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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Princeton, Berkeley & Asians

Over the last several months, the discussion about Asian Americans and college admissions has reached an unprecedented intensity.  Like many others, I have been following the coverage of a complaint filed against Princeton University of reverse discrimination by a rejected Chinese American applicant and have read the latest New York Times’ piece entitled Little Asia on the Hill about the changing demographics at the University of California, Berkeley.  As a first generation Chinese American myself who was accepted by some first rate colleges and law schools and rejected by others, and as a member of a very diverse law faculty teaching in the most diverse county in the country, I have struggled deeply with the discussion.

One of the most troubling aspects of the discussion is the ease and frequency with which many commentators and individuals blame the decrease in Black and Hispanic students in the UC system on the rise in Asian American students and also vice versa, attribute the rejection of Asian American applicants to the admission of Black and Hispanic applicants at Princeton to meet diversity goals.  Professor Robert George at Princeton describes the current dilemma as one where “you have different categories of minority whose interests are allegedly in conflict.”  Even the complainant in the Princeton case himself, Jian Li characterizes affirmative action as a conflict amongst people of color:  “Theoretically, affirmative action is supposed to take spots away from white applicants and redistribute them to underrepresented minorities . . . What’s happening is one segment of the minority population is losing places to another segment of minorities, namely Asians to underrepresented minorities.”

Such talk is distressing for two reasons.  First, it distracts from what I believe is the real claim of Mr. Li’s complaint.  Would Mr. Li have been admitted if all else being the same, he was white and obviously white to the Princeton admissions officials, instead of being Chinese American?  The difficult question being asked is whether, in addition to affirmative action for Hispanics and Blacks, there has also been unlawful discrimination against Asian Americans.  It is far more likely that Mr. Li's application was compared to those of white applicants and not to Black and Hispanic applicants.  To turn the tables around then, has there also been race-based priority given to white applicants over Asian American applicants?  I do not know the answer to this question and I suspect it is a complicated one.  Unfortunately, the current discussion does not focus on it.

A second reason why the portrayal of a clash amongst minorities is problematic is that it feels like an intentional strategy to divide what is already a tenuous rainbow coalition behind diversity in higher education.  As my colleague, Professor Steve Lee, recently wrote to me, “There are many elite universities around the world, but racial and cultural diversity is a god-given gift that American universities should not give up.”  While it makes perfect sense that the discussion of Asian Americans and college admissions has intensified in this post-Grutter, post-Proposition 209 world, it is important not to unduly conflate matters and to get distracted.  The ultimate goal is diversity in our colleges and graduate schools.  Getting there may require measures to value some minorities but also measures to eliminate unlawful discrimination against others.

Posted by Elaine Chiu on January 25, 2007 at 01:24 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink

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Comments

Prof. Chiu,

Interesting issue. I haven't followed this case, so maybe I am missing something. But it seems like your concern is that this case puts a practice you like in a bad light, not that your opponents are actually making a mistake or taking an untenable or illogical position. Isn't that just a question of spin, rather than a matter of one side being right or wrong?

Posted by: Don | Jan 25, 2007 1:51:25 PM

Isn't the "real claim" of Li's complaint that he was rejected while less qualified people were accepted? You beg the question by asserting that his application should be considered against the white applicant pool. (Or are you merely asserting that that is what likely happens, not what should happen?) Why is that the case?

Posted by: Joe | Jan 25, 2007 4:14:43 PM

When folks use race as a proxy for diversity -- in what sense are they defining diversity?

As a practical matter, Mr. Li is an idiot for initiating this complaint with the Department of Education. He has no constitutional claims against Princeton University (unless someone is suddenly to argue that Princeton is a state actor). And so any viable causes of action that he might have turns on findings that Princeton's admissions policies violate federal anti-discrimination laws in a manner that caused him injury.

Posted by: Alex | Jan 25, 2007 5:20:28 PM

I also find your discussion a bit confused. You clearly think diversity is a good thing, but what exactly are you sacrificing to get it? In the limit of an ethnicity-blind process you might end up with a different kind of diversity (cf Berkeley). As you move away from this limit for social engineering purposes, some applicants who would have been admitted in the ethnicity-blind case will now be rejected and have to attend less prestigious and (to them) less desirable schools. They are being harmed, and they may be disproportionately from a particular group (e.g., Asians). Just compare Princeton (13% Asian) to Berkeley (>40% Asian) to see the magnitude of the difference.

If pro-diversity folks were simply open, and said "We are going to harm Asian and White applicants to reach our social engineering goal," then we'd be arguing about costs and benefits -- maybe the goal is so desirable that we don't mind breaking Jian Li's eggs.

But we're not even there yet. In the current discussion no one wants to admit that individuals are being hurt, in particular individuals who are quite likely Asian (sometimes immigrant Asian) kids.

Posted by: steve | Jan 25, 2007 5:24:56 PM

What's so difficult to understand about what Elaine is saying?

According to the New York Times piece Elaine links to:

"Affirmative action has a neutral effect on the number of whites admitted, Mr. Li is arguing, but it raises the bar for Asians. The way Princeton selects its entering class, Mr. Li wrote in his complaint, 'seems to be a calculated move by a historically white institution to protect its racial identity while at the same time maintaining a facade of progressivism.'"

What this suggests is that affirmative action for Blacks and Hispanics "hurts Asians" in the sense that Princeton is unwilling to decrease the number of white people admitted as it administers its affirmative action program. The claim is - Princeton feels like it has to admit a certain number of blacks and hispanics for affirmative action reasons, and then, once they take care of their political/public relations/affirmative action priorities, when they look at the rest of the pool and the rest of their slots, they realize that if they do not discriminate against Asians, they will not get the predominantly white campus that Princeton wants. So they don't change their standards for white applicants, but they make it difficult for Asians to get in. This combination is the only way for Princeton to have a campus that 1) keeps its affirmative action proponents happy and 2) keeps the campus white enough for their self-perception as a white school. The result? Asians get shut out. Therefore, it is simplistic to say that Asians and Blacks compete against each other and leave it at that -- but this is the story that, Elaine is saying, gets told most often in the media. But in fact, the only reason blacks and Asians end up competing against each other for slots is because Princeton has only a limited number of slots for people of color because Princeton wants to save a large percentage for whites! THAT (the way in which implementing affirmative action programs hurts Asians due to the system's tendency to protect white people no matter what) is what must be scrutinized, NOT affirmative action as a general matter.

I take it this is what Elaine is saying. But commentators are right that it is important to remind people how Asians end up bearing the cost of diversity programs -- blacks benefit from affirmative action programs, for whites it does not make a difference, and Asians are hurt. This is why reverse discrimination suits brought by white plaintiffs are ludicrous - the only victims of so-called "reverse discrimination" are Asians. And it's not reverse discrimination. It's plain old-fashioned racial discrimination against a minority group.

Posted by: Snap | Jan 26, 2007 12:25:22 AM

With respect to Alex's comment above, doesn't Princeton's receipt of federal funds (in the form of student loans, for example) make it a state actor for purposes of a constitutional claim?

Posted by: dgm | Jan 26, 2007 8:16:56 AM

I was thinking the same thing as dgm. Certainly the case can be made if one looks at the way the Feds see Qui tam and other criminal cases.

A further issue is that maybe it is time we rethink affirmative action as a whole. In NYC there is still (or was the last time I looked) a law that states that Italian Americans are a racial minority. I do not make that argument here, although it would be easy to do so since it is only within the last 20 years that Italians have obtained supreme court spots, and we have the first Italian American as House Speaker,etc. Look the truth is that there is no more inherent benefit to racial diversity than there is to ethnic diversity. There is some benefit to looking at the history of black americans as opposed to other racial minorities and potentially trying to even their ranks for historic reasons.
The truth of the matter is that outside of that one racial minority, there is no good reason to favor a impoverished minority student over an impoverished white student.
I doubt Princeton, or any other good school, would have an interest in keeping one bright student out, in favor of a bright student of a different race save for affirmative action.
If X seats where put aside for black-american students, and Y seats put aside for foreign students, then all the other seats should be available to the best students race blind.

The fact is that certain ethnic minorities have failed to embrace education and others have used it to succeed and gain the "american dream." In fact in many places where asians have gained more than just a foothold in the population stats, they have succeeded in competing with whites straight up and without any affirmative action advantage. Within ethnic communities, Jewish students and students of Anglo-saxon backround used to out compete their other european breathern. That Italian, Spanish and other ethnic and religious group's children have caught up was not achieved through affirmative action.

Affirmative action as we now view it, is ultimately going to choke off exactly the people we want it to help, unless we take a far more limited/focused view of it. Those that we want to help will be killed off by other minorities and will be no better off than when we started. How much longer that help will be needed, and for how long that help may be available is an issue for another day.

Posted by: That Lawyer Dude | Jan 26, 2007 11:32:49 AM

No, the receipt of federal funding does not automatically convert an entity into a state (or federal) actor for the purposes of Section 1983 or Bivens claims. See, e.g., Blum v. Yaretsky, 457 U.S. 991 (1982); Rendell-Baker v. Kohn, 457 U.S. 830 (1982).

Posted by: Alex | Jan 26, 2007 12:33:50 PM

Thanks for all the comments and reactions and in particular, thanks to snap for restating the point of my original post. To address some of the questions, diversity means different things to different people. I take a very broad view of diversity, meaning there are many sources of diversity that would be of value in a student body. Certainly there is diversity based on race, ethnicity, religious belief, gender and sexual orientation but there is also socio-economic diversity, political diversity, geographic diversity, etc. There are additional types of diversity that are less subject to categorization such as being brought up by a single parent, being educated in a boarding school, having lived abroad extensively and being a talented violinist. Of course, diversity has a price and the price in college admissions is always that there are applicants who will be rejected and have to go elsewhere. That is the nature of our competitive admissions system, regardless of whether your goal is a diverse student body. The point that Asian Americans bear the brunt of this commitment to diversity has some merit, but keep in mind that it only seems that way because of the comparison to an admissions system driven purely by numbers, as in California. That system is not the only alternative.

That is not to say that there is not a particular burden being borne by Asian Americans. What is specifically hurting Asian Americans is alleged discrimination in favor of white applicants. Returning to the point of my original post, the claim of this complaint against Princeton is that Mr. Li was passed over so that a white person could be accepted for the sole reason that this other person was white and Mr. Li was not. Being white does not add to the diversity of the Princeton student body. In fact, as snap points out, it perpetuates the historical whiteness of its student body. The reason why it is likely that Mr. Li was being compared to other white applicants and not to a Black or Hispanic applicant is that he was on the wait list at Princeton and thus his application involved a decision on the margins. Statistically there are very few Black or Hispanic applicants with comparably high standardized scores and such applicants are likely to have been admitted straight out into Princeton and not in the marginal wait listed group.

Posted by: Elaine | Jan 26, 2007 4:20:49 PM

"What is specifically hurting Asian Americans is alleged discrimination in favor of white applicants."

Again, it always comes down to white people being racist.

"Being white does not add to the diversity of the Princeton student body."

...because us white people are all the same.

Posted by: ElGaboGringo | Jan 27, 2007 3:13:54 PM

Professor Chiu:

>>I take a very broad view of diversity, meaning there are many sources of diversity that would be of value in a student body...Being white does not add to the diversity of the Princeton student body.

You claim to take a "very broad" view of diversity, but when push comes to shove your view seems to narrow significantly.

Snap:

Professor Chiu's comment is confusing because she seems to be having trouble accepting the consequences of her support for racial preferences. It is so much easier when someone else's ox is being gored.

>>This is why reverse discrimination suits brought by white plaintiffs are ludicrous - the only victims of so-called "reverse discrimination" are Asians.

This may be true at Princeton, some UC campuses (at least pre-209), and a relative handful of other schools, but clearly is not the case at most schools (not to mention in most employment contexts).

Posted by: Al | Jan 27, 2007 3:31:49 PM

I think it's simplistic to frame diversity as solely a matter of skin color but, thanks to the US Supreme Court and college admission committees (not to mention college professors), that's where we are.

Posted by: DRJ | Jan 27, 2007 3:42:53 PM

Your post is confusing to me. First you say this, "I take a very broad view of diversity, meaning there are many sources of diversity that would be of value in a student body. Certainly there is diversity based on race, ethnicity, religious belief, gender and sexual orientation but there is also socio-economic diversity, political diversity, geographic diversity, etc. "
Then you say this, "Being white does not add to the diversity of the Princeton student body." What if that white person was Polish, Mormon, Gay, Poor, Conservative/Republican or from Idaho etc. Wouldn't that qualify as adding to diversity according to your first statement?

In general I am not impressed with what you have to say.

Posted by: Elaine | Jan 27, 2007 3:48:21 PM

The problem is finding enough black and hispanic students who can do professional school work at top institutions.As I've grown older,I'm less likely to believe the environmental /phlogiston like reasoning of apologists.I don't pretend to know the answer,but diversity is a code word for mediocrity today.(Still,I'm old enough to remember Sen Hruska'a defense of a Nixon appointee to the Supreme Court,to wit;"Don't mediocre people deserve representation also?"
Some years ago (4-6) I wandered into a bunch of upper level physics course at the "Harvard of the Midwest"-GO BLUE-;there wasn't a black kid in the 5 classes.And ,only about a quarter of whites.It was intensely thought provoking.
PS.If any ex-wives read this;Yes,you can talk about U Chicago,but it's not really in the midwest and only dorks attend it.

Posted by: corwin | Jan 27, 2007 3:49:22 PM

One more thing:

>>A second reason why the portrayal of a clash amongst minorities is problematic is that it feels like an intentional strategy to divide what is already a tenuous rainbow coalition behind diversity in higher education.

An "intentional strategy" by whom?

Posted by: Al | Jan 27, 2007 3:54:27 PM

"The ultimate goal is diversity in our colleges and graduate schools. "

Wrong. The ultimate goal is an equal educational opportunity for all. But if you see the goal as being something else--i.e., diversity--don't be surprised when opportunities aren't equal.

Posted by: ss | Jan 27, 2007 3:57:13 PM

Chee. Its ok to discriminate against whites in favor of hispanics or blacks, and it might or might not be okay to do so against asians but, of course, never against asians in favor of whites. When whites are more academically successful its definately ok, but when they are less so - as in relation to asians, or jews, you could never discriminate in their favor. But universities are, at least in modern history, more asian and jewish in proportion to the general population than white. Its apparent that whites are less like people in this framing than a backdrop or object to work around.

And its clear that it is acceptable to discriminate against whites not because of privilege, but because of race.

This hurts my feelings even though I don't think white people are supposed to have those. I actually feel like saying: "White is a color too!"

I would hate nothing more than to be discriminated in favor of. (The new dominance of women in university admissions led a logically consistent AA supporter to argue that preferences in favor of males might be needed. The idea infuriates me) The frame of this discussion should be insane in the 21st century. Whites, blacks, asians, hispanics, indians, etc. Its like Americans (or Canadians in my case) became extinct in the last century. Why is there a difference between the way we treat a poor, disadvantaged white kid and a black one?

Racial preferences are creating and encouraging racial distinctions. Its so easy to say that university admission are racially proportional and everything is ok now. It takes no account of who passes and how much those who do succeed, while doing damage to racial solidarity.

Posted by: White Male Robbie | Jan 27, 2007 4:05:51 PM

"The ultimate goal is diversity in our colleges and graduate schools."

I should have hoped that the ultimate goal was to provide an equally excellent education to all qualified students. I guess I'm hopelessly naive.

Posted by: jack | Jan 27, 2007 4:19:05 PM

How does racial discrimination (in the sense of making distinctions based on race) create diversity? Why are we judging based on skin color? Why don't we make sure that we have a balanced number of brown vs blue eyed people? I think the historical answer has been that blacks were prevented, by whites, from competing on a level playing field. If blacks in the seventies were the first generation in their families to have reasonable access to upper tier (historically white)educational opportunities, their applications would not measure up to those of most white students, generally speaking.

So, in that scenario, it was reasonable to play with the system to create greater balance in the system. In other words, to create racial preferences to remediate prior racial discrimination. Perhaps this had something to do with the labelling of Italian-Americans as a minority, as mentioned in an earlier comment.

Where is the historical discrimination requiring remediation for Asians and Hispanics? Blacks can describe generations of discrimination for which they claim remediation. While there are examples of discrimination for just about any group, there is nothing, for any other group, that even begins to compare with what happened to blacks in the US. You have probably seen stories describing the complaints of black leaders that blacks recently imigrated from Africa should not be eligible to the racial preferences designed to remediate decades/centuries of racial discrimination in the US.

When you take a group of applicants, all of who have had exactly the same educational opportunities, why should you admit based on some "diversity" quota?

If you admit 90 students based on academic qualifications and 10 students, who are less qualified academically, based on skin color, who are you hurting? Well, certainly the 10 who were denied admission on NOTHING MORE THAN THE FACT THAT THEY DID NOT HAVE THE PREFERRED SKIN COLOR, but also those 10 that were admitted. If a mediocre student is admitted to a second tier school, he has a chance to do well, learn a lot and develop skills that will allow him to succeed in the workplace. However, you place this same student in a top tier school, with a bunch of fellow students who are head and shoulders above him academically, and you are setting him up for failure. He will be so busy trying to keep up that he will most likely not succeed. Just look at the statistics for admissions versus graduations/dropouts/transfers to other schools.

Posted by: Tony | Jan 27, 2007 4:33:38 PM

Elaine Chiu

Add me to the list of "Not impressed by you line of thought"
I read this as a link from instapundit. This will gives your poor line of reasoning far more mileage than it deserves.

Posted by: Chris Haynes | Jan 27, 2007 4:34:41 PM

This would not be a problem if institutions charged market rates for the value of their product.

Posted by: Not a Yank | Jan 27, 2007 4:40:30 PM

"What is specifically hurting Asian Americans is alleged discrimination in favor of white applicants."

Again, it always comes down to white people being racist.

"Being white does not add to the diversity of the Princeton student body."

...because us white people are all the same."


...but isn't that true? Forty years of ("ahem") academic social "science" er, research (1) certainly seems to indicate that. Anyway, all you people look alike.


(1) If you pile a bunch of those "publications" up on each end, they make good supports for student bookshelves, and you save a conrete block each time. Concrete is made from powdered calcium deposits that are calcined to dehydroxlate them (dewater). That uses energy, so you are saving the planet if you do this, as opposed to using them for a puppy toilet.

Posted by: Well Armed Coward | Jan 27, 2007 6:01:13 PM

It would seem clear to me that diversity works against Asian Americans. As elite schools reach some level of Asian enrollment, the Berkeley tipping point is reached and the institution believes itself to not be diverse enough. It would be interesting to see what the desired level of racial diversity should be? I would assume, that % of the population is not practical with a shortage of high test scoring African Americans and Hispanics, so perhaps a university shoots for 10-15% AAs and Hispanics, 50% whites, 15% Asians and the balance anyone else who counts as "people of color." To achieve this they need to boost AAs and Hispanics and cutback on Asians. With no diversity targets or any of the other means they use to implement guiding towards their preferred goals, I think the natural distribution for elite Universities might be:
5-10% AA & Hisp. 35% Asians, and balance white and others.

I sometime wonder if the new SAT with its new subjective writing part is n't a backdoor way to also limit Asians.

If we turned away from diversity and just put into place affirmative action for blacks (the actual discrimination victims, or atleast their heirs) then you might have 5% Afr.Amer. with 90-95% of the admissions pool based on test scores, grades, and the all important other. This would be less biased towards Asians although I suspect, again, at a certain concentration there would be backdoor discrimination.

What troubles we bring upon our selves when we allow policies or any type to favor or disfavor peoples based upon race.

Posted by: Larry | Jan 27, 2007 6:28:01 PM

Affirmative action is a tricky business because it's hard to sell racism to fair-minded people. 'We will fight racism by being racist' just doesn't sit right with most Americans.

Posted by: Les Nessman | Jan 27, 2007 6:31:42 PM

racial and cultural diversity is a god-given gift that American universities should not give up.

You know, once upon a time white privilege was "a god-given gift that [the South] should not give up." It's nice to see that as the idea (racism) remains the same, so do the arguments used by its defenders.

"Being white does not add to the diversity of the Princeton student body."

Do you really not understand what a racist statement that is?

Posted by: Greg D | Jan 27, 2007 6:51:58 PM

I gotta admit, I just love it when commenters are more intellectually rigorous and correct than the poster.
I may of been confused, intellectually deficient as I am, by the original post, yet, all was made clear in the comments.
Will the meaningless "racial diversity" ever be replaced by "intellectual diversity"?
Probably not!

Posted by: Mike | Jan 27, 2007 7:06:43 PM

The ultimate goal is diversity in our colleges and graduate schools.

The ultimate should be to admit based on merit and to educate based on objective standards.

If you want to shaft white people, perhaps you're in the wrong business.

Posted by: paul a'barge | Jan 27, 2007 7:10:28 PM

"What is specifically hurting Asian Americans is alleged discrimination in favor of white applicants."

Rrrrrriiiiiiiiight. I can just see the discussion on the liberal admissions board now... "We're letting too many Asians in! We're gonna have to admit some more whites because we've already maxed out the nominally admittable blacks and hispanics."

That's basically what you're saying: "Too many" Asians get admitted, and there aren't enough qualified other minorities. So the Asians' "rightful" places are taken by whites. Affirmative action isn't so great when it hurts your group, is it? And you thought it was just supposed to be targeted at the white man! Maybe that's the problem with affirmative action... It's not fair!

A great man once said that he dreamt of a day when people would be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. We can only hope for such a day, but at least most white people got the message. When will you get it prof?

Posted by: zhongguo nvxu | Jan 27, 2007 7:17:20 PM

corwin Jan 27, 2007 3:49:22 PM,

Well yes. Only dorks attend U. Chicago.

This U. Chicago dork went on to become a US Navy Reactor Operator dork.

No gin rummy, acey-deucy, or pinochle for us. Bridge. Still, if you are looking for raw brain power - U Chicago it is.

Posted by: M. Simon | Jan 27, 2007 7:21:17 PM

Listening to professors argue about what kind of affirmative action they want is a lot like listening to a bunch of bigots at a Klan meeting trying to determine which church they are going to burn next. At least the bigots have the upper hand in brevity and self-awareness. Here we have a professor (I assume) who is worried that as we burn down educational opportunities for those with improper skin color in favor of those with the more favored variety we might not be discriminating against the right people in the right proportions. Until affirmative action proponents are ostracized in the same manner as other racists and bigots we will continue to be subjected to long-winded self-justifications as posted above.

The way a lot of the racist attitudes were stamped out in the south to the extent that they are was by challenging the bigots at every utterance and making them pariahs. Being from the south, that is my purpose in posting here. It only took a hundred years or so to beat the truth through the hardest heads in the south. Given what passes for reasoning in academia these days, I am not hopeful that another hundred years will be sufficient for the professoriate to catch up to the rednecks.

Posted by: voluble | Jan 27, 2007 8:38:21 PM

Instead of tiptoeing around the elephant in the room, let's just admit the obvious. The diversity mafia cares not whether your race is less populous than others, only whether it is politically savvy enough to successfully claim the mantra of victimhood. Minorities who do not command victim status (e.g. Asians) are effectively not minorities when it comes to the pursuit of diversity.

Interestingly you state that "...The ultimate goal is diversity in our colleges and graduate schools." Is that the ultimate goal? I would have thought the ultimate goal had something to do with obtaining and sharing knowledge. At least you identified the other elephant in the room- the pursuit of social engineering objectives has trumped the original purpose of the university.

Its a crowded room with 2 elephants in it. Too crowded for anything else.

Posted by: Anon | Jan 27, 2007 8:52:58 PM

'Diversity' is the name given to the goal of 'Progressives' to leverage the laudable if misguided sentiment of preferential treatment for African Americans into an overarching control of the entire student body and experience.

It was a rebranding of the the civil rights programs of the 50s into a more dialectical 'group identity' approach, useful for its polemical and rhetorical flexibility.

Like all Dogma, it no longer is connected to its origins. It floats on a catechism of habitual use. To question it is to be uncouth at best and heretical at worst. Such is the open questioning tolerant university of today.

Sadly, it seems our author was too good a student and has swallowed its premises whole.

Mediocrity indeed.

Posted by: wlpeak | Jan 27, 2007 9:07:55 PM

The better people perform as a "race," the more points they take off those people's scores. So much for a meritocracy of individuals or a colorblind society; instead we get racist subsidies.

Handicapping is for horses. People are supposed to have rights.

If they're going to create "affirmative" action, they need to affirm something sensible and not racist, like economic status. Do the children of multimillionaire blacks need a leg up? Do the children of penniless Asian immigrants who barely speak English deserve a kick down? It's just stupid.

Posted by: TallDave | Jan 27, 2007 9:11:30 PM

While it isn't a complete solution to this problem, there is one way the diversity at elite universities could be increased without unfairly discriminating against individuals in a group that's MORE likely to qualify for admission based on objective, merit-based standards (Asians) in favor of groups that are LESS likely to qualify. Answering two questions reveals this eminently fair solution.

1. What's the one POV that already has a disproportionate influence of the climate of a campus. Undoubtedly the professors.

2. What's the one group that's overwhelming more likely to mirror the point of view of those professors? The children of those professors of course.

Solution: Elite universities implementing diversity programs should agree, one and all, to fill diversity slots by excluding the children of their professors. This means that no child of a Harvard professor can get in Harvard, Yale, Princeton etc. and vice-versa. Instead, they can go to Podunk State U., where they will increase the diversity there. That's a win/win result for diversity and undoubtedly gives the most diversity bang for the number of students targeted for exclusion by neglecting merit.

They say they want to increase diversity. This scheme will do it far more effectively than any other. And it will do it without the pretense that race means diversity. Diversity is a primarly product of rearing. Block the admission of professors' kids and admit more of any other group and school will increase the diversity far more than through any other means. Nothing else even comes close.

Most important of all, this will test whether these schools are really serious about diversity or simply playing games with us. Excluding the son of a white plumber or an Asian restaurant owner costs them nothing. They may even benefit if the downplaying of merit in acceptance means their own kids (accepted as a matter of course under the present scheme) don't have as talented a pool to compete against.

In short, elite universities that don't fill their diversity pools by excluding the children of professors at elite universities are hypocrites. They want others to pay for their pretense of virtue, while making sure their own children slip through the diversity screening unharmed. Has an elite university ever excluded a son or daughter of one of its own to fill a diversity quota? I doubt it.

Jesus loved to attack the pretenses of the proud and powerful by pointing to their hypocrisy. We should do the same.

Posted by: Mike Perry | Jan 27, 2007 9:16:33 PM

I admit I don't entirely understand Prof. Chiu's argument. Is it that affirmative action is supposed to take away spots from whites and give them to non-whites? If this is the case, doesn't that run afoul of Bakke and Gratz/Grutter? If the point is to achieve proportional representation relative to the population (either local or national), then isn't Cal (at >40% Asian) already over-represented for both CA and the US, and Princeton for the US at least (I'm not sure of the NJ percentage)? I'm not trying to debate the merits either way---I just don't understand what the stated goal is, so as a result I don't fully get the conflict. There are many good arguments on both sides of the affirmative action debate; but clarity in what we're trying to accomplish is the first step.

Posted by: Alex | Jan 27, 2007 9:23:36 PM

That is an excellent suggestion, Mike Perry!

Posted by: Tushar D | Jan 27, 2007 9:47:56 PM

JFK: "the proposition that race has NO place in American life and law"

MLKjr. "content of their character rather than the color of their skin"

Everything else is just racism. ALL affirmative action is anti-Asian. Come to California. The universities are openly disregarding the clear intent of Prop 209.

If the Ivies really care about the "diversity" of their student bodies, they should stop admitting all "Legacies," not just the children of professors (but, it is a good point mp.) "The content of their character rather than the depths Daddy's check book."

Affirmative action lowers the standard for certain minorities so the elites can assuage their guilt. It helps no one. Racism is just racism.

If the elites really cared one whit about innercity minority kids, they would support vouchers so these children can escape the disgraceful unionized ghetto schools and get the education that will QUALIFY them for admission to our best universities. The teachers union has caused more destruction on the minority community than all the racist groups added up. Every innercity minority child gets an inferior education.

Why would these communities continue to support the democrat party?

Posted by: JoeS | Jan 27, 2007 10:50:25 PM

The question is simple: should representation in universities necessarily follow that in the population?

If one believes in affirmative action, the answer is yes. Then maintaining the white proportion of the student body, and diminishing that of the over-represented Asians, to increase that of under-represented blacks and Hispanics, follows necessarily. The entering class should be ca. 70% white )with ca. 3% Jews), 12% black, 12% Hispanic, and a few percent Asian and other.

Put another way, Asians are taking up spaces that blacks and Hispancs should have, according to affirmative action supporters. If one subscribes to the logic of affirmative action, cutting back Asian numbers is the only just thing to do.

The shoe being on the other foot pinches a bit, doesn't it?

Posted by: Jay Guevara | Jan 27, 2007 10:58:48 PM

It's odd that proponents of affirmative action always talk about the proportion of the population of particular races in the United States to bolster their efforts to discriminate based on race.

Nowadays, U.S.-based universities routinely run campuses and programs outside the U.S., such as Chicago, Wharton and NYU in Singapore.

U.S. campuses reflect this, with quite high numbers of foreign and foreign-born students.

You could take account of the racial composition of the planet instead. You'd find that "Asians" actually outnumber "Hispanics" by something like 6:1.

Posted by: bill | Jan 28, 2007 12:02:17 AM

It's odd that proponents of affirmative action always talk about the proportion of the population of particular races in the United States to bolster their efforts to discriminate based on race.

Nowadays, U.S.-based universities routinely run campuses and programs outside the U.S., such as Chicago, Wharton and NYU in Singapore.

U.S. campuses reflect this, with quite high numbers of foreign and foreign-born students.

You could take account of the racial composition of the planet instead. You'd find that "Asians" actually outnumber "Hispanics" by something like 6:1.

Posted by: bill | Jan 28, 2007 12:02:18 AM

Alex, no Li is not an idiot for filing the complaint. He filed it with the Dept. of Education. They can cut off funding for Princeton if they find discrimination. No need for a 1983 action, or to determine whether they're state actors.

Snap,
"But in fact, the only reason blacks and Asians end up competing against each other for slots is because Princeton has only a limited number of slots for people of color because Princeton wants to save a large percentage for whites! THAT (the way in which implementing affirmative action programs hurts Asians due to the system's tendency to protect white people no matter what) is what must be scrutinized, NOT affirmative action as a general matter"

All those KKK members in the Princeton adminstration want to save a large percentage for whites? ROFL. Maybe what they need is a few more liberals in the administration. I mean if only they someone there who cared about such things, someone like, let's say, Cornell West.

Prof Chiu, ". . . it perpetuates the historical whiteness of its student body." The problem is that this is either a contradiction in terms or it's a tautology, depending on how you interpret it. I don't see how this is different from saying that Princeton should admit more non-whites just because they're non-whites, and well, Princeton's already had plenty of whites so they don't need so many any more.

Posted by: AYY | Jan 28, 2007 12:10:47 AM

Mike,(7:06:43)
Racial diversity, via affirmative action, HAS resulted in intellectual diversity.

Posted by: Jane | Jan 28, 2007 12:15:08 AM

Do I have this right, some minorities are more equal than other minorities? In the affirmative action race races, Blacks matter the most, followed by Hispanics, then Asians. Jews don't count at all since they are white. How nice to know that Jews are once again on the bottom, with Asians only slightly ahead of us.

Don't you just love race rankings? How very NOT American. How VERY racist.

There's nothing more racist than a bunch of elite liberals trying to 'help' people. And nothing less effective. It hasn't worked in 40 years, but perhaps in another 25? Based on history, the group that liberals decide is the chosen race, the one most worthy of their 'help', will be the race that remains on the bottom. Not to worry, their hearts are in the right place. That should console all victims of racism. They meant well.

Posted by: Jane | Jan 28, 2007 12:25:30 AM

Jane,

You have the order wrong. Asians are discriminated against (they have the highest bar for admission) compared to all other groups, including whites. Jews are nowadays counted among the whites. This is a particularly ironic outcome as many of these Asian are immigrants from families where English is not even spoken at home. That makes it problematic even for AA supporters like Prof. Chiu.

Posted by: anonymous | Jan 28, 2007 12:47:44 AM

Several years ago, as a prank, an aquantance submitted to the University of Michigan, and application by a white student...the only 2 things were changed on the application, the actual NAME, and year of graduation from Grand Rapids High School. The "applicant" was a white male, with a GPA that put him in the top 3% of his school, he played football, was a member of several clubs and organizations...volunteered in his community and did all those things that top university now require...

...the application was rejected...

...the real name of the applicant was Gerald R. Ford

...affirmative action based on race is wrong...it should be based upon poverty or lack thereof..

Posted by: Rich | Jan 28, 2007 12:50:46 AM

One of these days, perhaps someone will actually tell us the value of diversity of color. Prof Chiu appears to value it, yet doesn't tell us why. I read all sorts of folks telling us diversity has value, yet they don't tell us what that value is. I suspect most don't have a clue.

Incrased enrollment of blacks has value to blacks; increased erollment of Asians has value to Asians; increased enrollment of hispanics has value to Hispanics; increased enrollment of whites has value to whites. OK. But what is the value of diversity of skin tint?

The most I have read is people saying diversity guarantees a rich mix of opinions and attitudes. OK. What is the Asian attitude towards oil drilling in wetlands? What is he black attitude towards the war in Iraq? What is the white attitude towards universal health care? And do all members of these groups have the same attitude? Is it possible Asians have a wide variety of attitudes towards oil drilling in wetlands? Is it possible Asians represent all attitudes towards drilling in wetlands, and adding a white to a group of Asians does nothing to make ideas and attitudes more diverse?

I remember being at a mandatory company diversity training session where a very serious trainer was telling us how much better we would all perform if we had a diverse work force. So, I asked how a pipeline designed by five black engineers would be improved by the substitution of one white engineer. (That was very much part of our business.) Do blacks have different attituds towards fluid dynamics, viscosity, pumping rates, temperature, and pressure? Does substituting one white for one black increase their knowledge of such things? Maybe substituting a smarter guy for one of the five would improve things, but how did skin tint matter? The session ended in chaos, thus demonstrating the vast diversity of attitudes towards diversity training.

If we are looking for a diverse mix of ideas, attitudes, and outlooks, why think they are a function of skin tint?

Posted by: Elliot | Jan 28, 2007 1:16:16 AM

Why is ethnic diversity a gift? If I am sitting in a class room next to an individual of different ethnicity, does that make me learn better? If a person's skin colour is different than mine, does that mean we think differently? Are you saying an individuals intellectual contributions differ depending on his ethnicity? If not, then how is diversity such a gift?

I do not see ethnic diversity as either good nor bad. Once the novelty of skin colour, hair styles and accents wear off, people are just people. Diversity is neither here nor there. Using diversity as an entrance criterion is harmful, just like using hair colour as an entrance requirement.

Being rejected because of any sort of discrimination, either direct or reverse, is simply wrong to someone who truly believes in the equality of all people.

Posted by: Sean F | Jan 28, 2007 1:21:34 AM

Such talk is distressing for two reasons. First, it distracts from what I believe is the real claim of Mr. Li’s complaint. Would Mr. Li have been admitted if all else being the same, he was white and obviously white to the Princeton admissions officials, instead of being Chinese American? The difficult question being asked is whether, in addition to affirmative action for Hispanics and Blacks, there has also been unlawful discrimination against Asian Americans. It is far more likely that Mr. Li's application was compared to those of white applicants and not to Black and Hispanic applicants. To turn the tables around then, has there also been race-based priority given to white applicants over Asian American applicants? I do not know the answer to this question and I suspect it is a complicated one. Unfortunately, the current discussion does not focus on it.

This is pure conjecture. Shouldn't an "intellectually honest" blog post contain a shred of supporting evidence when espousing an alternate theory of the same old "white discrimination"? Is discrimination in favor of whites really "far more likely" than the following scenario: once the "proper" number of asians have been accepted, all subsequent applicants must overcome the "drive for diversity". Li's application WAS compared to those of whites.... and to those of other asians, as well. It was NOT judged against the applications of the "underrepresented" minorities, however, because those quotas hadn't been reached.

Are you so wedded to your "rainbow coalition" that you refuse to see that the "real" claim of Li's complaint is exactly what he says it is? Are you afraid that considering the merits of the claim, and not dismissing it as just another attempt by the Man to keep on oppressing you, that you will be expelled from the Cool Color Club?

Posted by: CNH | Jan 28, 2007 1:37:42 AM

One problem that is inherent, but ignored here, is what is the compared admissibility (without AA)of the best declined Asian vs. the least qualified accepted black or hispanic? And how would the gross numbers look if the admission process did not discriminate against (presumably East) Asians (the Muslim oil money gets in a lot of West Asians that probably should be separate categories ethnically)? When the school went from 40% white to 15% white, would there be political support for 20% black and 20% hispanic racial set-asides? Or would the entire Affirmative Action Temple come crumbling down as voters in at least some states used any size hammer needed to change things (if the state regents won't go along, they can be replaced by energetic enough a state congress, and if they don't push, the state houses can be replaced by the voters)
As long as any party pooper minority groups don't refuse the old paradigm "work hard and get ahead" they threaten all the minority groups proclaiming victim's rights for not succeeding under their own efforts.
That endangerment is what the Prof. here is after protecting, even if it sounds funny to nonacademic ears.

Posted by: J'hn1 | Jan 28, 2007 3:06:52 AM

I am a Princeton grad who is heartily sick of this "preference" crapola.

How about we try for once in this country to admit the BEST STUDENTS and see what happens? Everybody gets a number during admissions and gender/alumni parents/race/ethnicity/sexual preference/blah/blah/blah gets ignored by these tinkering foolish admissions officers, as it should.

It would have the side benefit of creating the greatest university on earth as the lower-performing preference admits get tossed.

And as long you are going to care so much about "diversity," how about some lovin' for non-leftists/socialists/Marxists? Diversity in higher education means people who look different from one another, but think and act almost exactly the same (especially of course among the faculty).

I stick with Ronald Reagan on this one. From a Thomas Sowell book:

“It has been said that, when Ronald Reagan was governor of California, someone told him that admitting students to the University of California on individual performance alone could mean that all the students at Berkeley might be Asian Americans.

"So what?" was the Gipper's response.”

Posted by: Chester White | Jan 28, 2007 5:56:37 AM

This nation was built by dozens of different groups of people who came here under difficult circumstances. Most were treated poorly by those already here (No Irish Need Apply signs were common in NYC at one time, there were overt anti-Jewish quotas at one time, Spanish speaking kids were sometimes punished in schools, the Chinese brought here to build the railroads were only a few steps above slavery, ad nauseam). Every group has prospered except for 2: Americans of African descent and Native American ("Indians"). The major thing these 2 groups have in common is overt atempts by well meaning, mostly white, people to set up government programs to "help" them. I for one am very happy that nobody thought to set up a "Bureau of Jewish Affairs" to make sure that we got our share of government "help." My ancestors worked hard, made sure that their kids got good educations, deferred their own fun, and we are now prosperous and in the ironic position of being discriminated against because we have succeeded too much. Same for Chinese/Irish/Italian; Spanish are on the way We (i.e., my grandparents) never thought to worry that a government program would break up our families or ruin our schools. We knew that if we didn't get up every morning and get to work or school, we would end up in what the sociologists now call "the underclass." The American Dream is a cliche, but an accurate one, that can be undermined only by the American Government. We are now perilously close to a situation where a patient in a strange ER with a white MD and a black one would be justified in a silent prayer that she gets the white doc. As an MD, I can confidently state that my experience to this point is that a prayer of this type is not justified, but it's just a matter of time before someone notices that the medical board exam appear to discriminate against people of color, and that a little race norming might improve the diversity of the medical profession. Do we really want to go there?

Posted by: jb | Jan 28, 2007 8:10:54 AM

This comment thread is so encouraging! If the commenters are at all representative of the population as a whole, it would appear that there's an emerging consensus against racism. Rev. King, your dreamed-of colorblind society is clearly visible in the distance, and draws nearer.

It's little surprise to me that professors as a class, disadvantaged by overexposure to the culture of academia, are the last to figure it out.

Posted by: Jonathan | Jan 28, 2007 8:54:11 AM

A sad article in Stars and Stripes stated that for 2006 something like only 709 black high school seniors nationwide met the admissions requirements for West Point. I think the SAT score required was 1200. If you took away the Army's physical requirements, it was something like only 900 black seniors nationwide. So from the sounds of it all the top colleges are scrambling over a qualified black applicant pool of about 1,000 people. The focus of the article was on how West Point would love to have more black cadets but will not lower its admissions standards.

I tried to find the Stripes article online but no luck. I remember reading it in Iraq sometime in the second half of 2006. I was surprised by how low the number of qualified students actually was.

Posted by: ea | Jan 28, 2007 9:06:06 AM

In my original post, I criticized the mass media coverage of the controversy over college admissions and Asian Americans applicants for being weak and misleading. The comments to my original post have largely been a more robust and honest discussion of the issues. I look forward to much more debate and to the release of more information on this topic.

Many of the recent comments have been reactions to one sentence I wrote: “Being white does not add to the diversity of the Princeton student body.” I wrote that sentence as part of a much longer comment that I hastily put together before the weekend. I now realize that this one sentence lends itself easily to being taken out of context and misunderstood. I wrote it in connection with a very particular hypothetical about Mr. Li’s application to Princeton and his credentials. Being white alone does not add to the diversity of the Princeton student body, given the sizeable numbers of white students there; but if a white applicant were Polish, Mormon, gay, poor, a Conservative or Republican, or from rural Idaho, then certainly he or she would add a diverse viewpoint. A broad view of diversity that values both racial and non-racial types of diversity asks an admissions process to go beyond skin color.

I agree with those who believe that a university should provide excellent education. I simply also believe that a key ingredient to an excellent education is diversity amongst students, faculty and administration.

Posted by: Elaine | Jan 29, 2007 12:04:39 PM

JoeS:

I'm another Joe S., but I want to distinguish myself from you. Specifically, you should check your assumptions/talking points against actual data. Studies repeatedly show that, holding other factors equal, students in schools with a unionized teaching force do better on standardized tests and have higher graduation rates than students in schools with non-unionized teachers. See, e.g., Steelman Powell and Carini, "Do Teacher Unions Hinder Educational Performance? Lessons Learned from State SAT and ACT Scores," Harvard Education Review (Winter 2000) (summarizing various studies).

Posted by: Joseph Slater | Jan 29, 2007 1:56:21 PM

This thread is more intelligent and far less suggestive of prejudice, one way or the other, than many threads I see on affirmative action stories and issues. There is also much to comment on. I will just remark on a few themes:
1) Elaine is taking undue flack for her comment that being white does not add to diversity. It certainly does at Howard, for example. But on a majority white campus it does not. However traits whites have, and traits that may be predominently found among whites, like being raised on a ranch in Wyoming, can add to diversity, and our most selective Universities at least claim these traits figure importantly in their admissions decisions.
2) Academic merit and the value of diversity are both hard to measure. Admissions test scores are far from perfect poredictors of college performance, they are affected by test preparation investments which some groups are better able to afford than others, and they seem to have some racial and cultural biases built into them. High school grades can be inflated and may mean different things at different schools because the quality of teaching varies. Affirmative action admittees tend to receive lower grades than white admittees in college and professional schools, but the few studies that explore later success in the way education is used, Bowen and Bok's book most prominently but other work on medicine and law show similar results, suggest beneficiaries of affirmative action benefit greatly from their educations and that they go on to enjoy the kind of success in lfe that a quality education brings. In addition, the seem to engage in more public service than whites do.
3) Discrimination in favor of racial minorities (e.g. blacks) is not the same as discrimination against them. When blacks were disadvantaged by, for example, segregation, the disadvantage had huge costs, was across many spheres, was not offset by discrimination in their favor in some spheres, was justified on the grounds of their inferiority and hence was stigmatizing, etc. etc. Discriminating in favor of blacks does not stigmatize whites, does not hugely disadvantage them (If a white student doesn't get into Princeton he can still probably get into Brown), and the white is likely to gain compensating but less visible advantages because of his/her race. Well designed recent research shows that resumes with "black" names are less likely to receive invitations for interviews than the same resumes with white names; blacks with clean records fare as poorly or worse when seeking lwo-skilled work than whites with criminal records, etc. Finally whites control how much affirmative action occurs so unlike anti-black racism there are likely to be real limits; indeed, the proportion of blscks admitted to elite schools through affirmative action is usually quite a bit less than the proportion of college age blacks in the population. One may feel race should never figure in allocating resources like places in elite higher education, but those who feel this way should not deceive themsleves into thinking that this kind of decision is "just as bad" as the discrimiantion minorities have suffered.
4) Colleges value diversity for many reasons. While there may be no difference between how white and black engineers design pipelines, there is often a great deal of difference in how they think about welfare reform. Moreover, the presence of minorities on campus have opened up and exposed whites to areas of study - like black literature - that would otherwise have been almost invisible. Courses at campus follow a law of supply and demand. Because large numbers of blacks might be interested in subjects like the welfare reform or black literature or African Politics courses are offered that whites take and benefit from. The same is true of other minorities like Asians and Hispanics. Asian art courses, for example, would probably be far less numerous if there were not Asians on campus and certain languages might not be taught, but when such courses are offered they are open to all studnets and students of all races take them. The horizons of white students are expanded by the presence of blacks, Hispanics, Asians and others on campus just as the horzons of blacks, Hispanics, Asians and others are expanded, and this is true even if students do not have any interracial friendships, but of course many interacial friendships and conversations exist. If you look at a college campus and see who walks with and talks with whom, you will see lots of same race groups, but you will also see lots of racially mixed groups and conversations.
5) I think a good legal case can be made that affirmative action should be limited to two groups: blacks and American Indians. These are the only groups that had a degraded constitutional and legal status form the start of this country. Long after the 14th amendment both groups continued to be legally discriminated against in many ways, and the evidence for contineud subtle and not so subtle discrimination against blacks today is substantial. (Discrimination against American indians has been much less studied.) One can of course make other strongarguments,including the curent discrimination argument and diversity argument, for affirmative action for Hispanics, but I don't think their legal claims are as strong.
6) Diversity is not the only justificatiojn for affirmative action in education and is probably not the most important one, but because of Supreme Court decisions the converation has been channeled so as to focus on this. I think this is unfortunate and has hampered wide-ranging and frank discussion. Race is such a pervasive part of life both here and globally that society benefits from educated monorities in ways it would not benefit from whites who received the same education even if the whites were better students. Policing black and hispanic ghettos with white police officers is easily read by minorities as oppression and can be a formula for disaster. In a military disproportionately minority at the enlisted level, black officers may have a special capacity to relate to the troops. At least harsh discipline cannot be attributed to racism. Businesses working with firms, governments and customers in Latin America, Asia and Africa need educated representatives who share the racial background of those they deal with. Indeed having an interracial workforce is one of Ameria's great advantages in the emerging global economy. Several studies indicate that black physicians are far more likely than whites to serve black communities, and it seems from a study of graduiates of one elite law school that black graduates are far more likely than other groups to serve black clients, hispanics to serve hispanic clients, Asians to serve asian clients and native americans to serve native american clients. Another justification for affirmative action is compensatory -to make up for past and ongoing discrimination; a third is that when already disadvantaged groups see that many of their most able members do not have the same opportunity as the most able members of the dominent majority resentment grows andwith it interracial troubles of all sorts; a fourth s fairness; if members of a race constitute a 7th of a state's taxpayers, is it right that they constitute only a 50th of those students able to attend that state's elite university? It is, after all, not as if academic merit rigorously defined was the only thing Universities looked at in admitting students - the University of Michigan, for example, gave a slight admissions boost to students from the almost entirely white Upper Pennisula and Northern Michigan areas and, of course, gives a huge boost over apparently more meritorious applicants to all students from Michigan on the theory that Michigan's taxpayers are supporting the institution and should get a disproportionate share of its places even if in-state applicants appear less strong academically than the New Yorkers the school rejects in droves. Why shouldn't blacks within Michigan have similar feelings, not demanding a proportionate share but at least wanting to see black students who are predicted to succeed at Michigan gain admission to the school. Linda Wightman, who looked at law school admisisons data, reported that in the cohort examined there was something like 3500 (I forget the exact number, but the general picture will be right) minorities admitted to the nation's law schools who were not predicted to be admitted to those schools based on their test scores and LSAT scores, and there were something like 4000 white losers, students who were predicted admits but were not in fact admitted. However, there were also about 6000 whites admitted to law schools who on the basis of their LSATs and undergraduate grades should not have gained admission. In short, if no whites had done better than they were predicted to do on thee basis of these indicators of academic merit, every white who was an affirmative action loser could have been admitted and a lot of the affirmative action admittees as well.

Posted by: Richard Lempert | Jan 31, 2007 4:17:45 PM

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this thread. It is several levels above the customary commentary about "affirmative action." A few observations, in no particular order of importance: First, the fact that Asians are discriminated against by most elite universities - public and private - is indisputable, it seems to me. Second, that fact alone should be sufficient to cause our society to demand an end to such policies. Racial or ethnic discrimination should be opposed without question and without regard to the matter of which "groups" are benefited or harmed by the end of discrimination. Third, at the University of California where I served a 12-year sentence as a Regent, it was easier to reduce the number of slots assigned to whites, in a pro-"affirmative action" era than to accept a lower number of "underrepresented minorities." Asians generally do no complain about the numbers as much as black and Latino advocacy groups. Thus, in a political sense, they were the pawn to buy peace with the NAACP and MALDEF. In a post-race preference era, where "proxies" are sought for "affirmative action," middle income whites without demonstrable "adversity" are likely to bear the brunt of "diversity" policies.

Finally, "diversity" is, in a word, BALONEY. At the end of my term as a Regent, I still had no answer from countless administrators and faculty about the meaning of "diversity." It is an amorphous term that merely serves as a fig leaf for wanting more blacks in the student body.

Posted by: Ward Connerly | Feb 5, 2007 6:35:02 PM

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