Now for some of you, this post is going to be a surprise. Most of you will have learned in school that whites are racist against blacks, and that’s why blacks underperform in education. What you probably didn’t know is that Asians outperform in education, so that “racism” cannot possibly be what is holding back blacks. However, there is real racism and discrimination in education. It comes from the university admissions people, who want to punish Asian-Americans for their academic success. They want to keep them out of the best universities, because there are too many of them, and it threatens “diversity”.
According to this very popular article in ultra-leftist The Economist, the Asian-Americans are pushing back against the progressive racists in academia.
The article says:
MICHAEL WANG, a young Californian, came second in his class of 1,002 students; his ACT score was 36, the maximum possible; he sang at Barack Obama’s inauguration; he got third place in a national piano contest; he was in the top 150 of a national maths competition; he was in several national debating-competition finals. But when it came to his university application he faced a serious disappointment for the first time in his glittering career. He was rejected by six of the seven Ivy League colleges to which he applied.
“I saw people less qualified than me get better offers,” says Mr Wang. “At first I was just angry. Then I decided to turn that anger to productive use.” He wrote to the universities concerned. “I asked: what more could I have done to get into your college? Was it based on race, or what was it based on?” He got vague responses—or none. So he complained to the Department of Education. Nothing came of it. “The department said they needed a smoking gun.”
In May this year Mr Wang joined a group of 64 Asian-American organisations that made a joint complaint to the Department of Education against Harvard, alleging racial discrimination. That follows a lawsuit filed last year against Harvard and the University of North Carolina by a group of Asian-American students making similar charges. The department rejected the claim in July, but another two complaints have since been filed by Asian-Americans, one against Harvard and one against nine other universities.
The article points out that Ivy League universities are allowed to discriminate against Asians by race. So Asian admissions are flat. But at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), which is the top experimental science university in the United States, Asian admissions have been soaring. Why? California does not allow discrimination by race in admissions.
Here’s the graph:
Some Asians allege that the Ivy Leagues have put an implicit limit on the number of Asians they will admit. They point to Asians’ soaring academic achievements and to the work of Thomas Espenshade and Alexandria Walton Radford of Princeton, who looked at the data on admissions and concluded that Asian-Americans need 140 SAT points out of 1,600 more than whites to get a place at a private university, and that blacks need 310 fewer points. Yet in California, where public universities are allowed to use economic but not racial criteria in admissions, 41% of Berkeley’s enrolments in 2014 were Asian-Americans and at the California Institute of Technology 44% were (see chart).
[…]For the moment the court has taken the view that universities may take race into account, but racial quotas are not on. The Ivies deny running a racial quota. But in its comment on the Asian groups’ complaint, Harvard defends the use of race as a criterion in admission—“a class that is diverse on multiple dimensions, including on race, transforms the educational experience of students from every background and prepares our graduates for an increasingly pluralistic world”—and describes its admissions process as “holistic”, meaning it takes into account considerations wider than mere test scores.
Many Asian parents think this is wrong. They woke up a long time ago to the need to counter the stereotype of the maths-nerd Asian who does nothing but work, and encouraged their children to diversify—into music, debating, charity work, sports, everything that is supposed to increase students’ chances of admission. But many who have excelled in those areas, including Mr Wang and Irene Liu, a student from Massachusetts with a similarly stellar CV, were rejected by the Ivy League. Ms Liu’s mother, Tricia, says, “I feel angry about it. We came for the American dream: you work hard, you do well. This just doesn’t add up.” Irene has accepted a place at a top Canadian university, and is happy about it. Her mother isn’t: “It breaks my heart that she’s going abroad. If she had gone to Harvard, I could have brought her dumplings.”
I often blog about depressing and negative things on this blog because there is so much going wrong in a world run by the secular left, especially because church pastors and Christian parents seem to be so committed to the idea that Christianity has nothing to do with anything outside of the church walls. But this topic is a big win for us. We should be open to presenting conservative ideas and values to Asian-Americans. We have BOTH of the Asian-American governors (Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley) as conservative Republicans. We also favor more choice and competition in education. There is an opportunity for new alliances here. I am hopeful.
UPDATE: Asian friend writes this to me:
I sounded the alarm on this years ago. But what has come of it? The lesson I have learned is that Asians don’t count. Asians don’t count as a minority, even though we are the smallest minority. Asians don’t count as non-whites, even though liberals in particular are sexually aroused by the fantasy of the exotic in Asian culture, particularly women. Asians don’t count as a governmentally oppressed group, even though the first racially specific legislation passed in Congress was the Chinese Exclusion act of 1882 and were targeted for internment camps during WWII. Asians don’t count, because despite all hardships, Asians do not waste time trying to rectify the past but make a better lives for themselves. And in so doing, they make a better lives for their children and their community. The successes of Asians in America is a big negative pull on the narrative of the Left, but it has no effect. Why not? Because flouting the narrative renders Asians as a people group irrelevant, to be ignored over #blacklivesmatter or whatever.
Asian woes have been more recent than slavery, yet they seem to be doing fine. Maybe their strong views of marriage and family have something to do with it?