every time the SCOTUS hears one of these cases they acknowledge that, but the justification is that these classes are/have been historically discriminated against and constitutional admissions which take race into consideration are a temporary measure to right these historical wrongs by leveling the playing field. So the end goal even according to SCOTUS is for these measures to eventually become unconstitutional.


> but the justification is that these classes are/have been historically discriminated against and constitutional admissions which take race into consideration are a temporary measure to right these historical wrongs by leveling the playing field.

So under that thought process... when does the temporary measure end? Is there a specific goal? Or is it something unachievable like "when income inequality is fixed".


FWIW, I'm a white person who used to think of affirmative action as unfair discrimination. That was true until I spent time volunteering teaching technical skills to kids in poor immigrant neighborhoods. Now that I have had an up close experience with these communities, I'm here to tell you institutional racism is real and we're far from it making sense to end these programs.

There simply is not a quick easy solution and those who are not oppressed simply have no real frame of reference to understand the problem. I encourage every person who feels these programs are unfair to spend time volunteering in poor minority communities.


Do you think the kids in poor immigrant neighborhoods are in worse positions than poor kids in eastern Kentucky? Because the current policies treat white kids from trailer parks like white kids from fancy suburbs. And they treat FOB Asians like they are doctor's children. And black kids from fancy suburbs are treated as if they came from poor ghettos.

The idea that "oppression" is limited to dimensions of race and gender, rather than ethnic/economic/geographic/etc is as juvenile as it is political useful.

You have had up close experience with one kind of disadvantaged community, and act as if that is the only group that has it. The difference between urban communities and places like Clay County, Kentucky is that volunteers like you won't ever get sent to Kentucky.


> Do you think the kids in poor immigrant neighborhoods are in worse positions than poor kids in eastern Kentucky?

Your line of reasoning did a dodge there, swapping out between geographic demographics and racial demographics.

I don't think all kids in poor immigrant neighborhoods are in worse positions than poor kids in Eastern Kentucky. I do think that all the white-looking kids in eastern Kentucky, regardless of other factors stacked against them, will never be denied a job, loan, or rental opportunity based on the color of their skin. I can't say the same for the kids from any of those regions who don't look white.


It’s almost 2020, not 1940. We have major cities that are majority nonwhite. We have entire statewide school districts that are mostly nonwhite. We have huge metropolitan areas that are mostly nonwhite. You can walk into an expensive luxury apartment complex in an immigrant heavy city and find tons of nonwhite people.


The Little Rock Nine was 1957. What do you believe happened to all those people who protested and threatened violence against those children? What do you think they taught their children?

The idea that we have somehow magically eradicated racism over the course of a single generation astounds me.

Seriously, it's almost 2020. You should get how close to the 1960s that is.


Just want to point out that in the same time period, Asians were heavily discriminated against in northern California.

And yet there is no trace of it now. I doubt you have set foot in Arkansas, because your implication that the attitudes haven't changed much is grossly inaccurate.


And yet the data still shows widespread economic disparity due to discrimination


The data also shows widespread economic disparity due to geography, yet Harvard doesn't give the poor kids an extra 200 points on their SAT. If Harvard actually cared about this issue they would create additional scholarship programs that review people on a case-by-case basis rather than a blanket policy.


geography isn't a protected class. it's not a class at all. it's a set of circumstances. your skin color and the privileges or liabilities incurred are inescapable.


> geography isn't a protected class

Frequently it is. Many laws specifically protect "national origin".


Kentucky isn't a "national origin."


Kentucky doesn't has the support a specific national origin might have because there are no laws about that yet. It's an analogy.


If you think "being from Kentucky" should be treated the same as "being from Ireland," you're welcome to make a case to your Congressperson.

Good luck.


>Many laws specifically protect "national origin"

What laws? The US Constitution provides significantly greater protections to US Citizens than foreign nationals, as many of rights are not extended to non-citizens.


i love this kind of red herring: we're very obviously talking about intranational geography. as the person below me quips: kentucky isn't a nation of origin.


> And yet the data still shows widespread economic disparity due to discrimination

The data shows widespread economic disparity. It does not show the cause, which may or may not be discrimination.


It's not fair to hurt people just because you think others have been hurt. You're just furthering the abuse. Many white people have been denied housing, education, and jobs because of their skin. You can't solve ignorance with more ignorance. You're literally talking about ruining peoples' lives because of your racism.


> Many white people have been denied housing, education, and jobs because of their skin.

[citation needed]


This is actually factually incorrect. White kids from different economic backgrounds are treated identically != race-conscious admissions policies as they are currently described in the ruling. And FOB Asians is not an economic class, so I am not sure what argument you are trying to make. Is FOB Asian supposed to be poor? Because you need them to visit some places like Vancouver and Waterloo.

I think your point that oppression is not only racial but socioeconomic is not misguided. But as I understand it, the ruling does not preclude adjustments based on the access and opportunity limitations you refer to, which are not strictly limited to a particular race.


>Do you think the kids in poor immigrant neighborhoods are in worse positions than poor kids in eastern Kentucky?

You have to distinguish affirmative action (in hiring/employment) and race based factors in college admissions.

Most colleges that use race/minority status as a factor in admissions also generally also use socioeconomic status as a factor. However, I am not familiar with any employment/hiring based affirmative action that looks at socioeconomic status.

Just as an example, I went to a top 50 (at the time) public high school in the country, the school is located in a large city (hint: where Jeff Bezos went). I had a 4.0 GPA and was the 50th percentile of the class, approximately #750 out of 1500 kids in my class. Colleges take that into account and I would never have made it to an ivy league (I did get 1 offer, but because I was an athlete and they wanted me to compete for them), but all things being equal if I came from that poor rural area you reference I would be looked at like a scholar, maybe even #1 in the graduating class vs #750, and I might have had multiple Ivy league admissions.


> I would never have made it to an ivy league (I did get 1 offer


[flagged]


> Asians adolescent academic performance is a worse predictor of this than for Europeans.

Why do you think this is the case?


> "those who are not oppressed simply have no real frame of reference to understand the problem"

Yet somehow you think you are enlightened by a little volunteer work. as far as immigrants in America go, Asians make more money than whites. When you compare Chinese, the difference is starker.

FWIW, I don't think you were really that poor. I grew up white, male, and poor from Appalachia. I promise you, there was no privilege in that. Its a crime against humanity that someone's test scores are worth less than another's simply because they were not born with enough pigment in their skin.


On the other hand be happy you were given the poor white from Appalachia scale for your test scores rather than the middle-class Asian from New Jersey scale.


Institutional racism is real. That doesn't make these programs right, or even a solution. Ivy+ schools carefully pick out minorities who didn't grow up in poor neighborhoods. Most of these programs act as institutionalized racism, and give the appearance of doing something without the reality.

If you pick out students who had real disadvantage -- growing up with horrible schools, having uneducated parents, not speaking English, being poor -- I'd be 100% for them.

That's not what we've got.

We've got a system where Harvard will bring in black people from the "right" neighborhoods, and white people if their parents went to Harvard, taught at Harvard, or donated to Harvard.


So two wrongs make a right?

I think America largely fails its poor, black and marginalized communities, and that a ton more can and should be done, but that doesn't mean affirmative action is the right (both effectively and morally) solution, or that it's not systemacially unfair to other groups.


[flagged]


Education is not a zero-sum game.


College admissions are zero-sum


Not if we keep building colleges, no.


Except there is only one Harvard University. You could spend billions making a new University next door that has just as high standard of teachers and facilities, but it wouldn't be Harvard.

Not that being "Harvard" would make it better, but to a lot of people the prestige of the name is important.

So to that effect, it is a zero sum game.


Does Harvard maintain that lauded reputation if it's known to admit a racial monoculture? Especially in, say, the technology fields, where we've seen the negative impact of such monoculture in the quality of software developed using machine learning algorithms?


All of the biggest software companies have almost no black engineers and relatively few female engineers. They still manage to make money hand over fist, looks like their software is good enough to do the job.


So you're satisfied with "makes money, but has known biases against people's inborn traits."

In general, we is a society (in America at least) have decided that's not good enough. It hasn't been good enough since the time there was one facility for the whites and one facility for the coloreds.


So it's either 1) accept affirmative action and we'll increase spending on education, or 2) reject affirmative action and we would spend this money somewhere else (maybe whatever else gets the votes)?


How do we magically give new colleges Harvard-level endowments?


> my ancestors were not oppressing either latinos or Africans. I'll make my voice heard by not voting for Democrats.

so I guess you're making up for lost time? or setting the precedent for your own progeny? because I'm like 100% sure that during the era of slavery the same arguments were made by slavers - "my ancestors didn't participate in the crusades so I'm morally absolved..."


This Judge was confirmed by the Senate which has been in Republican hands for some time.

You should go start your own Harvard and you can exclude or admit anyone you want.


> This Judge was confirmed by the Senate which has been in Republican hands for some time.

The judge was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by a Democrat controlled Senate: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allison_Dale_Burroughs

Federal judgeships are lifetime appointments so the current makeup of the Senate, short of impeaching her, has no relevance.


I'm like you. White and use to think the same. Love him or hate him, the last chapter, A Jamaican Story, in Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers really pierced my heart. I can't fathom what it must be like. I think those that despise affirmative action take things personally. They are right, sometimes it's not fair since they busted their butt, paid their dues, etc but lose out possibly because the color of their skin. It sucks and I'm sorry.


I suppose its not far from the SCOTUS 1st Amendment cases of porn/obscenity, they can't quite define it, but they'll know it when they see it.

Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003) (link: https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/539/306/)

>The requirement that all race-conscious admissions programs have a termination point "assure[s] all citizens that the deviation from the norm of equal treatment of all racial and ethnic groups is a temporary matter, a measure taken in the service of the goal of equality itself." Richmond v. J. A. Croson Co., 488 U. S., at 510

>But such measures, the Convention instructs, "shall in no case entail as a consequence the maintenance of unequal or separate rights for different racial groups after the objectives for which they were taken have been achieved." Ibid.; see also Art. 1(4) (similarly providing for temporally limited affirmative action); Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, Annex to G. A. Res. 34/180, 34 U. N. GAOR, 34th Sess., Res. Supp. (No. 46), p. 194, U. N. Doc. A/34/46, Art. 4(1) (1979) (authorizing "temporary special measures aimed at accelerating de facto equality" that "shall be discontinued when the objectives of equality of opportunity and treatment have been achieved").


For starters I'd say when the racial wealth gap has closed and when racial outcomes in education even out. So many of the factors that feed back into keeping those gaps alive can be traced directly back to racist policies like red lining that only ended less than a human life time ago.


Who says fixing income inequality is unachievable?


Are all of your coworkers equally productive? Neighbors? Relatives?

The answer for all 3 for me personally is no. I have family members who make decisions based on different priorities which change their income. My coworkers differ radically in their abilities and work ethic. How can they have equal incomes in this scenario? There is a way to do this, and it hasn't worked any time it's been tried.


I don't think "fixing income inequality" needs to mean that everyone is paid the same amount. It's reasonable to believe that <insert billionaire here> isn't a million times more productive than their median employee, and that factors other than pure merit allowed them to amass that much wealth. Even if you did think that they were that meritorious, you could still make an argument that "fairness" should involve balancing both merit and utility (in this case referring to the diminishing marginal utility of money).


> It's reasonable to believe that <insert billionaire here> isn't a million times more productive than their median employee

If a normal employee at say walmart brings in $100 worth of value a day to the company, and the CEO executes a few big multi-million dollar deals that month, then the CEO in fact would be significantly more productive (in terms of capital to the company) than the average employee.

> and that factors other than pure merit allowed them to amass that much wealth.

Yes like taking the risk of starting such a business to employ others and putting down the capital which might be lost.

I also don't know who you think would enforce some kind of "fairness" limit on how much money someone makes. The government doing so would likely be ruled unconstitutional and wouldn't likely ever be passed in the first place through congress.


Just to play devil's advocate, if you put a normal Walmart employee in a CEO position, or maybe just an "executive" position with decision-making authority, how far off would they be in terms of productivity from someone normally in that position? Say the employee was 1/10th as productive as that executive, that would still be thousands of times more productive than that same employee at their regular minimum wage job.


> If a normal employee at say walmart brings in $100 worth of value a day to the company

If all the normal employees quit and Walmart can't replace them, how much money does Walmart lose?

Perhaps we should calculate value to the company based on that sort of reasoning.


I mean, "universal basic income" would be a good start.


Until everyone's cost of living goes up because they have an extra $1k/mo and landlords / retailers know it. The same thing happened with guaranteed student loans. When people have money to burn the market will react by increasing prices.


It might, but it turns out macroeconomics isn't that simple.


Adding one thousand to most statistical measures will either not change it or shift it by one thousand.


In a given time period, let's say a year, you may personally work harder or smarter than in some other year. Do you believe that you should be compensated the same regardless of how hard or smart you work in a given year?

If you're a self-employed craftworker who produces hammers, should your income be the same each year, without regard for the quality or quantity of hammers you produced that year, and without considering the world's need for the sorts of hammers you produced? How would you go about achieving that outcome?


I don't think fixing incoming equality means zeroing out differences in income. It means shortening the gap between the bottom quartile and the top quartile, which is currently huge.


> So under that thought process... when does the temporary measure end?

Difficult to answer, and honestly not at all a priority to have an answer.


It is when the courts say as a temporary measure its ok. You have to define temporary or else it just becomes de-facto permanent.


> You have to define temporary or else it just becomes de-facto permanent.

Perhaps, once it becomes settled law. However given Roe v Wade is still up for debate means that defacto permanence is not really a problem.

The answer then is "When the supreme court decides that the argument presented is sufficient to warrant no longer allowing race-concious admissions is a factor."


> > You have to define temporary or else it just becomes de-facto permanent.

> Perhaps, once it becomes settled law. However given Roe v Wade is still up for debate means that defacto permanence is not really a problem.

> The answer then is "When the supreme court decides that the argument presented is sufficient to warrant no longer allowing race-concious admissions is a factor."

Are new Roe v Wade like cases being heard by the court? There's a chilling effect to people bringing these cases to consider.


https://www.ajc.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/fede...

I'm sure you're aware that like 10 other states have similar cases working their way through the court system


Ah, I was aware of a couple of suits in states. None yet heard by the Supreme Court, though (or slated for hearing). I wonder if the court would even hear arguments on what they consider to be settled case law.


Income inequality is only "unachievable" exactly because of thinking like this. If people were genuinely invested in equality they would be asking "what can i do to get us there faster?" instead of being defeatist and calling it unachievable because you didn't personally create the problem.


Income equality is outcome equality, which is unenforceable.


It’s very enforceable. It’s just that it really, really sucks to live in a society that implements that enforcement.


I don't believe you, can you give some examples?


Khmer Rouge killing lots of intellectuals is one classic example, although most socialist revolutions had their own variants.

I suppose you can do a No True Scotsman and say that those weren’t truly enforcing equality of outcome since there were people at the top of that society doing the enforcing, but most would find that argument pretty strained.


it should be opportunity equality, rather than outcome equality.

Everyone should have the chance at getting educated, but not everyone needs to pass or excel - it is up to the individual to succeed, but it is up to society to provide the opportunity to succeed. That is why schooling (primary, secondary and tertiary) should be free for everyone.


And why school funding shouldn't be based on the neighborhood it is in.


You didn't answer his question, created a strawman, put words in his mouth, implied he doesn't care about equality (isn't treating people equally, regardless of race equality?)... goodness.


He explicitly said income equality is unachievable. I didn't put those words in his mouth.

You can't answer the question of "when" if a person has already decided the goal is unachievable. Again, those were his words not mine

The temporary measures will end WHEN people are genuinely interested enough to help regardless of whether they created the problem. That is my answer. You just don't like it. And that's ok....


When, in the history of humanity, has income ever been at an acceptable level of equality?

If you/the people who support such a policy can't define an explicit goal then I'd say that's pretty unachievable.


[flagged]


There will always be rich, there will always be poor. That's simple economics. There has not been a society in human history that hasn't had those. Pretending that you can magically wish that away is crazy.

Our system is based on equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome. If there are issues with the opportunity then we should work to fix those (like is already being done in inner cities cleaning up the drugs/pushing out gangs/preventing fatherless homes/etc). But pretending that you're going to fix those socioeconomic issues by giving preferential treatment to people based on race is just pulling other problems into the mix and is blatantly racist.


The problems were created by giving preferential treatment based on race, but the solution is to ignore race?

No one is advocating wishing anything away. If you want to focus specifically on equality of opportunity you can't do so without recognizing that race directly affects which opportunities are available to whom. Any solution that ignores that is just more of the same. And doing more of the same only extends the timeline of "when" that the original comment took issue with.


Jews were also historically discriminated against, e.g. "Dean Milton Winternitz's instructions were remarkably precise: 'Never admit more than five Jews, take only two Italian Catholics, and take no blacks at all.'" (from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_quota#United_States)

Also related: California Alien Land Law of 1913 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Alien_Land_Law_of_1...), targeting mostly Asians (Japanase, Chinese, and Koreans). SCOTUS reaffirmed this law in 1923, it was finally invalidated in 1952.


>Jews were also historically discriminated against

And Jewish people are a protected class, even defined by SCOTUS as a race for purposes of Civil Rights/Anti-discrimination laws


Why should historical discrimination matter to the policy? If at all, it should be about discrimination today.


Ummm...because historical discrimination has led to an environment where educational resources are unequally distributed? The effects of those historical policies still exist...and they should therefore be taken into account today...since they still exist...the effects...


Let's say that your parents were discriminated against, and were unable to go to college, or find a good job, or were actively lynched due to their race.

Do you think their kids might be affected by say, the economic troubles their parents might've gone through, or the fact that they lost family due to the racial animus at the time? Or how about if those families were relegated to places designed specifically for them, to keep them away from the rest of the populace, with less opportunity for education or work. Do you not think that might have a multi-generational effect?


It's simpler than that. If legacy status can influence your ability to enter university, then whether or not your parents were barred entry has a direct effect on whether or not you will be able to get in.


Because Harvard admits on legacy status.


This is unrelated.


No it is not.

If Jews have had a hard time getting into Harvard in the past, and Harvard uses legacy status, then that means that Jews will.habe a harder time in the future for getting into Harvard.


the justification is that these classes are/have been historically discriminated against and constitutional admissions which take race into consideration are a temporary measure to right these historical wrongs

No, that is not the justification being used.

The argument used to justify this racism is that a rich education requires exposure to diverse people and ideas, and so the educational mission of the school requires that they bring in sufficient numbers of otherwise-underrepresented racial groups. If they can't do this, they say, they won't be able to give their students a good education.

[Note that I'm just playing devil's advocate by citing their view; I actually think it's bollocks. Sure, being surrounded by diverse ideas is important in education. But if they were truly interested in this, then they'd be trying to recruit based on that actual argument, by looking for Protestants and Catholics and Mormons; tall and short people; introverts and extroverts; right-handers and left-handers; city folk and country folk. The fact that the only dimension along which they measure diversity is race reveals that the justification they give is nothing but a convenient rationalization.]


Is that the only dimension along which schools measure diversity? It's much easier to become a National Merit Scholar in some states than others; I imagine similar considerations are made in university admissions. A cursory search suggests that geography is indeed taken into account in admissions: https://qz.com/653167/if-you-want-to-get-into-an-elite-colle...

Similarly, coming from a minority religious or cultural background can also be a plus for a college application. Perhaps your complaint is that the process by which these benefit an applicant is less systematized than it is for race? Or that racial preferences are too systematized?

The other categories you mention are likely to be diverse by default---colleges already have a pretty good distribution of short and tall people, and the hand dominance distribution is also pretty representative. There aren't any mechanisms that impede the society-wide distribution of these traits from replicating itself in the student body.


They do in fact look at diversity along those lines too.


The argument used to justify this racism is that a rich education requires exposure to diverse people and ideas, and so the educational mission of the school requires that they bring in sufficient numbers of otherwise-underrepresented racial groups. If they can't do this, they say, they won't be able to give their students a good education.

Do they present any evidence to support this claim? I'm only aware of studies like that of Robert Putnam showing that diversity is extremely detrimental to community engagement and cohesion, among many other things.


> So the end goal even according to SCOTUS is for these measures to eventually become unconstitutional.

This shouldn't be an acceptable justification, "righting historical wrongs" is a highly subjective policy goal which shouldn't be relevant to a verdict of "constitutionality".


How did you come to this conclusion?


So if we had Chad the legacy admission against Darnell with a single mother, I could see what you were talking about...

But that's not what's at stake here. Chad is doing great, legacy admissions are alive and well. Meanwhile Cletus and Liu are being discriminated against on race despite their real history that flies in the face of your framing.

Why must they be thrown under the bus? Why not Chad?


> the justification is that these classes are/have been historically discriminated against and constitutional admissions which take race into consideration are a temporary measure to right these historical wrongs by leveling the playing field.

This is actually incorrect. The only rationale SCOTUS has ever accepted for affirmative action is to create diverse student bodies. They have never accepted past discrimination as a rationale. For what it's worth, I'm a (former) lawyer. But you don't have to take my word for it! See https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/539/306/#tab-opi...


> Every time the SCOTUS hears one of these cases they acknowledge that, but the justification is that these classes are/have been historically discriminated against and constitutional admissions which take race into consideration are a temporary measure to right these historical wrongs by leveling the playing field.

Actually, SCOTUS specifically identified this motivation ("right these historical wrongs") as improper and affirmative action programs premised on it are illegal. That is why affirmative action programs instead talk about "diversity" -- SCOTUS blessed "diversity" as an exercise of judgment by the school that would allow otherwise impermissible race-based admission.


No, that is wrong, the Justices are very clear about the historical context of these programs.

Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003) (link: https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/539/306/)

>The requirement that all race-conscious admissions programs have a termination point "assure[s] all citizens that the deviation from the norm of equal treatment of all racial and ethnic groups is a temporary matter, a measure taken in the service of the goal of equality itself." Richmond v. J. A. Croson Co., 488 U. S., at 510

If it were about diversity as you claim, rather than righting historical wrongs of inequality, there would be no concept of a termination point of these programs as diversity would be an ongoing concern ad infinitum.


How much racism is necessary to get to the ideal of not selecting people based on race?


Because clearly Asians are at fault.


Harvard and UC are trying to do different things. Harvard is trying to admit the future leaders of the world, so it can point to them and say “They are Harvard men.” UC is trying to give an academically rigorous education to the most academically qualified students.


So, asians are less likely to be leaders because of their race? African-Americans are more likely to be leaders because of their race?


No but it might be possible that an African american with the same grades as an asian american is much more likely to be successful in the future because they got the same results from what is likely a much more difficult starting point. The context of someone's acheivements matters and race is part of that context.


But if it's starting position you're worried about, you'd be worried about class. You would give affirmative action based on economic status, not race. That I would agree with.


You would give affirmative action based on economic status, not race

But race also matters in terms of starting position.


Yes, a lot in terms of cultural differences. So Asian-americans are being discriminated against because their parents make them study hard?


Isn't it interesting to see so many people being okay with Asians getting discriminated against? It's almost as if it's not institutional racism to funnel Asians to colleges that mass produce worker class people instead of leaders of tomorrow. People will almost directly say that Asians make poor leaders because all they care about is school grades, when in reality Asians are taught to work harder than their peers to overcome exactly that prejudice. Let's try evening out the playing field and see how many Asians flourish in all areas of life in America like they do in Asia.

Asians need to organize like people of other races and take bigger pieces of the pie.


Agreed, it is time to stand up for our rights.


My parents were really supportive of me in school; someone whose parents weren't as supportive of them, who got the same grades as me is probably a better student and will be more sucessful with a given set of resources than I would since they overcame more adversity than I did.

It's a little crude to use race maybe, but it probably isn't a terrible approximation. What would be great is if people had to disclose any paid preparation for the SAT or the hours their parents spent with them growing up but that's probably a long way off.

Overall, this issue is framed to be as controversial as possible by political interests but it really isn't that big a deal.


> who got the same grades as me is probably a better student and will be more sucessful with a given set of resources than I would since they overcame more adversity than I did.

Isn't that contradictory? Are you saying that african americans achieve the same as asian americans even though they did not have to study hard? Then why would affirmative action be necessary?

Affirmative action is applied to upgrade the scores of candidates with lower scores if they are of a disadvantaged minority. So, an asian american with higher scores (and who worked harder) will miss out on an opportunity to an african american with lower scores (who did not work as hard).


I guess in the end, like life, it's not about grades... sadly.


And it would help their preferred races, too. But it wouldn't play nearly as well on HN or Twitter.


You're misreading the statistics. If students are admitted in a race blind way then you get 16 times as many Asians as African Americans. He's just arguing they're not 16x more likely to be leaders than African Americans.


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This article is really interesting. I'm not quite sure what to make of it. it feels borderline bigoted, basing it's entire argument on some unmeasurable "return to the average".

Also not sure why the parent user is posting it multiple times. Not cool...


7 day account. Not gonna say it's a troll but I'm suspicious.


On average, everyone returns to the average. This is about the _rate_ of cognitive development. And it's easy to measure with standard tests. Obviously there are a ton of accomplished Asians in America, its just more difficult to identify them in adolescence. There' nothing bigoted about that.

Sorry for posting it a lot, its just relevant to what I wanted to say in my other comments.


We've banned this account for using HN primarily for political and ideological battle. That is against the site guidelines and destroys the curiosity that this site exists for, regardless of what you're fighting for or against.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


Sure. Power concentrates not by "merit" (narrowly construed as GPA/test scores), but through complex social and cultural factors, and race is obviously politically relevant. Existing institutions will favor a black Harvard graduate over an Asian graduate becoming a leader of some political institution. Asians as a whole outnumber blacks, but are far more politically and culturally diverse.


Asia hasn't produced a Kanye yet. They got work to do.


G-Dragon, maybe?


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Isn't it against the site policy to post blatant white supremacist content?


Unz is Jewish.


A grades and SAT admission model creates a class that is ~70% Asian. America’s future leadership class is categorically not 70% Asian.


Why not? If Asians are hardworking enough to occupy 70% of the top positions, why not?


Because “leadership” in anything requiring a democracy requires people to vote for you or at least not actively work against you. This is far from impossible, America’s leadership class heavily overweights Yankees and Jewish people compared to their share of the population but change is always hard. It’s probably a lot harder if there’s a constant drum beat of race talk insisting that X-Americans have a completely different life experience from Y-Americans but it’s not like this is unprecedented. Anti-semitism was widespread across Europe before, during and after Jewish Emancipation and in every country where Hitler and the locals didn’t kill them Jews are over represented in the professional and leadership classes.


Are you arguing that Asians inherently make worse leaders than people of other races? To me, Harvard keeping Asians out would create a negative feedback loop where Asians are not perceived as leader materials.


[flagged]


This article is full of obvious logical errors.

They claim that East Asians develop cognitive capacity at an earlier age than other races and that gives East Asians a compounding practice advantage that gives them the edge in academic scores. The article claims, based on this premise, that universities like Harvard should actually discriminate even more against East Asians.

The article is full of obvious leaps designed to sound smart but are actually logically vacuous.

Much of the article essentially boils down to this: Young East Asians test highly > The quantity of older East Asian who are successful don't reflect the quantity of young East Asians who achieve academically > Therefore, East Asians start smart and then other races catch up cognitively in adulthood A) Racism is likely factor here. East Asians are less represented in leadership because leadership perceives East Asians are being less leaderly. Now we're using the symptoms of racism in order to justify the racism itself. B) Nurture versus nature is a complicated and unsettled debate yet the author tries to claim that because China has a creativity problem, it's proof that East Asians as a race has a creativity problem. Never mind that Japan is a world leader in innovation. C) Article repeatedly use test scores to say something qualitatively about the characteristics of a race. For example, East Asians test high on math therefore East Asians have more quantitative reasoning capabilities. You could just as easily attribute this to cultural differences in study priorities.

2) "If these children are scoring as high as 120 on average at the age of four (despite being hospitalized for malnourishment) and 110 to 112 at the age of ten, it is implausible that their IQ goes up as they grow older" Come on. Why? You can't just assume that hitting a high IQ at an early age means that it cannot continue growing. Especially when these IQ scores are being compared against age groups.


There are no logical errors, and the article is not logically vacuous.

>East Asians are less represented in leadership because leadership perceives East Asians are being less leaderly.

Can you provide evidence that this is what's going on instead of something else? Plenty of leaders in the US are East Asian.

>using the symptoms of racism in order to justify the racism itself

You didn't present your own evidence that the 'symptoms' are actually due to racism. The author presents a compelling explanation backed up with data that explains what we see.

>Never mind that Japan is a world leader in innovation

The article quotes the Japanese government stating it believes it has an innovation challenge as well.

>You can't just assume that hitting a high IQ at an early age means that it cannot continue growing

IQ is relative to others the same age. This is evidence that East Asians develop cognitive ability more quickly than other populations. All healthy children continue getting smarter as they develop. This is all discussed in the article.


Except that China is rapidly catching up to the US in terms of innovation. Take a look at the number of patents filed by China and US in recent years. People look at China 30 years ago and use that as evidence of China today, ignoring the fact the the country has changed so much over these years.

There are more Asian leaders in the world's top tech companies than there are Europeans. Why do you think that so many Asian people in Asia are able to assume leadership roles and grow their companies at breakneck pace and yet Asian Americans are somehow unfit to do the job in America?


As mentioned in the article, the Chinese government itself admits the quality of its patents are suspect and not indicative of true innovation.

It's wonderful how much economic progress China has made, and serious academic progress as well. But that's not relevant here.

China discourages non-ethnic Chinese from having control over Chinese companies, and has extremely few foreigners to begin with so that's not a valid comparison.


Honestly not sure why this is being downvoted. UC and Harvard are practically opposites in terms of the character they are looking for. One has alumni interviews for every serious applicant, the other has a gpa cutoff to filter out most students and then still just goes off numbers. Replace the words 'college' with 'job', and this whole thing looks silly.


> Replace the words 'college' with 'job', and this whole thing looks silly.

I don't know about silly, it certainly looks unlawful to me.


Harvard has a 25%+ Asian American undergrad class, (edit)~~2.5x (Harvard's is ~60% of UC's) more than the latest number listed on that wiki page, so your final statement is factually incorrect`~.

I quoted wrong number. It's 25% vs 40%.

https://college.harvard.edu/admissions/admissions-statistics


We all know that number should probably be higher if we're actually caring about academic performance.

Affirmative action doesn't actually bother me as much as legacy based admissions. Just absolutely idiotic that it's accepted.


Indeed, Harvard's own internal study determined that if academics were all that mattered, 43% of admitted students would be Asian.

The major factors pushing down that percentage are legacy admissions and the vague "personal rating," which seems to be the knob Harvard admissions turns to get the demographic ratios it desires. Asians are systematically given a far lower "personal rating" than other demographics.

Source: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/10/harvard-admissio...


"Well it's simple you see, Asians are simply less personable, as a group, than white folk. No no no, it's not blatant discrimination at all, I assure you! It's just science, I swear!"

I really don't see how anyone justifies this kind of thing in 2019. This is like the barest possible fig leaf over obvious prejudice. They could rename it to "Cromulence Factor" and it'd make as much sense.


It's a personal rating not a personable rating.


The smoking gun is that Asians were doing just fine on personal ratings given by Harvard alumni, but were doing poorly specifically on the personal ratings given by Harvard admissions officers.


I don't see why academic performance, beyond an institution's decided-upon base threshold, should be the sole or even dominant admissions factor. Especially at a liberals arts college like Harvard.


It shouldn't be. Admission should be a lottery passed a base SAT score. That score should be based on analysis of how capable of Harvard's existing course load a student who receives a given score is, rather than, say, calibrating it specifically to cause the rejection of the majority of a given protected class. Suddenly, you achieve demographic near-parity.

Kid didn't get into Harvard? Donate to the school he or she did get into.


The wiki says the UC system has about 40% Asian American students. This suggests race conscious admissions do indeed (as the name suggests) discriminate based on race, at institutions like Harvard.


Nitpick: Comparing UC to Harvard isn't that straightforward. The UC system is California's, it disproportionately takes people from California, and California does have more Asians than the country as a whole, as well as more than the Northeast region in which Harvard is based.


I quoted wrong number. Sorry.


If Harvard did not race balance then every year the race % would be different - there should be enough of all races to pick a class of competent people. Why is it that 1 year a class can’t be primarily black or Asian? Before the lawsuit EVERY year the race ratio was almost exactly the same.

Secondly, why doesn’t Harvard just admit Asian Americans that score poorly to bring the Average down and chalk it up to amazing character?


But Harvard is a private school, which I think makes a difference. I also don't know how you maintain a diverse student body with different cultural perspectives if you aren't in some way filtering on cultural background, of which race is a part. Honestly, I don't know. I don't think it's an easy question. However, I think there's a decent case that, if Harvard is making decisions like this, it's ability to receive funding under title IX is called into question. Not that it would really adversely impact them, but it's a valid complaint that they maybe shouldn't be eligible. However, again I don't know! I don't think these are black & white matters.


Since Harvard receives federal funds, it has to play by the same anti discrimination rules as the Federal government.


Yes, that's why I point out that it's status under title IX should be in question, even if what it's doing is legal.


I agree. Trump could order the Department of Education to basically defund Harvard.. He basically is on the plaintiff's side here from what I recall. Now that would be interesting!!!


Not to mention incredible tax treatment of their assets.


Well, to be fair, the University of California accepts more international students than Harvard, which is generally going to inflate the percentage of Asian students. Not saying this ruling isn't a detriment to Asian applicants, but probably not by as large of an amount as it would seem at first.


The data set and lawsuit excludes international students. This is primarily for asian Americans.


No, only small fraction of UC students are international, and they aren't responsible for UC system's high Asian representation.


If this is upheld by the Supreme Court then Prop 209 might fall.


Shut the fuck up you stupid bitch.


We've banned this account. Posting like this will get your main account banned as well, so please don't.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


It will almost certainly be overturned on appeal, in appellate court if not the SCOTUS.


The real travesty after this is overturned is that that judge will still be sitting and practicing law.

If a higher court overturns your decision, then there should be consequences.


Just so people are aware, this doesn't "set a bad precedent." It doesn't set any kind of precedent, because the precedent is extremely well established. This ruling is directly in line with numerous SCOTUS decisions: Fisher v. University of Texas (2016), Grutter v. Bollinger, Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, etc... These cases are cited throughout the opinion. The Supreme Court has consistently ruled that race is admissible as part of an admissions decision as long as that admissions process stands up to strict scrutiny.


Affirming precedent is a part of setting and establishing precedent. It doesn't set a new precedent, but its absolutely a part of establishing precedent for the future.


Yes, you're correct of course. I considered rewording my comment actually. The point is that the precedent had already been set, this decision primarily follows that precedent.


Then the term precedent is overused and has lost its ability to emphasize the gravity of any situation.

End


It has a very precise and important meaning in the context of American case law.


and irrelevant in the context of casual conversation.


Bakke established that specific quotas are not legal, but race as one of multiple factors is permissible. If Harvard's admissions policies include any kind of quota, they will probably be ruled illegal.


The first line of the opinion's conclusion is that Harvard's admissions process survives strict scrutiny. If it were found to be dependent on quotas, this would likely not be the case, based on the previously mentioned well established precedent.


My understanding is that there was no written evidence of a hard quota presented. However, the rise in the percent of college-bound Asians has grown dramatically in recent years, but the share of Asians at Harvard has not increased commensurately.

An appellate court could find that this fact, combined with other circumstantial evidence, indicates that quotas were used — even if not put in writing.

Also, it is well known that "strict scrutiny" is interpreted differently in the context of affirmative action than "traditional" discrimination. So when a judge says something survives strict scrutiny, the analysis provided may be more akin to intermediate scrutiny (applied to sex-based discrimination) or rational basis (applied to pretty much everything else).


Yeah, I mean all of that's true. I'm just saying A) this is just the latest decision in a long legacy of maintaining race as part of college admissions, and that B) Harvard's specific admissions process survived immediate scrutiny.

Also, I'm saying this mainly because a lot of the comments in this thread are missing that context (especially when speculating on what happens next in this case, or on what implications this might have).


What do you mean by "survived immediate scrutiny"? Do you mean that in a generic sense, or in some legal sense (that I'm unaware of — I only know strict, intermediate, and rational basis).


I mean it only in the generic sense, in that the admissions process overcame some level of review (and would likely not have if direct evidence of racial quotas had been presented, as the other comment mentioned).


It should be easy to prove quotas based on enrollment statistics from year to year. If Asians are 10% consistently then that seems like a problem. Also if it's not consistent with the qualified applicant pool itself, then that seems to be a problem.


It's like we have these two irreconcilable ideas:

- Diversity is good

- Discrimination is bad

When 50% of the world's population is from China/India, how do you both promote diversity and not discriminate?


To me the obvious thing is to aim to eliminate racial/national/gender bias as much as possible by blinding admission/hiring processes to those things. Then on top of that offer spots for people who have had to deal with exceptional difficulty. Whether that be physical handicap, racial prejudice, economic, etc. There are companies/grants that take an approach like this. Its going to be subjective but perfect is the enemy of good. Then let the percentages land where they may. Having quotas or racial/gender preferences is crazy.


Out of curiosity, why not just lump most of it under "socioeconomic disadvantages" category (mostly based on the family's financial situation)? E.g., poor asian kids shouldn't be grouped with the less poor asian kids and shouldn't have been at a disadvantage compared to a rich african american kid for admission purposes. This proposed approach sounds so obvious, I feel like there has gotta be some caveat in it that I am missing. Is it easily gameable or something?


Yes it is gamed.. a lot of rich kids "emancipate" from their parents to qualify for financial aid for example and probably preferred admissions.


I love this thing that happens where someone jumps in to make an incisive point based on something they learned just recently and even on this same forum. the article about emancipation was posted here just like 2 weeks ago. so that's how certain you should be about that fact. and yet here you are proclaiming it as if you yourself have done the research and know exactly how prevalent emancipation is.


Maybe you missed it but there’s a well researched and detailed Vice news article on it.


I think this is the ultimate solution. Of course people will still try to game this system by e.g. sending their kids to high school in poorer districts.


Arguably if people try to game the system in that way it would be socially good. Don't we want the privileged people going to the same schools as poorer people?


Because it’s zero sum? The rich kid pretending to be poor is taking away a seat from an actual poor kid.


Isn't that easy to detect, though? The FAFSA (among other things?) requires disclosing family income (and assets?). The university gets to see all this stuff (well, the FAFSA applicant lists schools that get to see it). If they see "family makes $300k/yr and has $2M in assets" and "kid goes to a poor high school not in his/her normal district", they can say "hah, nice try", and toss their application in the bin.


How do you blind an admissions process to race, and then offer spots for people who have suffered racial prejudice? That sounds like a contradiction.


What I'm seeing happen is that unis (and other affected institutions) are trying to get rid of diversity of opinion in favor of diversity of skin color/ethnicity, and... I find that reasoning nothing but racist.


Isn't that a false dichotomy though? You can have both, and I'm not entirely convinced that universities are disqualifying candidates based on opinions in their applications.


As far as universities do these things publicly, this is inadvertently going to tip the scales in who is going to apply. And I'm nowhere seeing an university that is actively filtering for opinion-conciousness in this sense, that might actually not be that bad of an idea.

Then again, if they test for both things, how are they supposed to not prioritize one over another?


I think the debate from progressives is the definition of the term discriminate. We all agree choosing an unqualified person over a person who is qualified based on their race is discrimination. However is it discrimination to choose the diverse candidate when presented with two candidates that are equally qualified in every other regard? Because that is often the situation. There is no shortage of people who are qualified to get into Harvard or capable of succeeding there.


Why set a minimum bar at “qualified”? If you try out for an NBA team they won’t say “you are really fucking good at basketball, you’re not as good as these guys but you’re diverse so you’re hired.” You get scarce positions by outcompeting people, not by clearing a bar and then getting selected for your race.


Basketball is zero-sum, undergrad college admissions mostly aren't. As long as Harvard lets in enough students who are "good enough" to not fail out or besmirch their reputation, it can continue indefinitely as a prestige-generating institution. Put another way - the "Michael Jordan" of undergraduate academics doesn't really exist (in other words, there is no individual undergraduate you could admit who would instantly make your college superior to every other one)


So, Bill gates, Zuckerberg, Sergey Brin, Larry Page etc etc did not bring their amla mater's any extra fame?

Is your bar just "do not besmirch the good name of this institution"? Then I guess nobody should care for or covet International olympiad winners.


Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard. Neither Brin nor Page went to Harvard and are both more famous for their connection to Stanford as graduate students IMO


They did bring fame though right?


I think their dropping out may have hurt Harvard’s reputation as much as helped it. It’s often viewed as a place smart people and the elite go, but not always where they receive a great education.


Sure, but this is about undergraduate admissions, not graduate.


I mean I don't think the graduate level is that different.


Of course there are — they are the “Michael Jordans” of the world... not only Michael Jordan himself, but all of the top accomplished people in the world... presidents, Nobel Prize winners, CEOs, famous authors... Harvard is prestigious because they admit people who later do those things. The content of the curriculum is largely the same as other colleges.

Harvard is looking for people who have the highest probability of becoming prestige generators, the same way that NBA teams are looking for people with the highest probability of being points generators. Sure, the assessment methods for Harvard are much more coarse, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.


You can't really assess someone's capability of becoming a president/CEO/famous author based on their achievements before age 18. It's also really hard to determine whether people achieved those things because they went to Harvard. For example, getting access to the Harvard network massively increases your chances of getting a business funded, being successful in politics, etc. Finally - Harvard's prestige in the sciences is mostly due to graduate students/professors, not undergraduates.

> The content of the curriculum is largely the same as other colleges.

Maybe in some departments, but Harvard's math curriculum is not the same as most other colleges in the US, for example.


> You can't really assess someone's capability of becoming a president/CEO/famous author based on their achievements before age 18. It's also really hard to determine whether people achieved those things because they went to Harvard.

These statements are almost completely incompatible. If there is no way to tell who is likely to be successful beforehand, and yet those who attend Harvard are more successful as a group than those who do not, then it is fair to say that attending Harvard led to their success. Personally I'd say it's some of each: the admissions process does in fact manage to select for applications who are more likely to be successful, as a group, and there are also some unique benefits available to Harvard students and alumni (as you yourself pointed out) which tend to boost their chances even further.

> For example, getting access to the Harvard network massively increases your chances of getting a business funded, being successful in politics, etc.

That would be one of the means by which people achieve things because they went to Harvard. It's not just about the academics. Of course, not everyone would be capable of taking full advantage of that network even if it were made available to them.


What I'm trying to say is that Harvard has a selection process in place, for which thousands of people per year count as "qualified", and I don't think there's a strong reason to believe that the admitted students are in any way "better" than the qualified-but-not-admitted students. However, getting that Harvard stamp of approval (which really comes down to luck, if you're qualified) opens a ton of doors, in terms of network, "brand", etc.

One big difference between Harvard and OPs NBA example is that Harvard gains prestige from its alums, for things they do years or decades after their affiliation with the institution.


> I don't think there's a strong reason to believe that the admitted students are in any way "better" than the qualified-but-not-admitted students

On what basis do you think that? What data or reasoning suggests that the people Harvard almost admits would produce equal (fame, donations, other currency) to the university as those who are actually admitted?


No concrete evidence, just my opinion based on personal experience. I attended Princeton as a lower middle class white, non-athlete, non-legacy admit. Most of the undergrads aren't particularly intellectually impressive - you'll find way smarter and more intellectually curious people in Silicon Valley. The Ivies have a baseline level of intelligence you need to hit, which isn't extraordinarily high, but after that they're selecting based on conscientiousness, willingness to work hard, athletic ability, parental resources, and luck. See https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2001/04/the-org...


Professional sports have well-defined skills and roles to compete for. Diversity of backgrounds/perspectives/ideas is not as valuable in athletes as it is in an academic community.


> ... when presented with two candidates that are equally qualified in every other regard? ... Because that is often the situation

Is that the case? I always thought that the case is brought on because the diversity candidate is NOT often "equally qualified,"


That depends on what "equally qualified" means?

If it means "someone who is equally likely to be successful at Harvard" the answer is likely yes. Like I said there is no shortage of people who fit that definition.

If it means "someone who has quantifiably the exact same quality of resume" the answer is potentially no.

Although if you subscribe to the second definition, you should probably have a bigger complaint against athletes and children of alumni, staff, or donors. Almost half of all white students at Harvard are in one of those groups[1] and yet there are always more complaints about "diversity" than there is about these students.

[1] - https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/study-harvard-finds-43-...


If you read the argument, he/she is setting a lower bar and calling everyone qualified. They do not even acknowledge that their policies discriminate.


This only makes sense if you're looking at it as a binary thing: qualified vs not-qualified.

But the reality is that it's more of a spectrum, and in general universities usually want to take the most qualified people they can, just like companies want to get the most qualified job applicants.


> However is it discrimination to choose the diverse candidate when presented with two candidates that are equally qualified in every other regard?

Absolutely discrimination. Unless the definition of discrimination has changed significantly that is.


Of course it's discrimination. Just look at the definition of the word. The only debate is if slight discrimination is acceptable if it achieves higher goals.


Yes it is discrimination, because it gives people of that race systematically fewer chances of having a life.

The difference is when it is systematic. It is currently systematic in most universities and schools.


By realising that India is not homogenous at all, and is inherently diverse?


Sure, but so are Americans: white, black, Hispanic, etc.


Pick two random Indians and there's about a one in three chance that they won't even be able to talk to each other due to not sharing any common languages.

The US has nothing remotely close to India's level of diversity.


Considering the US selects for English-speaking immigrants, and the fact that English is taught as a second language in a lot of the world, I don't think that's a valid way to measure "diversity".


How would you prefer to measure it then? Any reasonable measure of diversity you come up with, India will score highly on.

Skin color? India has the whole spectrum from dark brown to people who could pass for southern European.

Religion? India has a huge variety.

Economic? Everything from some of the poorest people in the world to multi-billionaires.

What percentage of the population's ancestors has been enslaved by other parts of the population's ancestors? Still very high.

Please explain how you are measuring diversity if you want to make the outrageous claim that India is not diverse.


I wasn't making the claim that India isn't diverse, just what was in my comment. The claim was that people being "unable to communicate" makes the country more diverse than the US. Take any western European country and you'll find exactly the same huge diversity in skin color, religion, economy, and all of those factors.

I think there is at least one way forward that at least reduces the intensity of these conflicts. Increase the admission numbers of people at Harvard.

Stop treating it like an exclusive club that hands out occupational licenses for an elite class of the well connected few and give as many people as you can a quality education. With the money that these universities receive that should be possible. If increase in the amount of students would have even remotely kept pace with funding we wouldn't have the need to treat this like a zero-sum race game.


50% of the world and admission at Harvard in USA are different groups, so the comparison is flawed. If you would use USA population structure, that is a relevant argument.


This might come as a shock to you, but people from outside the US also attend/apply to US universities.


About 10% at Harvard. Not negating my argument.


Its not about absolute numbers, it's about admitting people from historically underrepresented or oppressed groups.

I think the name 'Race Conscious' is not a great description where it actually means race and oppression.


Everyone who's downvoting me. Please explain why simply stating this is so controversial?

Hasan Minhaj did a pretty informative episode on the lawsuit against Harvard affirmative action -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zm5QVcTI2I8


Then you start focusing in the diversity within those extremely large countries and groups of people. So further partition once the US becomes saturated with a more accurate representation of who lives on this planet.


Why does the US need to be first?


Because this is a thread about Harvard, a US college, being scrutinized under US laws in the US court system.


For perspective, here are the Harvard vs US demographics, sorted by most to least represented [1,2,3,4]:

    Jewish: 14.0% vs 2.6% (5.38x)
    Asian American: 25.3% vs 5.3% (4.77x)
    Native Hawaiian: 0.6% vs 0.2% (3.00x)
    Native American: 1.8% vs 0.7% (2.57x)
    African American: 14.3% vs 12.7% (1.13x)
    Hispanic or Latino: 12.2% vs 17.6% (0.69x)
    non-Jewish white: 33.0% vs 58.9% (0.56x)
[1] https://college.harvard.edu/admissions/admissions-statistics

[2] https://ejewishphilanthropy.com/how-many-jewish-undergraduat...

[3] https://features.thecrimson.com/2016/freshman-survey/lifesty...

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Jews, upper estimate used


These numbers are next to meaningless, Harvard doesn't just accept people from the US, so we should be looking at population percentages of the world. I assume that people who don't fit in any category are shunted into one of them based on skin color. For example a Jamaican is, I assume, counted in the African American bucket, and compared against the African American population, even though they're neither American nor African. And as with all things race it's largely a question of how you draw the lines. Jamaicans are African Americans, white American Jews are separate from whites though. And who could say what bucket the billion people in India are in, Asian American maybe?


> While about 8 percent, or about 530, of Harvard's undergraduates were black, Lani Guinier, a Harvard law professor, and Henry Louis Gates Jr., the chairman of Harvard's African and African-American studies department, pointed out that the majority of them -- perhaps as many as two-thirds -- were West Indian and African immigrants or their children, or to a lesser extent, children of biracial couples.

> They said that only about a third of the students were from families in which all four grandparents were born in this country, descendants of slaves. Many argue that it was students like these, disadvantaged by the legacy of Jim Crow laws, segregation and decades of racism, poverty and inferior schools, who were intended as principal beneficiaries of affirmative action in university admissions.

https://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/24/us/top-colleges-take-more...


This article is over 15 years old, are the statistics it cites still accurate?


Yes. See for example Paul Tough's book "The Years That Matter The Most" which came out a few months ago.


Other commenters have attributed that disparity to the African American community's limited access to quality K-12 education rather than a problem of Harvard admissions.


> the African American community's limited access to quality K-12 education

Is that a claim that their schools are worse at educating students than schools in Africa?


Yes.

Africa is a huge continent of 54 countries with a population of 1.2 billion people, so it makes perfect sense that such a huge geographic area like that would have many excellent schools compared to the areas of concentrated and persistent poverty in the US.

The two areas aren't remotely comparable, unless you were thinking of something else?


Moreover, the schools that Harvard's African students come from are typically expensive and prestigious private schools, not schools in impoverished areas.


The comparison isn’t all of Africa with areas of concentrated and persistent poverty in the US. It’s sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean with the black population of the US.

Given that the US black population does better on the PISA tests than the only black majority country that participated, Trinidad and Tobago, it seems unlikely there are better educational systems. A quick check does not find a single country in SSA with college graduation rates above ten percent[1]. Given that over 90% of the US black population are descended from slaves who’ve been in the US since the 1800s the disproportion is suspicious.

[1]http://www.uis.unesco.org/Library/Documents/global_education...

https://huebler.blogspot.com/2012/02/ssa.html?m=1


No, we are not interested in the total averages of the SSA nations, which obviously will not compare to America: we are interested in the elite high schools of the SSA nations. We are comparing economically disadvantaged African Americans to the economic elite of SSA.


> It’s sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean with the black population of the US.

So 1 billion in subsaharan africa vs 42 million african americans - still on totally different scales.

Subsaharan Africa has plenty of educational institutions of sufficient quality to prepare motivated (and likely more well off) students for admission vs relatively small number of seats at Harvard.

That doesn't in any way contradict with the possibility that general education systems in subsaharan africa aren't great.

Foreign undergrads at elite US universities are likely themselves to be privileged in their countries of origin, not the least because the ability to understand English and pass tests administered in English is a huge filter for privilege in many developing countries.


It's a great exaggeration to say the numbers are meaningless. Just shy of 90% of Harvard undergraduates are from the US and its territories: https://college.harvard.edu/admissions/admissions-statistics


Fyi about 1/10 of Harvard College students are international


That's wild statement, shunted into a category based on skin color? Nobody is shunted anywhere, you are asked on the application what race are you, or if you are biracial, or if you identify as anything else. It's your choice what to put on the application. Everything is determined from your responses. Nobody is "shunted" anywhere.


Have you ever seen an application where Jewish is a racial option?

I have not, yet comments here assert that it is.

It makes me question the legitimacy of their data sources.


A lot of the data I believe is from the Hillel membership / Jewish org membership numbers.

It is intentionally difficult to find and requires legwork since I believe it is intentionally obfuscated.


It's worth noting that religion is not a demographic category that explicitly factors into admissions or collected. Students are not required to disclose their religion (sexuality for that matter as well). Those figures are collected through various student surveys and may not fully representative.

Also international students are counted separately from the race/ethnicity categories. This is due to how the government classifies and collects information about race and ethnicity (see IPEDS definitions below).

https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/report-your-data/race-ethnicity-de...

I used to work at Harvard as an institutional research analyst. I actually submitted the final reports (institutional demographics and other stats) to US Department of Education. If anyone is curious, a large portion of the aggregate demographic statistics is open and available to the public: https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/use-the-data


Fascinating that non-jewish whites are actually the least proportionally represented. I've never heard that mentioned anywhere before.


Wasn't that the whole idea of affirmative action?


My understanding was that affirmative action was supposed to correct the under-representation of minorities by eliminating the over-representation of non-jewish whites. Not that it was designed to under-represent them.


Stated vs actual goals. Listen to the rhetoric of the people who campaign for affirmative action and then judge what they'll really do, not what they say they'll do.

geodel 15 days ago [flagged]

Seems your understanding is totally out of touch with SJW/Woke wave sweeping across the world. Pointing out statistics may brand you as apologist of racism, perpetuating while privilege etc.


Please don't take HN threads further into ideological flamewar. Going down that road always leads to worse discussion and damages the container here.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

mffnbs 15 days ago [flagged]

Seems your understanding is drunk and lost all of its tact earlier in the night.


Personal attacks will get you banned here. Please review https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and make sure you're posting in the intended spirit.


Some of those things are linked to the applicant pool, for example normal White people (non-legacy/athlete/deans list/faculty child) only make up 40% of the normal people applicants to Harvard. ( http://public.econ.duke.edu/~psarcidi/legacyathlete.pdf page 42 Panel B: Racial Distribution of Applicants by ALDC Status)


I didn't see "non-Jewish" white in the source. Did you add up the rest and subtract from 100?

I think these should be able to add up to more than 100. E.g., someone who is both Hispanic and Black.


I subtracted Jewish from white, since "Out of this 2,831,000 religious Jewish population, 92% are non-Hispanic white": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Jews#Assimilation_and...


Where did you get the number of white? I'm saying you can't sum ethnicities because many people are multiple ethnicities.


Subtracted everyone else from 100%. I think they made people pick either only one ethnicity in their polls, or they were lumped under 'other'. The numbers I get are close to https://www.collegefactual.com/colleges/harvard-university/s..., so while not totally accurate, I'd say they're reasonably good.


I'm guessing if you took age into account (i.e. the average age of a white person is older than the average Hispanic person and the average Harvard attendee will be younger than the average person) then the positions on the bottom two might swap over.

The average age of people who identify as two races is markedly lower than other groups though they're a relatively small group, so not sure how that works out. But there's roughly as many people who identify as both white and native American as just native American. If Harvard only lets them choose one, which I guess they must if it adds up to 100%, then that could have a big impact on those numbers depending on how people react to that.


These numbers are grossly misleading. US population numbers are meaningless.

Harvard doesn't consider all US born students. They have an academic floor. Most of the US population does not meet the academic floor. Low achieving students are effectively not in the applicant pool even if they apply.

A more accurate representation of the applicant pool would be the USA demographics that meet the 10th percentile SAT score at Harvard. However, even with this more accurate pool, the accepted population would differ because different races have different average scores within this pool. The races with lower averages would be expected to be underrepresented in the accepted pool compared to the applicant pool.


http://public.econ.duke.edu/~psarcidi/legacyathlete.pdf

See page 45. Asians have a much higher bar and lower probability of getting in after balancing for same academic level. Seems like discrimination to me.


This is somewhat useful, but it would be more useful to know what percent of the total college-going population these racial groups make up. And what percent of the 1600-SAT (for lack of a better proxy) population they make up.


I'd be curious to meet or read about those Harvard students with the lowest SAT scores of their cohort (assuming the minimum is not 1600), since they must be extraordinary in some other ways.


Based on the analysis done for the court case, they are their athletes.


This is why you row I guess...


Is "Jewish" a race? Or a religion? Or a culture?

And how does harvard assert the "race" of someone in the first place?

This is all extremely confusing.


Those statistics are weird because they have several things that are thought of races, and then suddenly there's this religion designation, which is not a race. Why is this specific religion singled out and identified differently?


Where is your source used for the US Demographics for freshman aged students?


Interesting.

I find that the black community (including myself) will quickly point to the reason of Affirmative Action, and what it is trying to accomplish. I find it fair if a historically marginalized group require over-representation to "break" it's cycle. Yet I find something troubling.

I'm concerned that many of the flagship arguments that are still often brought forth by this community have propositions that continue to look less and less stable.

There is a perpetual cycle that the average African-American faces, often said starting from slavery. It has frequently been said that starting with proper education, will this cycle begin to unravel. Though there's been significant attempts to equalize opportunity of education for decades, yet there's been virtually no improvement in the racial performance gap (Black-White).

The main reason I commonly see for this gap is socioeconomic status and parental education. College Board prompts every testing student for their family income status, race, gender, etc. I'd love CB to dump every categorical statistic they've collected, but they do provide a summary every year. Every year they're able to give basic statistics on performance of the different groups based upon the groups stated above.

What I find really interesting was for 2 separate years (2003, 2008) College Board made public test performance by race x income. College Board had also released 'Reaching the Top: A Report of the National Task Force on Minority High Achievement The book' (1999). The book generally stated that black students whose parents were college-educated scored lower than white students whose parents did not graduate high-school. Both datasets show that black students from high socioeconomic families were scoring comparatively to white students from low socioeconomic families.

I see this as deeply troubling. Though there is an large list of variables that are not publicly accounted for, it would make more sense for discussion to be shifted towards the discovery of the cause of the gap.

I fear that Affirmative Action is inherently unjustified and examples like similar to OP's post will continue to hurt the opportunities of the talented.

(2008) [JBHE] https://lesacreduprintemps19.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/why...

(2005) [JBHE] http://www.jbhe.com/features/49_college_admissions-test.html

[Teachers College Record] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/280232788_Race_Pove...

Extra bit, attempt to model 1995, caution on the rhetoric but quality article: http://www.lagriffedulion.f2s.com/testing.htm


Do the admission statistics also have the representation further broken down by how they were admitted (affirmative-action, scholarship, legacy-admission, normal, etc.)?


There was an article about legacy admissions, discussed here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21037400

Tables start at page 40.


non-Jewish white: 33.0% vs 58.9% (0.56x)

How strange - are these people allowed to benefit from affirmative action?


Haha sounds like there is discrimination against non-jewish white people... Liberals seem to be saying the opposite


As a Jewish person I feel weird seeing "whites" being broken into Jewish and non-Jewish. What about other religions? Why include religion at all?

In particular with respect to Harvard and Boston I'd think Catholicism might deserve a mention if we're going to bring religion into this.

In the end I think religious diversity is important but it doesn't belong in the same conversation. You can choose your religion and also turn it on/off at different phases of your life. You also can't see religion from the outside (with some exceptions for example a Sikh turban).

That's not true for race.


The distinction between Jewish and non-Jewish whites has been contextually important when discussing the history of discrimination in college admissions. The original move towards subjective ranking of applicants was in part a way to limit the number of Jewish applicants: https://www.businessinsider.com/the-ivy-leagues-history-of-d...


There's lots of sneaky ways they tried to limit Jewish access to higher eduction in Russia. Jewish Problems, for example: https://arxiv.org/abs/1110.1556


>What about other religions? Why include religion at all?

The Supreme Court has ruled that in fact Jewish people are a race...at least for purposes of Civil Rights/anti-discrimination laws.


I was under the impression that Jews commonly don't think of themselves as being white whereas the rest of the 'white' groups did. Maybe I'm wrong? Jewishness is a more closely knit identity which Jews are lucky enough to have, whereas even whiteness is an ever expanding identity leaving many white people with nothing but 'American'.


> I was under the impression that Jews commonly don't think of themselves as being white whereas the rest of the 'white' groups did.

In the Anglosphere, Jews have pretty much always been considered "white". For example, both the Confederacy and Apartheid South Africa, two regimes obsessed with racial classification, never even considered that Jews might not be white.

The conception of Jews as a separate race, has historically been an Eastern European idea. Even in 1930s Germany, the Nazi party's base of popularity was always firmly rooted in the most Eastern federal regions.


Jews were kicked out of numerous Western European countries throughout the Middle Ages and early modern era. I hardly think Eastern Europe has a monopoly on anti-Semitism.


Sure, but in a world dominated by the Christian church, isn't it possible that the discrimination was based more on religion than on race?

I don't remember where (help me, please!) but I read an account by a medieval European monk visiting monasteries and Christian communities in Africa. He described their religious practices, traditions, culture architecture and food in great detail, but mentioned their (certainly much darker) skin tones only in passing.

"Race" (boiled down to skin melanin contents) as a distinguishing point between groups of people is not a permanent fixture in human history. It is especially overwhelmed by religion, language and culture/tribal nationality in terms of its use as a dividing point between "us" and "them".


Depends on the place I suppose. In Portugal it was primarily because of religion (many time out of fear that they had secretly kept their Jewish religion, rather than actually converting to christianity).

It doesn't really make sense to talk about the expulsions in the 1500s as being motivated by race, given that there was no meaningful difference in race between the Jewish and Christian populations in the area, and they had widely intermingled.

While I have read plenty of accounts of riots and expulsions that either explicitly or implicitly state their reasons as being motivated by fears of new Christians still Secretly practicing Judaism, I haven't seen a single account naming race or some ethnic distinction as the cause.


First, I'm not discussing anti-Semitism in general. This is a discussion specifically focused on the idea of when and where Jews were considered a separate race. It's still quite possible for a group to be discriminated, and even persecuted, without them being classified as a separate race. Just ask the Irish.

Second, Oliver Cromwell readmitted the Jews to England, nearly 500 years ago. The Dutch readmitted Jews over 500 years ago. The Swedes 300 years ago. Over 200 years ago Napoleon's Western European armies emancipated Jews, primarily from Eastern Europe's absolute monarchies.

In contrast, Jews were never granted equal legal status in Russia until 1917. Pogroms were regular occurrences in Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania until the 1920s. The Romanian Iron Guard persecuted Jews with such brutality, that even the Nazis told them to dial it back. Contrast with Denmark, where the local populace refused to let the SS deport even a single Danish Jew.

Anyone with even a passing familiarity of Jewish history would tell you that while anti-semitism in the modern period isn't unheard of in Western Europe, its orders of magnitude worse in Eastern Europe.


>For example, both the Confederacy and Apartheid South Africa, two regimes obsessed with racial classification, never even considered that Jews might not be white.

Not true about South Africa:

"Shortly after the Union of South Africa received dominion status in 1910, the new Boer rulers proposed to re-classify the Jews as "coloured" because they originally came from the Middle East, and hence were not really European. The Jews of South Africa fought tooth and nail to retain their privileged status as "Whites""

https://www.quora.com/Were-Jews-during-South-African-aparthe...


Do you have a citation for that other than Quora?


No. It's something I heard growing up in SA, and I thought there'd be lots of sources about it online, but that was all I could find. It's possible that it's a myth - happy to hear from someone who knows more.


It's definitely possible. But I'd be skeptical that the sentiment was widespread.

Right around the same time the Oppenheimers were becoming the wealthiest and one of the most powerful families in South Africa. Despite being ethnically Jewish, I've never once heard of them facing any discrimination from the apartheid regime or the broader SA public.


It is the price that "white" identity demands. It is a subtractive identity, ie it abhors identity complication.

You basically have to strip every complicating element of your true identity safe for the absolutely benign forms (ie "Kiss me, I am Irish" tea shirts).

If you pay attention at least in American you can observe intriguing examples of this tension with white identity playing out. For instance being LGBTQ and white presents a problem for many. In fact there are examples now of white gay men who claim to hate "identity politics", what they really hate is that LGBTQ identity jeopardizes their "white" identity and they recognize this, so it is easy to pretend there are no other "blemishes" to their "white" identity....It is a fascinating phenomenon if you pay close attention :)


> In fact there are examples now of white gay men who claim to hate "identity politics", what they really hate is that LGBTQ identity jeopardizes their "white" identity and they recognize this

Speaking for myself, mmm.....no.


Good for you:) Unfortunately not so for these guys:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/11/magazine/gay-conservative...


As others have said, it’s not about religion it’s about ethnicity. If you really wanted to skew things, look at Ashkenazi Jews versus everyone else. You’ll find the former group extremely over-represented among Nobel laureates, Fields medalists, Turing award winners, and world chess champions. In light of all these achievements, I think it makes sense to distinguish Jews from non-Jewish whites at Harvard, where the achievements are paralleled there as well.


I think it's because Jews are also an ethnic group


That is correct, at least in regards to how the statistics were gathered:

"To ensure that we did not overlook religiously unengaged Jews, we asked students for their religion and whether they considered themselves Jewish aside from religion; then, we asked about their parents’ religious identities. Students who considered themselves Jewish in any way were counted in our estimates." -- https://ejewishphilanthropy.com/how-many-jewish-undergraduat...

"Jewishness in the United States is considered an ethnic identity as well as a religious one." -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Jews#Religion


I apologize if this sounds blunt, it's not imprudent to see more sinister reasons given history, but my thought would be you're seeing them break out Jewish because from the religion as cultural group perspective, the cultural import of education is anomalous.

I genuinely am not trying to break out the praeteritio, and say I'm not calling it a 'positive' stereotype, but at a certain level you can't have such a cultural focus on education, and then be gobsmacked when it has statistical significance in things like school admissions.

Like, if I told you that Utah had the lowest per capita alcohol consumption in the US, it's not liable to blow anyone's mind.

Heck, one of the reasons Harvard came up with its holistic admissions process in the first place was targeted at Jewish kids applying. https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2018/9/19/admissions-laws...

Also just a lazy google, I'd hazard to guess you're right about catholic representation being higher than expected. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/09...


Aren't Jews a race and a religion? Plenty of non religious Jews out there.


I think this sort of addresses your comment: https://www.jewishgeneticdiseases.org/


What is a race exactly for humans?


A culturally and context dependent grouping of people based on ancestry and geographic origin.


"There’s No Scientific Basis for Race—It's a Made-Up Label"

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/04/race-gen...


A race is a "folk science" version of an ethnicity (it's defined culturally instead of scientifically). An ethnicity is a genetically similar group of people that often come from the same geographic origin.


Ethnicity has nothing to do with genetics. Dictionary definition says "a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition"; Wikipedia has this starting paragraph:

"An ethnic group or ethnicity is a category of people who identify with each other, usually on the basis of a presumed common genealogy or ancestry or on similarities such as common language or dialect, history, society, culture or nation. Ethnicity is often used synonymously with the term nation, particularly in cases of ethnic nationalism, and is separate from but related to the concept of races."


>usually on the basis of a presumed common genealogy

From Wikipedia. You're right that I didn't list every factor.


"Presumed" is the key point. e.g. Ethiopian Jews have no genetic relationship with other Israeli Jewish subgroups, people in Eastern Germany have just as much in common genetically with Poles as with Western Germans, etc. And when these things are brought up, many ethnic nationalists will shrug their shoulders and say "so what".


Oh come now.

Judaism as an identity class has a lot more to it than mere religious affiliation.

I have to suspect that if the representation were 0.5x, rather than 5x, then its consideration would strike you as more natural.


Agreed, I know at least a dozen atheist Jews who are Jewish ethnically (Sephardic / Ashkenazi) / culturally, but not religiously.


I mean grouping Jews together based on a religious affiliation is just weird -- Reform would look at you really funny if you start talking to them about how Hasids and Orthodox view the world. It is as if Christianity was compressed into Amish, Anabaptists and Catholics and someone said "they are the same people"


It is ultimately a response to the fact that Jews were treated as the same people by policies designed to exclude them. There were no such policies for various Christian groups.

Practically for much of this history in this part of the world, "Jewish" has been used interchangeably with Ashkenazi. Jewish is not an ethnicity, but Ashkenazi is, and most of the Jewish people at a place like Harvard (or applied-but-denied) have been Ashkenazi. Note this paragraph is descriptive, not normative: this conflating of Jewish and Ashkenazi is a way by which other Jews (many of which face even more racial discrimination) get erased from discourse.


> Jewish is not an ethnicity, but Ashkenazi is

This is, to put it mildly, an opinion rather than an established fact. Ethnicity is a social construct, and many Jewish societies do construct an ethnicity that crosses the intra-Jewish Ashkenazi/Sephardi/Persian/etc. lines.

The biggest example of this is of course Israel, but you also see this in other mixed-background Jewish communities like e.g. Los Angeles or France, where a single umbrella Jewish ethnic identity is overlaid on top of those more specific ones.


When I'm in the United States, about half the time, I pray with a Chabad Minyan. About half the people there are not Ashkenazi, despite Chabad's Ashkenazi origins. We have Persians, Yeminites, Ethiopians, Syrians, etc, and people whose families have lived in greater Israel area for generations.


If you don't mind my asking, where in the US is this Chabad minyan?


Silicon Valley

Your point is taken. But, I think there's consensus that the term "Jewish" doesn't unambiguously refer to an ethnicity, because one common definition is that Jewish refers to a religion. Orthodox Judiasm confers full "Jewishness" on Orthodox converts, and most ethnicity definitions have to double-check with one's birth / blood relatives.

There is a belief that many of the "Jewish" ethnic groups form one nation (Zionism tends to hold this) and I suppose there are people who extend that to a broader definition of "ethnicity."


"Ethnicity" is more similar to tribal identities - there are usually ways of entering the group, which can be well- or ill-defined. See for example the traditional initiation ceremonies of many Native American tribes for non-members, or the recently-constructed avenues for Soviet-era Russian immigrants and their descendants to join the Baltic ethnicities. In the reverse direction, Halpulaar'en consider those who have shifted to speaking Wolof to have left the ethnic group. (Note, though, that they are usually not then considered by the Wolof to have entered their ethnic group, creating a serious social problem.)

To continue the example of Zionist ideology, even secular Zionists consider converts to be Jews, and many consider converts to non-Jewish religions to have exited the tribe. Non-Jewish immigrants and their descendants who speak Hebrew as a native language may or may not be considered members depending on the person.


> There were no such policies for various Christian groups.

Say what? See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Catholicism#United_States


Are Chinese Jews, Jews?


Well this is the most replies I have ever gotten on HN. I strongly regret discussion my feelings on my own religion on here.

If people don't think that breaking "whites" down into Jewish/Non-Jewish and nothing else is strange then I don't think we can discuss this topic rationally.


Depending on context, Jewish can be either ethnicity or religion (or both). I believe in this context, ethnicity is more important (and it’s also a proxy for higher IQ of Askenazi Jews).


A lot of the responses here are talking about ethnicity or Jewish identity, but I think when it comes down to it, Jews are considered white mainly when other white people want to consider them as such.

I would bet that your average Ashkenazi Jew (it is worth noting there are multiple different Jewish ethnic groups) has more genetic commonality with an average person of Ukrainian descent than that Ukrainian person has with someone of Irish descent. So why are the Ukrainian and Irish person both white while the Jewish person isn't?

And also let's point out that there is no distinction for any other group of Middle Eastern people. They instead have to choose between being Asian, African, or European.


Arabs, Armenians, North Africans, and Persians are all considered white in the US.


Not according to many people on the Left. Congresswoman Tlaib, for example, identifies herself as a "Woman of Color" (https://thehill.com/homenews/house/429550-tlaib-people-hear-...).

My maternal grandparents were born in Gaza City, and Syria respectively. Grandmother was expelled Gaza in 1929, and the Syrian grandfather was expelled from Syria in 1927. Both families had been there for many generations, if not since Temple times.

When I'm in the United States, even though I am very dark, I am never considered a "Person of Color" solely because of my religion. Other people from the same places _are_ "Persons of Color" if their religion differs.

I'm darker than Ms. Tlaib if you want to get your colorimiters out.

It's 12:54 AM in Tel Aviv now, where I am. (I spend about half my time here and half in Silicon Valley).

However in the United States it's still Rosh Hashanah. I think it's a little unfair to have a discussion about Jews and affirmative action in the United States at a time when observant Jews will not be on-line.

Shanah Tovah.


I have never seen a coherent definition of POC. It seems to be based entirely on political expediency.


And all the central asians who have turk geneology? Are they white as well?


According to who? If you're referring to the census designations, Jews are considered white too which just goes to further underlines my point.


The government and thus US law.


Again, this further underlines how strange it is the Jews are separated out above when they are considered white according to things like the census. The numbers from the top comment would look a lot less scary to the average white person if Jews were lumped into that group.


Because when it comes to academics they (in particular Ashkenazi) have an advantage. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashkenazi_Jewish_intelligence) - so it does not have directly to do with religion, it's just that their persecution in the middle ages (because of their religion) seems to have lead to a slightly higher capability with regard to abstract thinking (the drawback here being a higher vulnerability to hereditary diseases).


That's because Americans fixate on Ashkenazi.


The US Jewish population is 90-95% Ashkenazim. It's unfortunate that Americans sometimes forget about the minority of Sephardim and Mizrahim, but for the most part the assumption that Jewish American == Ashkenazi holds true.


'White' is commonly thought of as a euphemism for European, they are surely referring to the Jewish race and not Judaism as a religion.


As an atheist Jewish person, I don't agree with your definition of "Jewish".

Neither did the Nazis, btw.


How about Christians, Jews, or... miscellaneous


[flagged]


No, what they are going nuts about is what it would be without discrimination in their favor.


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