Too Many Asians at Harvard? No, Not Enough Asians at Harvard.

For some reason, Harvard's admissions staff keep giving Asian American applicants lower "personal ratings" than white applicants. It's funny how that works.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

On Friday, November 16th, the Federalist Society's Civil Rights Practice Group (which I chair) presented a panel at the National Lawyers Convention entitled, "Discrimination Against Minorities." It was a discussion of Harvard's admissions policies and the litigation against Harvard for what appears to be intentional discrimination against Asians. Thank you to the Honorable James C. Ho, Professor Andrew Koppelman, Dr. Althea Nagai, Patrick Strawbridge, and Professor John Yoo for a lively discussion. The video is here.

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  1. I thought they consistently gave Asians lower scores period. Not just compared to whites. In fact, I thought the variance between Asians and Whites was by far the smallest. If true, the subtitle seems disingenuous at best.

  2. I thought they consistently gave Asians lower scores period. Not just compared to whites. In fact, I thought the variance between Asians and Whites was by far the smallest. If true, the subtitle seems disingenuous at best.

    1. They weight academic scores by race… They handicap Asians the hardest, and whites only slightly behind. Blacks, Hispanics, and others basically only have to meet academic requirements that wouldn’t even get a white or Asian person into a middle of the road state school to get into Harvard.

      But the person scores, that’s for stuff like volunteer work, playing concert violin, etc they handicap Asians compared to whites again. But perhaps not as much as for academics? I didn’t watch the video, so not sure.

  3. I understand the use of “minorities” to sell non-discrimination, but any discrimination affects everybody. Discrimination against any group requires favoring other groups, and no matter how that favoritism is slice, all will perceive it as biased in its own way.

    The only way to stop discrimination is stop classifying by the discriminating factor. Stop asking for race, gender, and all other identifying characteristics. Don’t even put names on the applications — have a web page which assigns a random temporary ID for the application, and don’t correlate name with ID until the student shows up at the start of the semester.

    Any application which lists hobbies, extra-curricular activities, etc, risks leaking that info — stop doing that. Or have some independent group pre-process all applications for all participating colleges (or employers; no need to limit this to colleges) and simply assign a numeric score for that kind of info.

    Keep colleges and employers completely in the dark about all non-critical aspects of the application.

    And then realize that all those non-critical aspects are just that, non-critical, and stop asking them. Fuck all that extra-curricular crap. Just go by qualifications for the school / job.

    A meritoctacy! Whodathunkit?

    1. This assumes that the current metrics used to attempt a meritocracy don’t have discrimination baked in.

      1. My understanding is that it has been shown multiple times that the SAT is not discriminatory.

        1. On average, African Americans do worse on the SAT than white or Asian American students do. Of course this proves the test is discriminatory. It’s a straightforward example of the effects of white supremacy and systemic racism.

          1. According to TrueAmericanParrot this is due to their genetic inferiority.

            1. Blacks have an average lower IQ. Read the d*** science. This is not open to discussion.

            2. Yup. You can claim it is environmental factors if you like, although the studies have been done and no such environmental factors have ever been able to explain it all away… Or genetic factors. One is “racist” and the other is not, so take your pick…

              But a couple things are certain:

              IQ consistently varies by race. Everywhere in the world it is in the same hierarchy: Jews, Asians, Europeans, various other ethnic groups, and blacks in last place.

              IQ is the best predictor of life success in almost all its forms. Higher income, higher life expectancy, lower chances of divorce, committing crimes, etc.

              So whatever the CAUSE of the IQ gap, it 100% explains the differences in outcomes that are observed in the real world. PERIOD. It’s not discrimination. It seems to even explain success at the national level, as all the most successful nations on earth also have the highest average IQs.

              People claim IQ doesn’t measure everything… Well no duh, it doesn’t have a section for being funny, or charming. It doesn’t even measure “intelligence” perfectly, BUT it does a good enough approximation of measuring “book smarts” so to speak, to be the best predictor of success in life that has ever been discovered. So even being imperfect, it is a very useful metric to use for practical purposes.

          2. That is true, but it doesn’t prove the test is discriminatory. African Americans are more likely to be poor, come from single parent households and attend under performing schools. Unless those factors are controlled for you cannot determine if the test is biased.

            1. And they seem to have an inordinate number of spots on sporting teams. Measures of how athletes run fast, jump high, dunk, and other tasks must be therefore be biased.

            2. “African Americans are more likely to be poor, come from single parent households and attend under performing schools.”

              EXACTLY. Which makes me really wonder why so much effort is expended on defending race-based affirmative action, while so little effort is expended on fixing these issues. African-Americans are more likely to be poor because they are much less likely to stay in stable families (marriage is one of the best remedies for poverty), so why do we have wellfare policies which create economic disincentives for and thus discourage marriage and two-parent households? African -Americans are much more likely to attend under-performing schools. So why fight so hard against school choice, accountability for poorly performing teachers and school administrators? Because actually fixing those problems would offend important Democratic constituencies, like the NEA. Better to just ignore the causes and screw up the results by glossing over them with reverse discrimination.

              1. The problem is, from a correlation versus causation standpoint, you have it backwards.

                They’ve done the studies, and all those so called environmental factors don’t make as much a difference as people think. A high IQ person born into dysfunction will do better than a low IQ person born into the perfect situation, statistically speaking. The fact is people are born with a certain IQ range they will land in genetically, slightly varying on environmental factors. Studies show IQ in individuals is between 50-80% heritable, with almost all studies landing in the 60-70% range.

                Black scores, even after accounting for the above factors and comparing them to whites/Asians/Hispanics with the same negatives still score lower. This is because black IQs are 10-15 points lower than whites on average, and 15-20 points lowers than Asians.

                As I said above, there MAY be as yet undiscovered environmental factors that explain this… But in the here and now, black communities are dysfunctional BECAUSE they have low IQs, not the other way around.

                Blacks and whites with similar IQs, for instance, have similar criminality rates… There are just a lot fewer whites that fall into that end of the spectrum as a percentage of the white population.

                This stuff is all known from countless studies. Google stuff if you want to know more!

        2. It’s an article of faith on the part of anti-discrimination warriors that all groups are similarly situated, so that any disparities in results have to be a result of discrimination. It’s just a question of identifying where the discrimination took place.

          1. As I asked in college, what cultural things do whites and Asians have in common that, simultaneously, blacks and Hispanics do not have?

            It’s not like whites and Asians, culturally, are really that similar.

            1. Whites and Asians are, culturally, more alike than Asians and blacks. With whites situated in the middle. Speaking in broad generalities, of course, because culture is only vaguely correlated with race and ethnicity, and even then only locally. A friend of mine who happens to be black is as culturally ‘white’ as any of my white friends, for instance. We’re just speaking averages here.

              I’m married to a Filipina “tiger mom”, and watching her raise our son, I can see that she exhibits some of the same traits, such as a determination that he *has* to do his homework to the absolute best of his ability, not just “good enough”, that my own mother had shown. Only in a more extreme way, such as starting with flash cards when he was only 6 months old.

            2. As Brett says, we really are more similar.

              Start going down stereotypical cultural traits and you’ll see a lot more alignment between honkies and Asians in terms of “positive” cultural traits.

              Also, see above IQ comments. Whether or not it’s genetic, white and Asian IQs are close, and IQ is the greatest predictor of life success we have yet found. There’s a reason why the exact same hierarchy of success repeats itself everywhere in the entire world where different ethnicities find themselves.

      2. If your group doesn’t perform well, of course there is discrimination baked in.

        1. But it’s not necessarily at the college admissions level. I could be cultural, or from high school, or other factors.

    2. And even if the meritocracy were perfectly achieved, you also assume that the best educational outcomes follow from a purely merit-based admissions process. There’s basically a consensus among scholars that a pure meritocracy in education is suboptimal.

      1. It comes down to two choices. You can ban discrimination, which means endorse a meritocracy, and which means you have to eliminate all information which could allow discrimination; or you can stop making discrimination illegal, stop categorizing it in law, stop compartmentalizing it, stop trying to allow certain kinds and not others and favoring still others.

        There really is no in-between.

        1. Why the binary? Is a middle ground favoring minorities not valid for the reasons above?

          1. “Is a middle ground favoring minorities not valid for the reasons above?”

            Your “middle ground” perpetuates discrimination rather than either curing it or ending it.

            1. That seems to be the OP’s thesis. But I have given two counter-arguments – the meritocracy isn’t, and is actually perpetuating discrimination itself, and that a diverse campus lifts all boats.

              1. You want to claim the metitocracy isn’t really, fine, go ahead. But at the moment, to the extent it isn’t a meritocracy, most of the discrimination is against asians, and in favor of blacks.

                1. at the moment, to the extent it isn’t a meritocracy, most of the discrimination is against asians, and in favor of blacks.

                  In order to believe that, Brett, you assume the baseline is a meritocracy, which is exactly the assumption I am challenging.

          2. What definition of “discrimination” do you use that does not recognize “favoring” as discriminatory?

            What world do you live in?

          3. So why is it that bringing in other races provides a benefit? Or is it due to some other non-racial reason? Is it diversity of skin, or diversity of ideas? You can have a monoculture with no diverse ideas while having the most diverse skin color group in existence. You can have a very diverse group of thought with everyone having the same skin tone.

            1. This.
              How does admitting Malia Obama enhance anyone’s educational experience; other than Malia’s, I guess.?

              1. It doesn’t, really. But Sandra O’Connor told them that they’d have to find some other excuse besides remedying discrimination to justify racial discrimination, and “educational benefit” is conveniently one that the discriminating entities can semi-plausibly claim an expert opinion regarding.

                So, by default, that’s the excuse they give. It’s not like they expect anybody to believe it, it’s just a pro forma claim.

            2. Having diverse people around doesn’t accomplish shit, either in school or the workplace.

              You need diversity of ideas, but unless you’re talking about running marketing campaigns specifically targeting a certain ethnic group or something (where I could see a benefit of somebody from that group having input), I just don’t see where skin color alone is going to do shit all.

              It’s all just one of a million things taken on faith with zero evidence by progtards. In fact, there is a TON of evidence that diversity actually creates a lot more conflict and trouble, but you’ll never hear anything about that.

              Almost all the greatest achievements in the history of mankind were achieved by groups of THE SAME PEOPLE working together, not groups that look like some diversity is our strength propaganda poster from a modern American university.

              At the large scale, we can see just how much trouble diversity makes. If America were a 100% white country, or 100% anything else for that matter… We would have ZERO political turmoil caused by stupid issues like this. ZERO. Imagine all the time and trouble Japan saves by NOT having to worry about nonsense like this, and just gettin’ shit handled.

          4. Why the binary? Is a middle ground favoring minorities not valid for the reasons above?

            How does discrimination ever lead to equality?

            And why is skin color diversity so much more important than, say, intellectual or viewpoint diversity?

            1. Intellectual and viewpoint diversity are both much more important than skin color diversity, but, in the opinion of academia, they’re important in a negative sense. They’re something that has to be limited, because they imply people might legitimately disagree with the left.

            2. Well, for one I have no idea what ‘intellectual diversity’ is. And viewpoint diversity is far to mutable to be a useful metric for students. (I do rather like it as a metric for faculty)

              But skin color matters because we’ve decided in the past skin color matters, and closing our eyes doesn’t make it stop mattering.
              It’s also a decent proxy for a lot of other diverse backgrounds.
              Look at the dialogue about race in this country. Skin color is going to be addressed at some point whether we want it to or not.

              1. So, in the end, it’s “Affirmative action today, affirmative action tomorrow, affirmative action forever.” The designated fall guys have to resign themselves to being the fall guys in perpetuity.

                No. Just no.

                1. Again you assume your answer – there remains a question about who the fall-guys are, or indeed if there are any fall-guys at all.

              2. Sarcastr0, that cartoon is nonsense.

                80-90% of everything accomplished in this country was done by WHITE PEOPLE doing the work themselves… Because white people were always 80-90% of the population until the last couple decades. If anything we probably were responsible for MORE than our raw population share of the success in this country, because of all the inventions and high value work that was overwhelmingly done by whites, including for the century and a half since slavery ended.

                The fact is that Asians don’t need a hand up. I don’t hear Indians or Arabs bitching about these things much either… Hell, Hispanics come to the USA with 8th grade educations (the average of an illegal immigrant from Mexico), not speaking the language, and STILL do better financially AND in terms of criminality than American born blacks… So how long are we going to allow the “But we wuz slaves!” excuse to hold up? 100 years? 200? 500?

                At some point, people have to take care of their own shit. Just sayin’ bro.

                1. 80-90% of everything accomplished in this country was done by WHITE PEOPLE doing the work themselves

                  how long are we going to allow the “But we wuz slaves!” excuse to hold up?

                  Nice dialect. Sure way to show you’re just an objective observer of race realism.

                  “In 2001, the Associated Press published a three-part investigation into the theft of black-owned land stretching back to the antebellum period. The series documented some 406 victims and 24,000 acres of land valued at tens of millions of dollars. The land was taken through means ranging from legal chicanery to terrorism. “Some of the land taken from black families has become a country club in Virginia,” the AP reported, as well as “oil fields in Mississippi” and “a baseball spring training facility in Florida.”

                  It’s not just slavery.

                  1. What’s your point?

                    You DO know that FAR MORE white people have been screwed out of THEIR land by sheisty politicians, thugs, etc as well right? Ever heard of Kelo asshole? All kinds of people have been screwed by people in power since the beginning of time, it wasn’t all just blacks getting hosed.

                    You’re simply making excuses.

                    AGAIN, if it’s ALL just white racism holding down blacks, why do Asians and other ethnic groups that were (or in your mind are) discriminated against doing far better than blacks? Despite usually coming from backgrounds that are even MORE disadvantaged than native born blacks. Somehow blacks are the only ones who CAN’T overcome white racism???

                    As for my vernacular, I grew up in a minority majority city in California for the first good chunk of my life. I knows how to slang nigga! At least when I feel like putting in the effort…

                    1. Blacks were targeted in America as a class though at least the 1980s. Judging them as a class without that context leads to some pretty bad conclusions. Conclusions you seem to have taken as convictions.

                      I’m not saying it’s just racism that’s holding down blacks, I’m saying denying that part of it will make you wrong.

                      Your anger that someone might challenge your thesis that blacks are inherently inferior betrays an underlying motivation that’s about more than just asking questions.

                    2. I don’t have a problem with people challenging “my thesis,” I have a problem with people making bullshit arguments that don’t stand up to logic.

                      AGAIN: If whites being dicks (in various ways) is why black people don’t succeed… Why does EVERY SINGLE OTHER ETHNIC GROUP do better than them? Despite all of them ALSO having been disadvantaged by whites? In some cases arguably even moreso in the present, such as lower education Hispanics who don’t even speak English when they get here… But do better than native born blacks instantly.

                      I’m not denying there was racism in the past. There totally was. I never said otherwise. But somehow it didn’t hold many of the groups back AT ALL, and seemingly held others up far less.

                      Logically, knowing lots of data you either don’t know or refuse to accept, I believe it is largely because of IQ. The level of success for ethnic groups perfectly tracks what one would expect from observed IQ scores. So do crime rates.

                      So yeah, racism existed… But it wasn’t just against blacks. The reason people aren’t “hard” on Asians anymore is because people aren’t really racist anymore… And thus Asians, who are upstanding citizens, don’t catch flack. Whereas the 13% of the population that commits half the murders does.

                      Disproportionate failure/punishment can be because a group EARNED that failure through their deeds too you know.

      2. Basically a concensus? 2nd link provides this statement:

        However, diversity has no statistically significant effect on GPA at the end of the first year

        1. That’s some disingenuous selective quoting.

          The sentence right before the one you quoted:
          I find that a higher degree of racial diversity in the conference causes a statistically significant increase in the humanities course grade and the grade point average (GPA) at graduation

          The sentence right after:
          These results contribute to the debate over affirmative action in higher education, and offer modest justification for race-based admissions policies

          What are you trying to pull?

          1. Its Harvard. GPA is meaningless, everyone there has grabbed the brass ring.

          2. A reading comprehension failure on my part. Long day, long hours.

            1. Gotcha. Didn’t mean to push back so harshly; I was in a hurry.

              1. Certainly makes the other folks trying to advocate for the misreading look a bit foolish!

          3. Did they break this down into which humanities courses it improved the grades in?

          4. If there’s any group being utterly disingenuous it’s university administrators and faculty touting the benefits of “diversity.”

            Speaking of disingenuous selective quoting, the author of that study also says:

            Hum 110 course grades also increase, but this estimated e?ect of diversity is statistically signi?cant only at the 10% level.

            So we are expected to believe that the effect of racial diversity is weaker in the very class where there is more diversity but the effect is stronger on the cumulative GPA? This magical result is speculated–not demonstrated with evidence–to be produced by social network effects. Piffle.

            However, lower ability students bene?t more from racial diversity in the classroom.

            So better students must be good Rawlsians and be saddled with benefiting the worst students.

            1. …You think the research is made up because the increase was less pronounced in this one class you intuit it should be maximized for?

              1. I’m not claiming that the research is “made up.” I’m expressing skepticism because the author did not demonstrate a causal mechanism with empirical evidence isolating the effect of that one class on cumulative GPA several years later (and the grade increase isn’t that large). And taken at face value the study undermines the oft repeated claim that the educational experience of a particular class is somehow enhanced simply by having more racial minorities.

                1. Even if it’s a correlation, not a causation, aren’t there still policy upshots if it’s a statistically significant result?

                  1. Not until you know the mechanism. Suppose the mechanism is, “In order to achieve diversity goals, the school admits unqualified students. Then it inflates grades to conceal that they’re unqualified.”

                    That would explain the correlation quite nicely, but it wouldn’t have the same policy implications as “The presence of people with different levels of melanin in their skin turns out to enhance academic performance.”

            2. I would be willing to bet the average GPA is actually far LOWER than if they school only admitted the most QUALIFIED students!

              If they only allowed in blacks, Hispanics, etc that earned entrance on merit, and filled the rest out with whatever combo of Asians, Jews, Whites, etc also earned it on merit… You would certainly have a far more capable class overall.

              So if they’re arguing that throwing in sub par students might help out the sub par students… MAYBE. But it’s not going to do better for the BETTER students who were not admitted to allow room for the sub par ones, or probably even the top tier students who did manage to make it in.

              This, however, is actually contrary to some research I had seen years back which actually showed that the dropout rates for students that were allowed into better unis than they deserved, as well as their scores, were actually hurt… Presumably because they got in over their heads, whereas they would have been in the “right spot” if they had gone to a school a level down.

    3. A meritocracy is good only if the playing field is level.

      Get back to me once this happens and we’ll talk.

      1. And, of course, disparate outcomes are proof of an uneven playing field: talk about gaming the argument.

        1. Right back atcha – are standardized tests a great proxy for merit? There’s some proof on the margins, but the main reason is that schools act like they are the sole best metric. Which is unproven.

          The fact that you’re implying blacks are statistically inferior in the meritocracy is not a good look, either.

          1. And with you it’s always about whether it’s a good look; not whether it’s sound reasoning.
            What’s a more meritocratic metric than the SAT/ACT?

            1. You’re kinda proving my point – what outcome is merit correlated for?

              I use ‘not a good look’ when the writer is saying something that’s not worth engaging with.

              If you want to raise your banner for the deep truth of black intellectual inferiority, have a good time but I’m not going to spend a lot of time going back-and-forth with you on it.

              1. It’s also not a good look to hide behind moral preening.

                1. Would you engage with someone ‘just asking questions’ about the Holocaust? No – because that dignifies the thesis.

                  So, too, with the thesis that blacks are just inferior mentally.

                  1. I don’t think it’s racist to suggest that there may be intelligence differences among races/ethnic groups but it is racist to act on that idea on an individual basis. For that reason I don’t see any use in exploring the idea. No good can come of it so it should be left alone.

                  2. It depends on the questions asked about the Holocaust, and the way in which the questions were posed.
                    The idea that we are not permitted to MENTION a topic, lest we hurt someone’s feelings is ludicrous, liberal bullshit designed to end arguments, not foster them.

                    1. It’s not feelings, Smooth, it’s policies.
                      White supremacists want bad things.

                    2. But just because a white supremacist says it’s raining–or that the VW bug was a hell of a car–that does not make the assertion morally questionable.

          2. If you can’t use OBJECTIVE MEASURES to test someones knowledge… What CAN you use?

            You’re basically saying that there is no way to know if anybody is smart or not, capable or not. This is nonsense. Everybody can tell an exceptionally smart person from an exceptionally dumb person after knowing them for a pretty short period… Testing people would provide much the same results as peoples gut on this front.

            My opinion is that all forms of testing are imperfect… But they give you a rough proxy for what any sane person would consider being smart, or having ability.

            The fact is that some groups do better than other groups… This holds true globally. As I mentioned above, the IQ gaps are large, globally consistent, and pretty consistent over time, with only very small narrowing over many decades. It may not be genetic, but IT IS real in the here and now.

            IQ tests are also imperfect, but a good enough proxy to make pretty good guesses at outcomes. The racial outcomes match up perfectly to observed IQ scores. If you want to end disparate outcomes, figure out what causes the IQ gap, and close it. Then we wouldn’t have disparate outcomes. Simple as that.

            1. Maybe a metrics-based system isn’t the best way to obtain optimal outcomes.

              ‘do better’ is assuming a paradigm that defines your conclusion. It’s bad logic, and bad policy.

              1. You’re just playing BS games now.

                Your argument is like saying:

                Throwing pitches at a guy trying to hit a ball with a baseball bat is a bad way to measure how good somebody is at batting in baseball… If they do well, it doesn’t REALLY prove they’re good at hitting baseballs… We need to come up with some OTHER standard to measure baseball batting ability other than hitting baseballs with a bat!

                It’s BS. Somebody ACTUALLY being good at doing math in the real world IS the best way to tell if somebody is good at doing math! Sure SOME people might also be good at it, and still do shitty on a test… But in the vast majority of cases it will be ballpark correct for any given individual, and at the statistical level it will be pretty solid.

                You are, AGAIN, making excuses because you don’t like the conclusion. You can bet your ass black folks wouldn’t be whining about SAT scores or IQ scores if Asians were the ones that did the worst, just like how Asians don’t whine about them now.

                1. Analogizing success in life with success in a baseball game is reductive. Lots of America is postured like that; I think it’s a bad idea.

                  Yeah, I have a point of view, but it’s more about the irrelevance of SATs and IQ scores (though also about their objectivity).

                  You also have a point of view, being hell-bent on blacks being inferior in some objective way.

                  1. Yes, I believe one can tell the difference between an apple and an orange through objective reasoning. I guess I’m CRAZY like that.

                    I’m not saying less bright people are BAD people. Or inherently evil. A lot of my best friends in life have not been that bright, but were super awesome people.

                    But that doesn’t change the fact that my buddy Bruce from high school, who is perhaps LITERALLY the nicest human being you could ever know, is incapable of being a rocket scientist or a computer programmer.

                    If an entire group of people has a statistical average IQ that means their “average” career prospect is being a shift lead at McDonalds… And another group has an “average” career prospect that ends up with them being an accountant… That is going to make ONE HELL of a difference in outcomes between those two groups.

                    The fact that they’re all equally nice, funny, charming, etc doesn’t really matter in the end. Assuming those traits are equally distributed, the smarter group will do far better. That’s all I’m saying. And if you’re going to bitch about disparate incomes, crime rates, etc the intelligence factor explains ALL of it based on known income/crime to IQ correlations.

                    Perhaps it will surprise you to know that many of my best friends as a kid… Were black. Same in high school. And same now as an adult. None of that chances statistical level outcomes based on average intelligence.

                    Being smart isn’t everything… But it makes a HUGE practical difference in life outcomes.

      2. You hate diversity.

      3. “A meritocracy is good only if the playing field is level.”

        I’m not sure that that’s true. Even if there is widespread systemic discrimination that prevents one group from being as qualified, that group is still less qualified.

        1. It’s almost as though meritocracy for meritocracy’s sake doesn’t have the best societal outcomes in the long run!

          1. In what way is placing under skilled individuals in an academic environment where they are less likely to succeed better for the societal outcome than not?

            1. Underskilled doing a lot of work here. You are assuming this hypothetical discriminated against group member falls under a threshold that there is no reason to believe is true.

              Whatever threshold exists is going to be modified by how engaging their profs are, their support system, and all sorts of other non-grade external factors that make that a questionable concept generally.

              1. Here’s the thing: We don’t have a SINGLE university in the entire country.

                The general concept has always been hierarchy of quality: Ivy league, other fancy private schools, good state universities, so-so state universities, community colleges/trade schools, etc.

                There is a hierarchy.

                If somebody does not meet the criteria to qualify for Harvard, which almost nobody of ANY ethnicity does as a percentage of the population… The answer isn’t to let the unqualified person into Harvard. It is to send them to a slightly lesser private school, or a top state uni. One where they DO meet the requirements.

                This isn’t robbing anybody, since nobody is telling somebody they CANNOT study a certain field… They’re just saying they have to study it as a level of school they deserve to get into.

                This way requires NO discrimination, and is equally fair to all. Keep in mind most Asians and whites aren’t cut out for Harvard either! There is no reason ANY particular person should get into Harvard if they’re not up to snuff… And that includes if they’re black or brown.

                1. Most of the hierarchy is based on smoke and mirrors anyway. Elite schools are overrated except as a means of punching tickets. At the undergraduate level in STEM fields (which are the only areas anyone should go to school for) one can get as good an education at almost any state university as at Harvard, Princeton or Yale.

                  1. Glad we agree – ticket punching is very much how our meritocracy works, and that’s dumb.

                  2. Well, I think a lot of that problem is more recent though… It is pretty well accepted that ALL levels of university have been dropping standards. Perhaps this has hit the Ivy League more than others?

                    Whatever the case, I think at the super high end, the top performers at such schools, working with some of the best professors in whatever field, are still a cut above random state school. Your professor at MIT is going to be somebody who is a LOT more badass than at random state school in most cases… If you’re a middle of the pack MIT guy, maybe it won’t make much difference for you… But for that top 1% of people at MIT, it might be the difference between settling into being a mediocre XYZ profession guy, and a real innovator.

                    Or not. But it almost surely won’t hurt. Other than your pocket book from the student loans maybe!

                    1. I think what you say applies more at the graduate level than the undergrad. If you are motivated and capable enough to do top-level physics, for example, you might be better off starting at Caltech as an undergrad, but mainly because you would be more likely to get into Caltech as a grad student. Almost any school with a decent physics program would be able to prepare you for Caltech or MIT at the grad level.

                    2. In New York City there is a whole educational treadmill where you start with the best preschool to get into the best kindergarden to get into the best elementary school etc. etc. all the way through undergrad.

                      That has nothing to do with ability, and as I noted @ 10:36AM, what we call ability is a very small set of what makes for good outcomes.

                    3. donojack, I think that would more or less be correct.

                      Sarcastr0, ability is NOT a “small set of what makes for good outcomes.”

                      Being intelligent is a pre-req for being able to do most high level things. It doesn’t GUARANTEE one will do will, that depends on diligence, hard work, and many other factors… But it is a pre-req. If somebody wants to be a painter, it probably doesn’t matter much if one is a genius or not… But if one wants to work on quantum physics, you probably do need to be a genius or near genius… Then whether you’re a GOOD physicist will depend on other factors, like creativity, etc.

                      Rudy made for an AWESOME movie… But Rudy didn’t make it into the NFL and set league records that have never been broken. That’s because that type of underdog thing is more fantasy than reality, unfortunately. There ARE Rudy’s out there, but they’re rare.

      4. Meritocracy is good even when the playing field is “uneven” because it undermines the legitimacy of all anti-merit practices. And Harvard and its defenders have failed to explain why Asian-Americans should bear a disproportionate burden for Harvard’s racial gerrymandering.

      5. Eliminating all indications of the race of the applicant would make the playing field level. Also, the goal should be to make the playing field level, not to accept that it will always be tilted or to tilt it the way you’d like to see it tilted rather than the way that you think it is tilted now.

        1. Actually, this has been tried… I think the biggest study was in Australia IIRC.

          When places have eliminated all race and gender information from applications in some studies, it actually benefited the exact people they were hoping would lose out… White and Asian males.

          Why?

          Because they have the best objective “stats” basically. In short, even when hiring isn’t being explicitly race/gender based, people in the modern west seem to tilt towards trying to make diversity hires… White guilt is a bitch! But once their ability to do this is removed, and they went purely on merit, white and Asian men kicked everybody elses asses.

          Which is probably the fair and just outcome mind you… But it’s not what the diversity is our strength crowd WANTS to happen. They want fewer whites, Asians, and males to be in important positions, whether in school or work.

  4. Former Democratic President Bill Clinton on why affirmative action is needed:


    Otherwise, he added, “there are universities in California that could fill their entire freshman classes with nothing but Asian Americans.”

    Source:
    Asian-American state senators block proposal to reintroduce race preferences in California

  5. Asians are the new Jews as far as Harvard is concerned.

    Unlike the 30s,Harvard can’t have actual hard quotas so they use “diversity” as a substitute. Same effect.

    1. Asians are the new Jews as far as Harvard is concerned

      This is an ugly card to play, for a number of reasons.

      1. The truth is sometimes ugly: the white liberals running Harvard use expect demure Asians to grin and bear it.

      2. Eppur si muove.

        1. Come on, don’t compare pre-World War II explicit antisemitism, with all the history that carries, to Asians not getting into Harvard in as high a number as one might expect.

          1. Sarcastro, could it be possible that you’re unaware that pre-World War II explicit antisemitism, with all the history that carries, was marching hand in hand with pre-World War II explicit bias against Asians, with all the history THAT carried?

            1. The experience of Asian Americans in WW-II is not America’s finest hour, but it’s nothing on the order of Jews worldwide at the time.

          2. This isn’t JUST Harvard you daft fool!

            This is EVERYWHERE.

            Most universities in the USA discriminate against Asians and whites, especially men. Most major companies do the exact same.

            Cumulatively over decades, there have probably been millions of Asians and whites that were not admitted to schools where they should have been, to make room for lesser students, just for the sake of diversity.

            So perhaps millions of BETTER students were forced to get a lesser education, which impacts their entire life. It could also impact the world. Imagine the guys who DIDN’T get into MIT to make room for a diversity student, who had lesser teachers at a state school, and perhaps were never able to quite get to their full potential because of that. Instead some hack muddled through with Cs, who couldn’t even fully appreciate or absorb the material… Because diversity!

            I want the best and brightest going to the best schools, because they will be the ones who get the good shit done that benefits the world at large. Harrison Bergeron is NOT something to emulate.

            1. Best and the brightest is just a bromide. What does it mean?

              Getting shit done can mean creativity, or dedication, or intuition, or IQ, or physical endurance, or lack of a family.

              I’m not saying we should stop using grades and standardized tests; I’m saying we shouldn’t clutch our pearls about every deviation from that norm.

              1. Well, like it or not, IQ seems to trump all those other things in life outcomes, on average. AVERAGE being the key thing.

                Obviously everybody can appreciate the fact that a high IQ slacker is… Still a slacker! And a slightly lower IQ guy who is really diligent will do better in life. But all other things being equal, having a higher IQ/grades will generally mean that person will do better.

                It’s not like that needs to be 100% of everything… But for academic based entrance criteria, it sure as shit should be the vast majority of it. You shouldn’t be letting in people with VASTLY lower scores because of their skin color, or because they’re awesome at telling jokes!

                This seems to me to just be more of your “But you can’t, like, REALLY define intelligence maaan. It’s, like, nebulous and stuff dude.”

                Which is true to a degree… But also a bullshit argument at a practical level. Everybody knows what people mean by being smart. It is measurable pretty well with LOTS of different types of tests. It predicts outcomes very well. WTF more do you want?

                1. Like it or not, your logic is circular. ‘What we define as merit does great in our meritocracy’ is tautological.

                  And it’s even worse than that because IQ isn’t what we use. Grades and tests attenuate that connection, and then there are the ever present relational benefits of knowing people.

                  You keep appealing to…your intuition, I guess? Go back and ask yourself what the purpose of our educational system is. The outcome we as a society are looking for isn’t grades.

                  Everyone knows what people mean by being smart, but now you’ve moved way beyond your original paeon to metrics. Smart isn’t even a metric! It’s as much social as actual – I was taught about vocab and etiquette and how to carry myself so people would think I was smart. And once they think you’re smart, you don’t need to pass any tests anymore.

                  1. Ugh.

                    We ALSO give people merit points for being strong, funny, etc. But when we’re talking about INTELLIGENCE based merit, only a single type of positive trait in our society… WTF else should we be using if not intelligence? Should being funny be the gauge we use for how intelligent somebody is???

                    I’ve already said I don’t even think IQ tests measure “book smarts” perfectly. But they measure them good enough to be functionally useful.

                    Grades and tests are actually a way of combining IQ and other positive qualities, like hard work and effort. So they’re not a bad way to judge things were intelligence and hard work are required to excel.

                    You’re still just trying to go back to “But how can we know the difference between pink and purple man? Like we can’t REALLY know… Because nothing is knowable man!”

                    It’s an entire mindset that is BS. While you can technically make those kind of arguments about a lot of things, practically speaking it’s useless to do so. We can tell the difference between pink and purple well enough to get functionally useful outcomes out of that knowledge… And that’s the important part.

          3. The whole point is that it wasn’t explicit. (I mean, yes, there was plenty of explicit anti-semitism, but not by Harvard.) Rather, Harvard cloaked its fear of having too many Jews in the guise of a desire for diversity.? Similarly, we’ve seen too much evidence that the real issue here is a fear of their matriculating classes being too Asian. Based on stereotypes about what Asians are like.

            ?This desire manifested only when the Jewish problem arose; before that, they were perfectly happy to have a homogenous class of rich primarily northeastern WASPs.

  6. Discriminatory practices, if performed by Liberals, are not discriminatory.

  7. If the “additional” Asian Americans at Harvard would be getting admitted at the expense of African American, Latinx, and Native American applicants, then we can confidently say that in fact there are “too many Asians.” Scientific research shows that a diverse student body is necessary to provide a decent education. If Asian Americans are severely over-represented while other black and brown students are almost entirely absent, it’s literally impossible to create a healthy learning environment.

    As a left-libertarian, I hope Harvard continues considering an 1100 SAT score adequate for non-Asian racial minorities.

    1. Do you also propose to grade these underperforming students on a special curve for 4 years?

      1. As someone who shares his general viewpoint, I very much hope he’s satire.

    2. There are absolutely no legitimate research that shows that racial diversity is necessary for any education, much less a decent or good one.

    3. If the “additional” Asian Americans are getting in at the expense of the others you list because those Asian Americans are more qualified according to non-biased standards, then in fact there are NOT “too many Asians.” There is no scientific research showing that a diverse student body is necessary to provide a decent education. As Stuart Taylor, and others, have shown, the scientific research on this subject shows the opposite. The idea that a diverse student body is necessary for a decent education — whatever diverse is supposed to mean — is a fantasy invented by those who want to keep discriminating in favor of their preferred minorities. By the way, my understanding is that on a lot of college campuses these days, black and brown students strive to separate themselves from other students as much as possible. What’s healthy about that?

    4. That’s right! All those European, American, and Asian universities that were filled with ONLY the single race they had back in the day… Nobody learned a single thing! They DEFINITELY didn’t produce the greatest scientists, inventors, scholars, etc in the world!

      There was literally NO SUCH THING as an educated person before western nations allowed in 10s of millions of people from other parts of the world to diversify their school systems! Those poor people in Asia STILL don’t have real educations, because Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, etc don’t allow mass immigration into their nations… Every one of their STEM graduates just has a SHAM degree, because they can’t possibly be educated without black and brown students in the class room!

      /sarc

      FUN FACT: American educational scores relative to the rest of the world HAVE NOT actually gone down over the last few decades… When you account for ethnicity. White, Jewish, and Asian students in America are still towards the top of the world scores… What has lowered our ranking is the increasingly non white population in the USA. Look it up, it’s true!

  8. Certainly Harvard needs more Asians like her, yowza!

  9. Someday we will end the racism of counting people by race but no in my lifetime. Too many profiting off racism. Not helping anyone just using them for profit.

  10. Every Chinese kid in my hometown went to an Ivy League school. Most then went on to medical or law school. They didn’t have much in the way of extracurricular activities, so I don’t think they could do it today, but back then they did. They were not necessarily smarter, but education and study was emphasized and they stuck to it.

    Which was a Good Thing(tm)! Their parents came over here dirt poor, raised them in a dirt poor environment running a cleaner or grocery, and their kids got into Brown and are now ophthalmologist and lawyers. Why the Left thinks this is horrible is beyond my comprehension.

    1. But it’s a complement!

      Model minority is still a stereotype, and still harmful.

      1. Oh, I see. From Jeff Guo, Washington Post reporter, quoted in the article about Asian-Americans:

        “…the greatest thing that ever happened to them wasn’t that they studied hard, or that they benefited from tiger moms or Confucian values. It’s that other Americans started treating them with a little more respect.”

        Jeff Guo’s quote does suggest that Asian-American intelligence is overrated.

        1. Anyway, within groups with a history of being oppressed, you’ll always find people who figure that, while they’re waiting for the oppression and racism to go away, they may as well do what they can to make a success of themselves.

          Maybe your success will make people love you, maybe it will provoke them to envy, but meanwhile you’re ahead of where you used to be.

          1. And all the while you can mobilize politically to get access to the three boxes – ballot, jury and cartridge.

        2. …and Asians got more respect when they started kicking ass academically and in the workplace.
          If the Browns start winning Super Bowls, the jokes will stop.
          It’s pretty simple (of course, that does not mean the process is easy): over-perform, and the market and culture will reward you.

          1. Why do you think Asians were so over the moon about that Crazy Rich Asians movie? They’re still very much on the outside culturally.
            A positive stereotype hanging over you can be as much of a trap as a negative one.

            Plus, of course, all this praise seems to mostly come up in order to crap on other minorities.

            1. Anyone thinks black people can do just as well as Asians is obviously a racist.

            2. A positive stereotype hanging over you can be as much of a trap as a negative one.

              That… seems implausible.

      2. Bullshit. Left-wingers just don’t like the fact that a particular minority group can succeed without government intervention because it points to the futility of their solutions. They need Asians to stay in the coalition, so they lie, and tell them that when outsiders recognize their achievements, those outsiders are discriminating against them. Recognizing the success of Asians is harmful to no one but lefty identitarians.

        1. Asians don’t vote as a coalition.

          And your logic doesn’t work – even if a group succeeds without a policy doesn’t mean the policy can’t help other groups succeed.

          I’ll ignore the bad faith implication and telepathic speculation about liberals REAL agenda, as that’s the usual around here.

          1. “And your logic doesn’t work – even if a group succeeds without a policy doesn’t mean the policy can’t help other groups succeed.”

            This is the real world, there’s rarely enough hard data to apply formal logic, and rigorously PROVE your conclusion true.

            But this is the Asians’ real sin: Demonstrating that you don’t have to become a client race of the Democratic party in order to overcome discrimination. Demonstrating that hard work actually works better.

            Some interesting data.

            Blacks have actually been regressing on some key indices while relying on “policy”; Out of wedlock births have exploded, to become their norm. The wealth gap has actually been *expanding*, not contracting; While they’ve made progress in incomes, it’s been less progress than whites, not more. The ratio of black to white unemployment hasn’t budged, it’s about 2-1. In 1930, blacks actually had a LOWER unemployment rate than whites!

            This isn’t “policy” helping. This is actually the prior trend of improvement being arrested, accompanied by widespread cultural damage.

            1. Your denial of the agency of other minorities is noted. Do you vote because you’re bribed to do so? Than stop assuming this is true for other races.

              Your concerns about black outcomes might be worth engaging if the GOP’s alternate policy wasn’t ‘screw ’em.’

      3. Maybe it’s the fact that Asians have objectively better outcomes and live “better” lives by every conceivable metric that makes white people respect them?

        I mean they get better test scores than us, they make more money than us, they commit fewer crimes than us, the get divorced less often than us, they… Well I think you get the point.

        And that’s all them doing better than WHITE FOLKS. You wanna compare Asian crime rates to black… Boy howdy, quite a gap there. If blacks weren’t over represented in murder statistics by about 4x their percentage of the population, MAYBE people wouldn’t think blacks committed more crimes?

        Asians DID SHIT RIGHT FIRST, then people stopped being sketched out by them. Look at WWII propaganda posters and stuff. People were super racist against Asians. But when we had more exposure to them, and saw they were upstanding people… People stopped having problems with them. If blacks did the same, I am 110% confident the same would happen.

        No more excuses.

        1. Respect isn’t a collective grant. What white people are you even speaking for?

          1. Actually, it is. If you ask for privileges as a “community,” you get respect that way too.

          2. Huh?

            You, and people like you, are the ones saying that white people COLLECTIVELY are COLLECTIVELY holding down black people.

            Obviously IMO most white people DO take most people, including blacks, as individuals. This probably happens 99% of the time IMO.

            But whatever amounts of collective pros/cons are bestowed on different groups by other groups are largely based on how those groups behave on average.

            There’s a REASON people are more sketched out by the theoretical idea of a big black dude walking up behind them in an alley late at night, versus a big Asian dude.

            I don’t try to deny there are some lingering collective ideas about stuff like some do. I think most people most of the time in normal life take people as they find them, whatever their race… But I’m not so delusional I don’t realize blacks commit crimes at vastly higher rates than any other group. And many people know this. So there’s a reason for the model minority stereotype (because Asians are), and the black criminal stereotype (because they are).

            It ain’t pretty, but it’s true according to the numbers.

  11. Asians are the new whites, and until the historical effects of discrimination against African-American, Hispanic, and Native American populations in America are fully eliminated, they’ll just have to get over giving up their seats to more vulnerable candidates. Of course, there’s a perfectly valid libertarian case for affirmative action, but most idiots who apply that label to themselves would never comprehend it.

    1. Another Mini-Me!

      I’m starting to think some of you guys secretly crush on me, much as the most virulent gay-bashers tend to be exposed as closet cases.

      1. I have rarely seen rank homophobia like that espoused by the leftists as they gleefully drag a conservative homosexual out of the closet. Similarly, the worst examples of racism I’ve ever witnessed have been directed at black conservatives by the leftists. And Hillary Clinton never experienced sexism like that heaped on Sarah Palin during the 2008 campaign. It’s almost like the American left is projecting whenever they bleat about the -isms and -phobias they claim are plaguing American society.

        1. You should stick with the right’s backwardness and bigotry, Jeff Kleppe. It seems to suit you.

          (People didn’t object to Sarah Palin because she was a woman. They objected to her because she was a half-educated dope, a lousy parent, and an unqualified candidate.)

          1. Sorry Rev, but as a conservative I still have memory of the time that existed before November 2016. The basis for the majority of the leftist attacks on Palin had to do with her gender (unless your contention is that they called her a c*** and other female-centric epithets to express their displeasure at her qualifications).

  12. If Harvard let in more Asians and had to reduce Black students, if the graduation ceremonies are an indication, they’d be forced to reduce their sociology and education faculty and add to their math and science staff.

    Nearly a century ago, a Harvard president said their school of education was a kitten that ought to be drowned… it isn’t too late. There is no academic there there.

    1. This is a decent comment.
      But I comment separately to say that this is my favorite commenter nickname ever.

  13. As a person of mostly white heritage, I say let merit win.

    As a MERE white man, I understand this means Asians will edge out whites in a fair system… Yet somehow I am okay with this. Why can’t other groups accept that a group might be able to do better than their group BECAUSE THEY DESERVE IT? As a white guy, I don’t want a handout. Why do so many other groups?

    As I mentioned above, if it was purely merit based for all colleges, this doesn’t mean somebody won’t be able to go to school and study XYZ… It just means they’ll have to go to a school that is befitting their intellectual capacity. Not everybody deserves to go to Harvard or MIT. This is okay. They can go to a nice state school to study CompSci, and they’ll still do just fine in life.

    They won’t do as well as the guy who got into MIT probably, but they actually DESERVED to be at MIT, which is the big difference. The best and brightest need to go to the best schools. THIS will be what creates the best results for the world at large.

    Doing it the other way is a more moderate version of the idea that we should not send geniuses to school past the 8th grade, because they’re smart and will figure things out on their own anyway… A dumb ass idea.

  14. The leftists who refuse to accept IQ differences are setting up for a failure of Western society. We’re successful largely because of the 100 average IQ of Caucasian people. A majority Hispanic society made up of 85-90 IQ mestizos won’t be able to carry on the society built by Caucasians. Do leftists realize this, and not care, or are they burying their heads in the sand?

  15. Posting a week late on a dead thread is ipso facto proof of low IQ but I can’t resist attacking the inherent bias mechanism of prestigious universities (Harvard, MIT, Stanford, etc.) handing out can’t miss credentials when in many spheres of knowledge and intellectual discourse their faculty, their curricula, and their campus culture wandered off into the weeds decades ago.

    They are dinosaurs, eating up the money like tall green grass, but not producing nutritious fertilizer at the other end. They can be replaced. Extinction may loom.

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