Lawsuit claims Harvard admissions penalizes Asian-Americans

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jserraglio
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Lawsuit claims Harvard admissions penalizes Asian-Americans

Post by jserraglio » Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:10 pm

WSJ — Education

Nonprofit says the Ivy League school penalizes Asian-Americans by giving them lower ratings on personal traits during admissions process

Harvard University and the organization accusing it of discriminating against Asian-American applicants each say race plays a role in the school’s admissions decisions, but sharply disagree about whether that constitutes evidence of illegal bias, according to court documents filed on Friday.
The filings are part of a lawsuit in Boston federal court brought against the Ivy League school in 2014 by Students for Fair Admissions, a nonprofit whose members include Asian-Americans who were denied admission to Harvard. The motions are effectively a preview for the trial in the case, which begins in October.
The lawsuit claims Harvard’s admissions process is unconstitutional and illegal under federal civil rights law because it intentionally discriminates against Asian-American applicants and holds them to a higher standard. The plaintiffs have said their goal is to reach the Supreme Court.
The filings, which contain hundreds of pages and rely on data for individual applicants to the classes that entered Harvard between 2010 and 2015, give the public the most detailed look ever at Harvard’s method for selecting its incoming undergraduate class.
Each Harvard applicant is given four component ratings—academic, extracurricular, athletic and “personal”—and an overall score that is assigned by taking all factors into account. Within each category, applicants are scored on a scale from 1 to 6, with 1 being the best. Admissions decisions are made by a 40-person committee vote.
The plaintiffs found in their analysis that Asian-American applicants have higher academic and extracurricular scores than any other racial group, as well as the highest overall rating from alumni interviewers. However, Harvard’s admissions officers assign Asian-Americans the lowest score of any racial group on the personal rating, which includes a subjective assessment of character traits such as whether the student has a “positive personality,” the plaintiffs said.
“Asian-Americans are described as smart and hardworking yet uninteresting and indistinguishable from other Asian-American applicants,” the plaintiffs said, after reviewing a sample of documents provided by Harvard with admissions officers’ comments on applicants.
Harvard said in its court filing that while perceived personality is a factor, the personal rating is based on a variety of elements, including teacher recommendations, personal essays and admissions interviews. The plaintiffs’ data analysis oversimplifies a complex process and paints a “dangerously inaccurate picture,” Harvard said.

The nonprofit suing Harvard is led by Edward Blum, a conservative legal activist who has spearheaded other legal challenges to the use of race in college admissions. The Harvard case has been closely watched as a possible candidate for the Supreme Court, which has repeatedly allowed universities to consider race as a factor in admissions to obtain the benefits of a diverse student body.
Mr. Blum said Friday’s filings expose “the startling magnitude of Harvard’s discrimination against Asian-American applicants.”
In the filings, the plaintiffs highlight a 2013 analysis by Harvard’s Office of Institutional Research that found Asian-Americans would make up 43% of the admitted class if based on academic credentials alone, and that being Asian-American decreases the chances of admission. Instead of probing further, Harvard “killed the investigation and buried the reports,” the plaintiffs allege.
The percentage of Asian-Americans in Harvard’s admitted class has stayed close to 20% year over year, the plaintiffs say.
Lawyers for Harvard said that internal analysis was described as “incomplete” and “preliminary” by the university, as it didn’t take into account nonacademic factors—which is why the report wasn’t shared more widely. There is “no negative effect of Asian-American ethnicity in the admissions process,” Harvard said, adding that the share of the admitted class that self-identifies as Asian-American has grown by 29% over the last decade.
Peter Arcidiacono, a Duke University economics professor who analyzed data for the plaintiffs, said in his report that an Asian-American male applicant with a 25% chance of admission would increase his chance of admission to 36% if treated as a white applicant, 75% as a Hispanic applicant and 95% as an African-American applicant.
But David Card, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who served as an expert for Harvard, called this a misleading way to measure the relative importance of race, saying Dr. Arcidiacono selected the combination of applicant characteristics “for which the effect of race is largest.” He said while African-American, Hispanic and other non-Asian minority ethnicities are associated with a “significantly higher” likelihood of admission, the importance of race is much smaller than that of many other factors.
Mr. Card said in his report that for the generic applicant—excluding recruited athletes, legacies and other special categories—the university accepted Asian-American applicants at a higher rate than it did white students in four of the six years reviewed. Over all six years, he said, those combined acceptance rates were 5.15% and 4.91%, respectively.
For the vast majority of African-American applicants, race plays nearly no role, Dr. Card found. Race only factors in for the strongest candidates and is never a “determinative” factor, he said, adding that applicants with top ratings in more than one of the four categories are much more likely to be admitted than those with a top rating in a single category, regardless of race.
The plaintiffs said Harvard’s legacy and athlete preferences also hurt Asian-American applicants. More than 21% of white admitted students are legacies and more than 16% are athletes, while 6.6% of Asian-American admits are legacies and 4.1% athletes, according to Dr. Arcidiacono’s analysis.
According to Harvard’s filing, out of the roughly 26,000 domestic applicants for the class that will graduate Harvard in 2019, more than 8,000 had perfect GPAs, and about 3,500 had perfect SAT math scores.
“In that pool, having strong academic credentials is not sufficient to make an applicant a strong candidate for admission,” Dr. Card said.
Harvard admitted 4.6% of its 42,749 applicants for the first-year undergraduate class entering this fall. Of those who accepted their admission offers, 22.7% self-reported as Asian-American, 14.5% as African-Americans, 10.8% as Latino and 2.3% as Native American and Native Hawaiian.
Last summer, the Justice Department’s civil rights division launched its own investigation into whether Harvard’s admissions policies discriminate against Asian-American applicants.

Modernistfan
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Re: Lawsuit claims Harvard admissions penalizes Asian-Americans

Post by Modernistfan » Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:06 pm

As a graduate of Harvard University (Ph.D., 1975, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and not subjected to these admissions procedures, which apply to undergraduates), I find this totally reprehensible. It sounds very much like what they used to do to keep the numbers of Jewish undergraduates down after they eliminated the hard-and-fast quotas that had previously been in force until after World War II. This system was still in place when I was applying to college, and I did not apply to Harvard, assuming, almost undoubtedly correctly, that I would not get in. A few years later, Lawrence Summers, who eventually became president of Harvard University, applied for admission as an undergraduate, but did not get in. He went to MIT instead (I was also admitted to MIT, which did not follow such policies, and, at the time, had a considerably higher proportion of Jewish students, and now has a substantially higher proportion of Asians as undergraduates.) Summers did go to Harvard as a graduate student. At the very least, they should drop the legacy preference, which is highly objectionable, and should stop any preferences for athletes. Both discriminate against Asians (the NBA basketball player Jeremy Lin notwithstanding) and neither actually benefits the school academically.

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Re: Lawsuit claims Harvard admissions penalizes Asian-Americans

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:24 pm

First, modernistfan, holding a Ph.D. from Harvard, however impressive, does not make you a Harvard graduate, any more than I am a Yale graduate. You are a graduate of your undergraduate college.

This has been going on forever with no end in sight. When I was at Princeton (my true alma mater), there was a Jewish student who made a huge snit over the notion that Princeton was perpetuating a "Jewish quota," assuming there had ever been such a thing. These groups that produce high-academic-achieving students out of proportion to their numbers in the population will always think themselves discriminated against if they are not for that reason represented proportinally in the most elite schools. I have a Facebook "friend" (I don't actually know him, but connected through a third party) whose posts I enjoy who graduated from Penn with an MD from Yale Medical school, and whose children are achieving in like manner. Yet he sees anti-Asian discrimination around every corner, wrongly, the way black Americans see racism around every corner, rightly. I could say a lot more, but without more than belonging to a culture that values high academic achievement being important, we would not have my classmate Sonia Sotomayor on the Supreme Court. She threw away her Phi Beta Kappa invitation (which she later retrieved), not knowing even when she was a senior at Princeton what that society was.

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Re: Lawsuit claims Harvard admissions penalizes Asian-Americans

Post by jserraglio » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:56 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:24 pm
. . . holding a Ph.D. from Harvard, however impressive, does not make you a Harvard graduate, any more than I am a Yale graduate. You are a graduate of your undergraduate college.
Image
A professor whistles while graduating Ph D students celebrate at Harvard University's commencement ceremonies June 5
jbuck 919 wrote:When I was at Princeton (my true alma mater), there was a Jewish student who made a huge snit over the notion that Princeton was perpetuating a "Jewish quota," assuming there had ever been such a thing.
E. Roy Weintraub wrote:Quotas for Jewish students emerged in the 1920s as applications of Jews to Ivy League schools exploded . . . . The College Board examination, and high school transcript, had been the tools by which applications were accepted or rejected. Thus the schools changed the rules. As is well known (Karabel 2005), Harvard, Yale, and Princeton [emphasis added] began using “a good character” and “leadership ability” as admissions requirements. How to assess these attributes? Interview the student applicants and determine just how Jewish they looked and sounded. German Jews good, Sephardim good, Ashkenazi not so good. Nothing needed to be written down in explanation of the rejection to the applicant, although as Karabel found the admissions records from that period revealed exactly what was happening. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm ... id=2286762
YALE'S LIMIT ON JEWISH ENROLLMENT LASTED UNTIL EARLY 1960'S, BOOK SAYS
By DIRK JOHNSON and SPECIAL TO THE NEW YORK TIMES
This article originally appeared in 1985.
The New York Times

Not until the early 1960's did Yale University end an informal admissions policy that restricted Jewish enrollment to about 10 percent, according to a new book published by Yale University Press.

The book, ''Joining the Club,'' which began as a sophomore term paper by Dan A. Oren, a 1979 Yale graduate, documents anti-Semitism reaching from fraternity brothers to board trustees. Much of the research is based on university documents.
Nathan Glazer wrote:When Elliot Cohen was not given an assistant professorship at Yale in the 1920s, he was told they would not appoint a Jew in the English Department. https://mobile.nytimes.com/1981/10/18/m ... rvard.html
One document, a folder now in the university archives, labeled ''Jewish Problem,'' contains a memo from the admissions chairman of 1922 urging limits on ''the alien and unwashed element.'' The next year, the admissions committee enacted the ''Limitation of Numbers'' policy, an informal quota. Jewish enrollment was held to about 10 percent for four decades.
An earlier Yale . . . was rife with anti-Semitism, as were other Ivy League schools . . . . Harvard University President, A. Lawrence Lowell, publicly urged adoption of a quota system for Jews in the early 1920's.
''There were vicious, ugly forms of discrimination at Yale, as with the larger society,'' the current Yale University Secretary, John A. Wilkinson, said. ''It's part of our history, and we should face up to it.''

The book, he said, has uncovered ''what we've all suspected and some have known for a long time.''

The restrictive policy was phased out beginning in 1960 when the Yale President, A. Whitney Griswold, issued directives stating that an applicant's religion should have no place in the admissions process. In the next few years, the admissions board was changed to reflect greater ethnic diversity. Today, Jewish students account for about 30 percent of the Yale enrollment, far greater than the proportion of Jews in the United States population, which is listed at 2.5 percent in the 1985 American Jewish Year Book.

Image

Mr. Oren, now in residence at the Yale Medical School, grew up in Milwaukee, the son of Israeli immigrants. When he arrived on campus in 1975, he said, he was perplexed by rumors of past discrimination here.

''I've never experienced anti-Semitism,'' he said, ''and I couldn't believe that Yale ever had that problem.''

But his research found that an earlier Yale - whose university seal includes Hebrew words that commemorate the ancient Israelites - was rife with anti-Semitism, as were other Ivy League schools.

''The Jewish Problem continues to call for the utmost care and tact,'' said the annual report of the Board of Admissions in 1945. ''The proportion of Jews among the candidates who are both scholastically qualified for admission and young enough to matriculate has somewhat increased and remains too large for comfort.''

Breaking a Tradition

Not until 1946 would a Jew become a full professor at Yale College. Not until 1947 did the Corbey Court eating club for law students accept Jews, finally extending membership to a small group that included Robert M. Morgenthau, now the Manhattan District Attorney. And not until 1965 did a Jew become a member of the Yale Corporation, when William Horowitz, a banker in New Haven, was elected to the board that sets university policy.

The era of anti-Jewish sentiment at Yale, Mr. Oren said, broke from a tradition of open enrollment and tolerance that had guided the school from its inception in 1701 through most of the 19th century. The small number of Jews on campus enjoyed equal access to clubs and classroom, he said.

But after 1900, when the children of a new wave of Jewish immigrants began attending college, many Eastern schools grew uncomfortable.

At Harvard College, the proportion of Jews had risen to 21.5 percent in 1921. At Yale, the number had grown to nearly 8 percent.

Avoiding Suspicion

The Harvard University President, A. Lawrence Lowell, publicly urged adoption of a quota system for Jews in the early 1920's. But when vociferous criticism emerged from both inside and outside the university, Mr. Lowell was forced to retract his proposal.

Although precise records are not kept, enrollment of Jewish students at Harvard today is about 20 percent, said Rabbi Ben-Zion Gold, director of the Hillel Foundation at Harvard and Radcliffe.

After the Harvard affair, Yale and other private universities moved to keep admissions practices out of the public eye, the Yale documents indicate.

At Yale, admissions officials settled on an approach that would not arouse suspicion. The ''Limitation of Numbers'' policy, announced publicly as a measure aimed at paring total enrollment, sought specifically, but privately, to reduce the number of Jewish students.

In 1927, when an alumnus complained in a letter that his contributions were being used to educate ''Yids,'' the associate treasurer and comptroller, Thomas W. Farnham, wrote back: ''It will interest you to know that we are making every effort to remedy the condition.''
E. Roy Weintraub wrote:Roger Backhouse, in this volume, deconstructs the famous story of how Paul Samuelson, a newly appointed Harvard Instructor with a Assistant Professor offer from MIT, was not encouraged about his chances to secure a similar position at Harvard in the next year or two (Backhouse 2014). Harvard’s departing Chairman [Harold H.] Burbank’s dislike of Jews was well known – he also disliked mathematical economics and Keynesian economics, a Samuelson trifecta. Robert Solow pointed out that this meant that Samuelson’s, and his, future at Harvard was dim. (Personal communication, October 2013) https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm ... id=2286762
The remedy worked too slowly for Francis Parsons, a fellow of the Yale Corporation, who became angered when he noticed a number of Jewish names listed among the freshman class in 1929.
''This list reads like some of the 'Begat' portions of the Old Testament,'' he wrote to Robert Corwin, the admissions chairman and architect of the limitation policy.

New Breed of Student

By 1930, Jewish students in the freshman class accounted for 8.2 percent of the total, the smallest proportion in nine years.

A change in climate at Yale would emerge during World War II, Mr. Oren wrote, when discriminatory practice began losing credibility.

Moreover, passage of the G.I. Bill, which covered the costs of college tuition for returning veterans, brought an education at Yale within financial reach of a new breed of students. These men, many of whose backgrounds differed from those of Yale students, had fought against racial and religious oppression abroad and were less tolerant of prejudice at home.

In 1948, Yale ceased automatically segregating housing between Christians and Jews, blacks and whites. Still, the number of Jewish students remained relatively fixed at about 10 percent. Change began to take hold with the arrival in 1959 of Rabbi Richard J. Israel, director of the Hillel Foundation on campus. From his own investigation, Rabbi Israel learned of the enduring quota system.

He turned to the Rev. William Sloane Coffin Jr., the university chaplain, who took the matter to the university president, Mr. Griswold. The president dictated a memo to himself on April 5, 1960, pledging to make it his ''duty'' to see that racial and religous factors would no longer serve as determinants in admission.

''Like many other colleges, Yale has reflected the values and principals of a wider society,'' Mr. Wilkinson said. ''Let us hope that if those societal values go the other way again, Yale will not follow them.''

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Re: Lawsuit claims Harvard admissions penalizes Asian-Americans

Post by Ricordanza » Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:41 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:24 pm
First, modernistfan, holding a Ph.D. from Harvard, however impressive, does not make you a Harvard graduate, any more than I am a Yale graduate. You are a graduate of your undergraduate college.
Hmmmm. This view does not appear to be shared by the university from which I received a Master's degree (Penn), nor the university from which I received a law degree (Temple). Both of these institutions consider me a graduate, or so they say when they send me a solicitation every year for a contribution.

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Re: Lawsuit claims Harvard admissions penalizes Asian-Americans

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:44 am

Ricordanza wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:41 am
jbuck919 wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:24 pm
First, modernistfan, holding a Ph.D. from Harvard, however impressive, does not make you a Harvard graduate, any more than I am a Yale graduate. You are a graduate of your undergraduate college.
Hmmmm. This view does not appear to be shared by the university from which I received a Master's degree (Penn), nor the university from which I received a law degree (Temple). Both of these institutions consider me a graduate, or so they say when they send me a solicitation every year for a contribution.
Yes, some years ago the universities caught on that they might expand their base of contributions if they treated holders of graduate degrees as though they were alumni in certain respects. I also get the Yale alumni magazine, and though I never asked to receive it or the Princeton one, they have followed me around to all my new addresses for all my degreed life. It seems I can't unsubscribe to them. As for jserraglio's post, I am aware in general of such practices having existed, which is why I worded my statement as I did ("if such ever existed"). However, they did not apply by the time I was an undergrad, and the administration of the university went to great pains to refute the accusations of this one student.

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Re: Lawsuit claims Harvard admissions penalizes Asian-Americans

Post by jserraglio » Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:09 am

Given the fact of its past use of quotas of an anti-Semitic nature in college admissions, it will be interesting to see how Harvard defends present practices that effectively limit the number of Asian-Americans. Retiring president Drew Faust has reached out to all alumni (yes, that includes even their Ph.D.s who are not in this instance being dunned for money) stating that the university intends to argue that its present admissions practices taking race into account are in line with recent Supreme Court decisions and are meant to ensure diversity.

Asian-American Applicants' Allegations Now . . .
Each Harvard applicant is given four component ratings—academic, extracurricular, athletic and “personal”—and an overall score that is assigned by taking all factors into account . . . . The plaintiffs found in their analysis that . . . Harvard’s admissions officers assign Asian-Americans the lowest score of any racial group on the personal rating, which includes a subjective assessment of character traits such as whether the student has a “positive personality” . . . .
Jewish Applicants' Allegations Then . . .
Harvard, Yale, and Princeton began using “a good character” and “leadership ability” as admissions requirements. How to assess these attributes? Interview the student applicants and determine just how Jewish they looked and sounded. German Jews good, Sephardim good, Ashkenazi not so good. Nothing needed to be written down in explanation of the rejection to the applicant, although as Karabel found the admissions records from that period revealed exactly what was happening.

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Re: Lawsuit claims Harvard admissions penalizes Asian-Americans

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:52 pm

Very obviously, this is a question of political philosophy. Universities must practice some form of affirmative action if their student bodies are not going to be uniformly this, that, or the other identity from traditionally achieving groups. Some members of such groups are always going to object to this because, let's face it, from a certain point of view, it does violate the principle of merit-based admission. But without affirmative action, when would non-traditionally-achieving groups ever reach the level playing field? Answer: never. It is almost never now even after years of effort. It's not just the universities--it's the workplace as well. Our member Rob Baker (Reblem) is fond of quoting a bishop who, BTW, did not originate the quotataion, that racism is America's original sin. I prefer to take out of context the passage from Deuteronomy which has proven all too true. It is something about visiting the iniquities of the fathers unto the third and forth [and 9th and 10th] generation.

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Re: Lawsuit claims Harvard admissions penalizes Asian-Americans

Post by jserraglio » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:01 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:52 pm
Universities must practice some form of affirmative action ... I prefer to take out of context the passage from Deuteronomy which has proven all too true. It is something about visiting the iniquities of the fathers unto the third and forth [and 9th and 10th] generation.
It's the in-thing today to wrap a biblical verse around a constitutionally dubious application of settled law—Jeff Sessions chortling about how ripping a nursing infant off her mother's nipple is validated by current immigration law and a line from Paul the Apostle comes to mind. The verses from Deuteronomy alluded to above, however, were part of the Old Law whereas a certain synoptic verse from the superseding New Law might be cited by those less hospitable to affirmative action:
For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
In any event, Harvard's de facto quota system, i.e., its questionable practice of promoting members of one historically discriminated-against minority at the expense of those of another such minority will be tested in a court of law unlikely to be swayed by tendentious nuggets of wisdom culled from the Bible.

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Re: Lawsuit claims Harvard admissions penalizes Asian-Americans

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:00 am

jserraglio wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:01 pm
jbuck919 wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:52 pm
Universities must practice some form of affirmative action ... I prefer to take out of context the passage from Deuteronomy which has proven all too true. It is something about visiting the iniquities of the fathers unto the third and forth [and 9th and 10th] generation.
It's the in-thing today to wrap a biblical verse around a constitutionally dubious application of settled law—Jeff Sessions chortling about how ripping a nursing infant off her mother's nipple is validated by current immigration law and a line from Paul the Apostle comes to mind. The verses from Deuteronomy alluded to above, however, were part of the Old Law whereas a certain synoptic verse from the superseding New Law might be cited by those less hospitable to affirmative action:
For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
In any event, Harvard's de facto quota system, i.e., its questionable practice of promoting members of one historically discriminated-against minority at the expense of those of another such minority will be tested in a court of law unlikely to be swayed by tendentious nuggets of wisdom culled from the Bible.
I hope you realize that I was looking for a pithy way of referring to the fact that many generations later we are still paying the price for the unspeakable evil of slavery, which includes being caught more or less permanently between a rock and a hard place when it comes to affirmative action. I said that I was taking the phrase out of context, and am aware that people sometimes use biblical sayings that were not intended that way normatively. The one you cite is among the more mysterious in the parables and I'm not sure anyone knows what it is really supposed to mean, but some conservatives seem to think that "The poor you will always have with you" means "The poor you must always have with you."

Here's an interesting recent article:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/201 ... k-men.html

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Re: Lawsuit claims Harvard admissions penalizes Asian-Americans

Post by jserraglio » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:39 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:00 am
we are still paying the price for the unspeakable evil of slavery, which includes being caught more or less permanently between a rock and a hard place when it comes to affirmative action.
African slavery was indisputably a grievous evil we are still paying for. So is the legacy of anti-Asian riots and lynchings followed by the Asian exclusion laws.

The sorry history of racism directed at Asian-Americans most likely forms the backdrop to this lawsuit. Why must the scales of justice be balanced on their backs, while Harvard legacy admissions are left in place along with several other forms of preferential admission practices?

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Re: Lawsuit claims Harvard admissions penalizes Asian-Americans

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:09 pm

jserraglio wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:39 am
jbuck919 wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:00 am
we are still paying the price for the unspeakable evil of slavery, which includes being caught more or less permanently between a rock and a hard place when it comes to affirmative action.
African slavery was indisputably a grievous evil we are still paying for. So is the legacy of anti-Asian riots and lynchings followed by the Asian exclusion laws.

The sorry history of racism directed at Asian-Americans most likely forms the backdrop to this lawsuit. Why must the scales of justice be balanced on their backs, while Harvard legacy admissions are left in place along with several other forms of preferential admission practices?
Cutting through the tedentious way way in which you phrase that, the answer is self-evident. Asian-Americans are way past the history you speak of, and have long been in the mainstream, on the level playing field, as it were. That is not true for African Americans. I don't know why it is so, other than the more than sufficient and obvious explanation that it has been worse by orders of magnitude for African Americans than for other groups. Some people resist such an explanation just as they resist the notion that women have achieved less in a worldly sense almost entirely because for millenia it was assumed and enforced that their place was having and raising children and housekeeping, though that is in fact the real reason. Those who fail to accept the correct explanation because they think the truth must be more nuanced or complicated ore just plain something else are indulging in what is known as the fallacy of incredulity.

Legacy admissions are never going to go away because they are too lucrative. It's just too bad that they disproportionately benefit the children of white men, a situation that must by now be changing because more and more candidates are from not-currently-discriminated-against minorities and are not just the children of white men.

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Re: Lawsuit claims Harvard admissions penalizes Asian-Americans

Post by jserraglio » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:34 pm

    jbuck919 wrote:
    Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:09 pm
    Asian-Americans are way past the history you speak of, and have long been in the mainstream, on the level playing field, as it were.
    Why is that relevant? Asian-Americans are not seeking preferential treatment but fair treatment. I suspect too that your reassurances that they are now "way past" the violence historically visited upon their race as a race would fall upon deaf ears. The very same argument was used to no avail by opponents of affirmative action.

    The lawsuit, I believe, is coming out of the collective memory of that painful past. To say that invoking those painful memories is tendentious strikes me as, well, tendentious. Historical memory is not a palimpsest easily written over by appeals to self-evident truth bereft of evidence or to logical fallacy when the matter in dispute is rooted in a minority's perceived grievance.

    At any rate they have every right to organize to challenge what looks to be Harvard's discriminatory and internally inconsistent admissions practices.

    It would be interesting for the plaintiffs to discover whether quotas have been applied to the legacy admissions of Aslan-American applicants when compared to those of white applicants. Legacy admissions may be too lucrative to let go of, but should Harvard, perched upon a 37-billion-dollar nestegg, defend their use on financial grounds, they might be laughed right out of court.

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    Re: Lawsuit claims Harvard admissions penalizes Asian-Americans

    Post by jbuck919 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:57 pm

    jserraglio wrote:
    Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:34 pm
    The lawsuit, I believe, is coming out of the collective memory of that painful past. To say that invoking those painful memories is tendentious strikes me as, well, tendentious. Historical memory is not a palimpsest easily written over by appeals to self-evident truth bereft of evidence or to logical fallacy when the matter in dispute is rooted in a minority's perceived grievance.
    Cry me a river. These applicants, their parents, their grandparents, and in most cases their great-grandparents have little or no living memory of "that painful past" or after-effects which carry over into their current socioeconomic status. The lawsuit quite obviously (to me, anyway) comes out of the dissatisfaction of one group with the way Harvard weighs its admissions criteria to include subjective factors that cannot be measured.

    There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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    Re: Lawsuit claims Harvard admissions penalizes Asian-Americans

    Post by jserraglio » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:37 pm

    Whatever the motives of the plaintiffs, their case goes to trial this October. The problem Harvard has will be to persuade judge and jury that its behavior is not discriminatory. The law allows them to take race into account to achieve greater diversity. But if they can be shown to have effectively limited members of a certain racial group in the name of diversity, they might have a problem, b/c those limitations might well have been documented during the admissions process. We just don't know all the facts at this point, but this could turn out to be a very important test case with consequences for affirmative action.
    jbuck919 wrote:
    Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:57 pm
    Cry me a river. These applicants, their parents, their grandparents, and in most cases their great-grandparents have little or no living memory of "that painful past"
    😭 Others are free to ascribe blissful amnesia to them, but these applicants, their parents, and in all cases their grandparents and great-grandparents would have been painfully aware that Asians in America were still being scapegoated even as late as the 1960's.
    Wikipedia wrote:The Magnuson Act, also known as the Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act of 1943, was an immigration legislation proposed by U.S. Representative (later Senator) Warren G. Magnuson of Washington and signed into law on December 17, 1943 in the United States. It allowed Chinese immigration [iirc, limited to about 100 visas per year] for the first time since the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and permitted some Chinese immigrants already residing in the country to become naturalized citizens. However, the Magnuson Act provided for the continuation of the ban against the ownership of property and businesses by ethnic Chinese. In many states, Chinese Americans (including US citizens) were denied property-ownership rights either by law or de facto until the Magnuson Act itself was fully repealed in 1965.

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