“Harvard Admissions Process Does Not Discriminate Against Asian-Americans, Judge Rules” (nytimes) describes how an Obama-appointed judge approved of Harvard’s system of admitting students based on race. (The NYT headline is interesting; it would be more accurate to say that the judge ruled that she didn’t care whether Harvard discriminated against Asians or that the judge ruled that Harvard did discriminate against Asians, but that they did so with her blessing.)
Here’s my comment:
A Whirlpool factory service guy showed up today to fix the refrigerator (failed in early September after three weeks; soonest service appointment was today, Oct 1). He turned out to be an immigrant from South Korea whose job now is cleaning up after all of the appliance failures experienced by American McMansion-dwellers.
I would love to see the judge explain to his children why they will need to work harder and score higher than children of other races in order to get into a college that is at least partially funded with taxes paid by their appliance repairman dad.
Assuming that other factors are equal, the child of an investment banker with the correct skin color will be admitted by Harvard ahead of the Korean-American child of an appliance technician.
Readers: What do you think? Would judges be less likely to approve of racial discrimination if they had to explain to the young targets of the discrimination how it was going to work?
[Separately, why is it okay for the judge to imply that a group of Asians is lacking in diversity? “In her decision, Judge Burroughs defended the benefits of diversity … ‘The rich diversity at Harvard and other colleges and universities and the benefits that flow from that diversity,’ she added, ‘will foster the tolerance, acceptance and understanding that will ultimately make race conscious admissions obsolete.'” Isn’t the implication that if we assemble white and black Americans we have “rich diversity,” but if we assemble a group of Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Cambodian, Burmese, and Indian students we have a boring monoculture?]
- https://philip.greenspun.com/blog/2019/09/18/why-is-it-difficult-to-make-a-reliable-refrigerator/ (background on the refrigerator saga; the $2,600 Kitchenaid failed after three weeks; the tech today said that it was an example of “Monday morning or Friday afternoon assembly,” with a thermometer that is supposed to control the coil defrost cycle in the wrong place and some blue tape left improperly in the fridge evaporator section. He thought that it would have been easy to see at the factory that the unit had been assembled improperly, so there was at least a deficiency in inspection)
- “Legacy and Athlete Preferences at Harvard,” a paper by economists at Duke, University of Georgia, and University of Oklahoma; Harvard is not seeking out “students of color” because they grew up poor: “disadvantaged African Americans receive virtually no tip for being disadvantaged” (the (Harvard grad) friend who sent me this article concluded “being black confers the same advantage as giving the school over $1 million”)
- Grutter v. Bollinger, in which the Supreme Court held that University of Michigan could discriminate on the basis of race (against a white woman), but Sandra Day O’Connor wrote “race-conscious admissions policies must be limited in time … [the] Court expects that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.”