Riddle: when is discrimination against a historically disadvantaged racial minority perfectly legal? Answer: when they do too well.
The first ruling on the Students for Fair Admissions suit against Harvard University is in. A federal judge in Massachusetts concluded last month that for America’s be-all-and-end-all university to discriminate against Asian applicants in order to serve the all-hallowed goal of ‘diversity’ is constitutional. (Or strictly speaking, if you can follow this logic, the university did not discriminate against Asians by discriminating against them.) The reasoning: ‘Race conscious admissions will always penalize to some extent the groups that are not being advantaged by the process.’ The decision has already been appealed, and the case is likely to land in the Supreme Court.
For American schools, the sole purpose of turning ‘diversity’ into a crowning educational asset has been to disguise the affirmative action that these same universities once openly pursued and now can legally enforce only by calling the practice something else. Fifty years ago, the notion took hold in the US that racial equality would never evolve naturally, but had to be socially engineered by giving historically disadvantaged groups an active leg up, especially in higher education. Bald racial quotas and substantially lower admission standards for minorities became commonplace. Yet using racism to combat racism obviously doesn’t sit easily with the 1964 Civil Rights Act, so multiple previous cases of this nature have ended up in the Supreme Court — whose rulings on the matter have been, to use a technical jurisprudential term, a big mess.
What makes the Students for Fair Admissions case different is that it’s not white high school students with excellent records objecting to being shafted. Asian applicants to Harvard with dazzling grades and perfect test scores, who play the violin, speak four languages, volunteer for the Big Brothers program, captain the volleyball team, adopt rescue dogs and memorize the value of pi to 31.4 trillion digits have still received rejection letters in droves.
How is this possible? Like many choice American universities, Harvard still deploys racial quotas, but by covert means. (After all, how else are schools to achieve ‘diversity’?) Suspiciously, in concert with the other Ivies, and in defiance of fluctuating application numbers, Harvard’s freshman class has nearly identical racial proportions from year to year. To arrange this improbable symmetry, admissions staff have systematically downgraded inconveniently accomplished Asians on their ‘personal ratings’ — purely subjective assessments of character traits such as leadership. Although the federal judge allowed that these dismal personal ratings could have been the product of ‘unconscious bias’ (stereotypically, Asians are compliant and unimaginative), the truth is clearly more disagreeable. Depressed personal ratings are intended to skew the data and suppress Asian admissions.
Asians are doing too well and have to be stopped. They work too hard. They are too disciplined. They are too willing to make short-term sacrifices to reach long-term goals. They are too inclined to obey their parents. They stay up too late studying and get up too early to resume studying. Obviously it’s not fair.
And they’re making too much money! In the US as of 2017, the approximate median household income for blacks was $40,200, for Hispanics $49,800, for whites $63,700, but for Asians more than $83,000! It gets worse: for ethnic Indians, median household earnings were $120,000.
“The Asian American success story” so dramatically illustrates that all cultures are not equal, and that hard work, a strong traditional family structure, and a willingness to jump in the melting pot pay off big time for those who adhere to those principles. The American left just cannot stand for those differences in culture to be emphasized and rewarded.