The U.S. Education Department is probing complaints that Harvard University and Princeton University discriminate against Asian-Americans in undergraduate admissions
Please tell me when higher education entrances was not based in some ways upon skin color? Either it's been anti diversity for segregationist reasons, or there have been some applicants who have to perform better in the hopes of achieving diversity. If Asian-Americans are only discovering this now, they are certainly behind Caucasian-Americans who have faced this play out in affirmative action.
This issue is not as clear cut as one would perhaps like. Diversity of student population benefits everyone. This may mean that someone with lesser grades and test scores may get into a reputable college in place of someone who performed better traditionally speaking. I fail to see the big AHA moment you clearly wish to express with this subject introduction.
How do you think this will affect a half Asian American - half Caucasian American child?
I was rejected from Amherst College because "we accepted a Jewish kid from your high school just two years ago. It's too soon for another."
Discrimination in college admissions is nothing new, and it isn't limited to color.
But in other ABC news, how about that Jeremy Lin huh.
When I was a senior at Thomas Jefferson High back in Spring, 1970, a friend of one of my class mates applied for admission and was rejected by the University of Puerto Rico. His pal was a Puerto Rican straight A student who got very high grades on the SATs. While the school rejected him, it accepted the application of a white guy from somewhere in Queens (don't recall off hand where exactly). Evidently, the school thought that student diversification was more important than admitting the best qualified students at that time.
When I was a kid, my family lived in Hawaii. My older sister graduated from high school there, and had less than stellar grades. My family was not wealthy.
Despite this, she was accepted into a very competitive school in Boston. We were all amazed.
Then, a few months into her freshman year, it all made sense when the school launched an advertising campaign that proclaimed:
"We have students from all 50 states."
number of students reportedly attending from Hawaii: 1.
Number of students from each other state: Greater than 6.
Colleges have been doing this for years. You want to get into Harvard? You're better off moving to North Dakota for your senior year of high school and applying from there. I knew a white kid from LI with okay grades who wanted to be a doctor. He applied to Howard University's 7-yr medical program and got accepted as a diversity candidate.
Merit has very little to do with anything in this world. While I appreciate that the civil rights battles brought to the forefront the concept of fairness in access to opportunities, the reality is that what is fair to one group is inherently unfair to another. And those who benefit from the unfairness never want to give up their rights. In my lifetime, Harvard will never be a majority minority school, even if the minority is made up of both foreign and domestic born students of any color. I have no doubt that if you were to force this issue, you'd see the same thing at Harvard that happened at UC Berkley - The Asian student population would increase, the Black and Hispanic populations would decrease, and the percentage of Whites would remain the same.
Perhaps needless to say, the topic and associated terms ("affirmative action", "privilege" and "social engineering", etc.) have become so loaded that reasonable discourse is almost impossible.
This guy seems pretty thoughtful and balanced on the topic:http://tulane.academia.edu/CarlLBankston/Papers/959923/Engineering_the_Competition_Affirmative_Action_as_Subsidized_Mobility
He carefully uses the terms "well born" and "social origins" to avoid the baggage of those I mention above.
When being white dosen't help
The real secret of class in white America is that whiteness is like our own Frankenstein. We built a giant creature of spectacle and entitlement that has taken on a life of its own, requiring more of our resources to feed it. But no matter what their class status, no white American is ever quite that white.
Knew a guy in high school who had middling grades and was accepted to Harvard based upon a high SAT score and his putting "African-American" on his entrance forms. Technically, this was absolutely factual.
However, his family was Afrikaner, i.e., white South Africans, who had emigrated to NY a year or two before he was born.
Pretty slick. And annoying.
Although he might be annoying, I can't say I blame him.
After all, his goal was to get the best education he can, and he had no legal obligation to let society's goal of "righting the legacy left from slavery" or "establishing diversity" trump his own self interests.
However, I suspect that he only shares this aspect of his "secret to success" with select friends.
After all, such tactics are likely to make everyone (White, Black, Asian, etc) who would have loved to get into Harvard or another Ivy League school, angry at him out of a belief that "he" somehow took their spot.
Of course, similar tactics and opportunities exist for ambitious people in other fields. For example, there are lots of for-profit companies and consultants out there that will coach you and your firm on how to become eligible for the preferential treatment given to MWBE certified firms.
Needless to say, the best consultants know the fewest and/or cheapest number of changes that will result in certification. It's illogical to expect a firm to do more work than needed, right?