Monday, June 18, 2018

Is Harvard doing to Asians what it used to do to Jews?

Glenn Reynolds says:

I wrote four years ago that it looked as if Asian applicants to Harvard were getting the "Jewish treatment" — that is, being subjected to quotas, and rated down on “soft” qualifications, so as to keep their numbers lower than their objective qualifications would warrant. This is what Ivy League schools did to Jewish applicants for much of the 20th century, because Jewish applicants were seen as boring grinds who studied too hard, and whose parents weren’t rich enough or connected enough to contribute to the schools’ flourishing.

The Ivy League eventually ended its quotas for Jews, suspiciously at about the time that there were enough rich and well-connected Jews to benefit the Ivy League. But now it’s doing the same thing to Asians. At least, that’s the charge made in a lawsuit charging Harvard with racial discrimination against Asian-American applicants. And I for one believe that Harvard is as guilty of anti-Asian discrimination now as it was of anti-Jewish discrimination back around the time I was born.

One of the things that highly selective schools like Harvard like to say is that their admission policy is “holistic,” based on personal characteristics that go beyond high school grades or SAT scores. This goes back to the early days of discrimination against Jews, when things such as “leadership” or “well-roundedness” were used to favor rich WASP applicants over Jews who just studied hard. And, often, there was a thumb on the scale.

Now that’s happening to Asians . . . .