Saturday, August 15, 2020

Good Bigotry

As you know, not all bigotry is bad. There is good bigotry and bad bigotry. Somehow or other no one seems to recognize that when you skew university admissions to favor one group you are also disfavoring another group. It's the law of finite numbers. If you open more spaces for underqualified minorities, you are reducing the number of qualified Asians and whites. And you are also making it far more difficult for other overachieving groups to gain admission. 

You are effectively instituting a quota system, not based on merit, but based on what the universities call holistic factors-- and that means race and ethnicity. As of now, only Asian-Americans have filed lawsuits calling out universities for their blatant bigotry. Why have other groups have been so weak-kneed about this? A good question without a good answer.

The results have been that universities use two separate sets of admissions standards. And they are obliged to have special curricula offerings that cater to minority students. They will also be required to dumb down some of the standard courses, because, as Stanford University discovered, minority applicants cannot do physics. The solution-- they will be allowed to major in social justice physics.

True enough, legacy admissions are often granted certain advantages. And yet, there is a gross disparity in the level of the advantage. If a legacy candidate will end up being a C student, a minority applicant will, if graded fairly, fail. Naturally, the universities are dealing with the problem by instituting grade inflation. Or by offering far easier coursework.

It’s not just about social justice and institutional bigotry. The problem with the affirmative action programs is that they are requiring universities to dumb down their courses, producing dumbed down graduates who are now out on the streets tearing major cities down. 

The solution, as Shelby Steele has long since recommended, is a strict meritocratic system, where students are admitted on the basis of standardized tests. That would also, Steele has suggested, remove the implication that anyone of a certain race who is attending a major university, did not earn his way.

Affirmative action programs divide the nation and select people on the basis of race and ethnicity, not merit. They are the ground of identity politics.

Now, the Trump Justice Department has concluded that Yale University has used bigoted practices in determining admissions criteria. The Wall Street Journal reported:

The Justice Department said Yale University has discriminated against Asian-American and white applicants, issuing its findings roughly two years after opening an investigation into the school’s admissions practices.

The department said Thursday that it found Yale discriminates based on race and national origin, violating federal civil-rights law, and that race was the “determinative factor” in hundreds of admissions decisions each year. It said for the majority of applicants, Asian-American and white students have one-tenth to one-fourth the likelihood of being admitted as African-American applicants with comparable academic credentials.

“Yale rejects scores of Asian American and white applicants each year based on their race, whom it otherwise would admit,” the Justice Department said.

As noted, Yale pretends to use holistic criteria:

Yale says it relies on a holistic review of applicants, including academics, leadership experience, their backgrounds and more.

The Justice Department concluded:

The department found that every year from 2000 to 2017, Yale’s admitted class had a lower share of Asian-American students than would have reflected their proportion in the applicant pool; the same held true for white applicants during a majority of those years, the Justice Department said. Meanwhile, Yale admitted candidates from what the department referred to as “preferred racial groups,” including Black and Hispanic students, at a higher rate than would reflect their share of the applicant pool.

The problem is, many, many people in America have profited from diversity quotas and affirmative action programs. One thing they do not want to hear is that they received their degrees and their jobs and their careers for reasons that had less to do with merit and more to do with race and ethnicity.


Giordano Bruno said...

Leftist Asians who did get into Yale will protest that Yale is not discriminating against Asians. These good Asians will publish their defense of Yale in shitmedia. Left cannot believe their good fortune in passivity of Asian overachievers and strivers, and they must retain control. “You want to be liked, right? Then tow the line or you will be bad sort of Asian.” Left is choosing the right thinking Asians as I type. Asians know who is taking their slots with combined 900 SAT, they just don’t want to make trouble with demographics. Demographics get angry and attack.

Sam L. said...

I was a physics major, yearsssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss ago. I won't tell you the name and location of my university, for it has embarrassed me and itself.

David Foster said...

Not new behavior on the part of the Ivy League...for decades, they systematically discriminated against Jews on the basis of "character", as determined by themselves. Now doing the same thing to Asians, who are marked down as having insufficient "courage", as if university administrators would have any standing on that topic.

The real problem, though, is less about how these universities make their admissions decisions than it is about the excessive privilege given to their graduates. 50 years ago, Peter Drucker remarked that a major advantage that the US had over Europe was that we did *not* have a small number of universities controlling access to elite positions in society:

"One thing it (modern society) cannot afford in education is the “elite institution” which has a monopoly on social standing, on prestige, and on the command positions in society and economy. Oxford and Cambridge are important reasons for the English brain drain. A main reason for the technology gap is the Grande Ecole such as the Ecole Polytechnique or the Ecole Normale. These elite institutions may do a magnificent job of education, but only their graduates normally get into the command positions. Only their faculties “matter.” This restricts and impoverishes the whole society…The Harvard Law School might like to be a Grande Ecole and to claim for its graduates a preferential position. But American society has never been willing to accept this claim…"

We as a country are a lot closer to accepting Grande Ecole status for Harvard Law School and similar institutions than we were when Drucker wrote the above.

trigger warning said...

Asians "are marked down as having insufficient 'courage', as if university administrators would have any standing on that topic."

Brilliantly put, Sir. Made my day.

It has been my view for several years that the academic institutions' spectrum of quality has been so diluted by grade inflation and dwindling intellectual rigor that historical differences in academic quality have been erased and what we have today are mere brands. And it makes little difference whether you consume Ruffles or some expensive, "artisanal" brand of chips, it's all just empty calories.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

What does “courage” even mean, in that context? That is a a strange thing to say — about any group.

Giordano Bruno said...

This covers several topics, including our shitmedia. The story is risible, but that’s the Times.

Courage means you go on the record and say that yes, Yale, keeps out Asians in place of much, much less qualified demographics. Asians are terrified of demographics; they are smaller and not inclined to physical confrontation. Demographics are very physical and inclined to confrontation. Many, many graphic videos to illustrate point. Not a big secret to those who make the smallest effort to see.

If Asians came out and said discrimination is real, the institution that promotes unqualified demographics would turn against them, and would look the other way while assault and worse is committed against them. They would be treated like they see conservatives treated. So they keep quiet and let demographics be. Mustn’t make them angry.

Giordano Bruno said...

And right on cue, more Asian bravery from the official media channels.