August 2, 2017

"This is deeply disturbing. It would be a dog whistle that could invite a lot of chaos and unnecessarily create hysteria among colleges and universities..."

"... who may fear that the government may come down on them for their efforts to maintain diversity on their campuses."

Said Kristen Clarke, president of the liberal Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, quoted in the NYT article that begins "The Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants, according to a document obtained by The New York Times."

(The word that jumps out at me is "white." What about Asian-Americans? Aren't they the ones losing out?)

The top-rated comment at the NYT is:
A revolting and infuriating display of this administration's warped priorities. A dog whistle to white supremacists and another distraction from the country's real problems, which are mounting by the day.
Another highly-rated comment:
Trump knows what he's doing. He knows that 'affirmative action' is one of the loudest dog whistles there is. White people will come out of the woodwork to tell their tales of how unqualified, illiterate Black people got their place at Harvard and THAT'S why they've never amounted to much in this world.

Trump must be getting really desperate if he's playing the affirmative action card so early in his presidency. I would think he would hold on to that until just before the election. Mueller must be close to something.

109 comments:

Laslo Spatula said...

"...could invite a lot of chaos and unnecessarily create hysteria among colleges and universities..."

I like it better when the colleges keep to necessary hysteria.

Organized hysteria prevents the chaos of thought.

I am Laslo.



Laslo Spatula said...

Sorry about the extra spaces.

I am Laslo.

Brando said...

I notice that the people complaining of a "dog whistls" seem to be the only ones hearing the "dog whistle", rather than the people it is ostensibly aimed at. Isn't the point of the "dog whistle" that no one else can hear it except for the people it is intended for?

Mattman26 said...

You can't battle race discrimination here! This is the Civil Rights Division!

sparrow said...

It definately discriminates against Asians, who are not on the approved minority list.
AA has always been a racist approach that actually harms the recipients of largess by putting them in schools above their level and undermining their acheivments in the eyes of others if they are earned. Further it steeps resentment in those who loose out due to race, further undermining social cohesion. Of course following the actual outcomes of policies was never the point: it's all about the appearance of caring rather than actual benefit.

Fernandinande said...

How many years ago did the philosopher queen bleat about government sponsored college racism disappearing within 25 years?

MadisonMan said...

The article says where the resources are being diverted to.

I want to know: From where are they being diverted?

It's hard to comment when you don't know the whole story. There is a finite amount of money to be spent -- really! So what do the Justice Dept Civil Rights Divisives want to do?

rhhardin said...

The key leftist idea is that lying is a virtue. They object to anybody saying lying isn't a virtue. The whole thing collapses if people start saying what they see instead of what they're told to say.

WisRich said...

"-The way to stop discriminating on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."

- John Roberts, Chief Justice

sparrow said...

Also the Supremes support for and obvious exception to the concept of equality under the law further weakens support and respect for the Judicary; but that's hardly the only example.

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
YoungHegelian said...

The reason colleges & universities don't want the DoJ investigating is because, in their quest to maintain "diversity", colleges & universities use blatantly discriminatory admission criteria. No matter how many court cases they've lost, nothing changes at the admissions level. No matter how many studies show that admitting minority students to schools far above their capabilities helps no one, least of all the student himself, nothing ever changes.

Maybe the Trump administration can make something change. I doubt it, but they're welcome to try.

William said...

Nice catch about the Asians. Putting all complaints about affirmative action under the aegis of white resentment is itself a bit of a dog whistle......Except liberals don't listen to dog whistles. They sound the alarm. Or do that thing you do to the tocsin, whatever that is.

JPS said...

Affirmative action (or whatever euphemism we may prefer so as not to dog-whistle all those white supremacists) has two effects that I can see, at least at the group level of focus in my corner of academia:

- To take minority applicants who were always going to succeed, who would have succeeded under a race-blind system, and to push them way out front. They can write their own ticket; they have institutions competing for them.

- To take in applicants who would be iffy or long-shots if they didn't belong to historically disadvantaged groups, and make them very likely admits. From what I can see, they are often not less capable, but they are less obviously prepared. Many in this group, after admission, tend to struggle.

At the individual level, this means you can find a minority candidate who got in with scores and grades lower than a white or Asian applicant who didn't. This strikes many people, not otherwise white supremacists, as unfair. There are two main classes of response from those defending or invested in the system:

- Lot of unfairness going the other way, all these years. Too bad. It's the least unjust solution to achieve some sort of fairness going forward.

- No, that doesn't happen. You racist.

Personally, I think we use affirmative action at the college and grad school level because it's a hell of a lot easier than fixing the K-12 problems that leave minority applicants disproportionately less competitive under race-blind admissions. Better just to change the criteria, pretend you didn't, teach in college what should have been taught in high school, and promise to be more progressive.

Fernandinande said...

Stephen Hsu's college racism articles.
Trigger Warning: data.

rhhardin said...

I'd go with freedom of association myself. If they want blacks, they can have blacks.

The investigation ought to be of conspiracy and monopoly markets, which may well exist.

Nice school you have there; too bad if something were to happen to you.

Ray said...

Amazing how poor whites are ignored when discussing affirmative action college admissions...

Asian discrimination in college admission don't count as a people of color issue?

jwl said...

I wonder if the documents NYT saw really said discrimination against white applicants or just regular discrimination and NYT reporter thinks they mean caucasians.

There have been regular stories for years about how Asian Americans are being discriminated against by ivy leagues, who are keeping their universities mostly white even tho Chinese, Korean and Indian kids are doing better academically.

Discrimination always seem to be about what white people are doing to black people to hold them down but brown people from India, Thailand, South Korea .... always seem to get left out of discussion.



Michael said...

Haha. It doesn't mean what the lefties think it means. It means if you are an administrator in the California system you had better learn Chinese. The lefties think everything is a conspiracy against black people. LOL

PackerBronco said...

The only way to stop racial discrimination in college applications is to take into account race when evaluating college applications and to not take into account a person's race is racial discrimination. Ouch my head hurts ...

Ray said...

I don't see the Justice department under Trump as being as politically driven as Obamas was, but Trump supporters, including Indian Americans who Trump did very well hate the current college admissions discrimination.

Asian Americans is another group this is a huge issue with, but mostly vote democratic. This is potentially a huge wedge issue.

Rick Turley said...

rhhardin said...

"The key leftist idea is that lying is a virtue."

I respectfully beg to differ. Both McCain and Murkowski had on their website as late as 2015 speeches and press releases promising to repeal Obamacare. This week Cantor went on the record as having lied about repealing it for political advantage:

"He goes further: “To give the impression that if Republicans were in control of the House and Senate, that we could do that when Obama was still in office . . . .” His voice trails off and he shakes his head. “I never believed it.”

"He says he wasn’t the only one aware of the charade: “We sort of all got what was going on, that there was this disconnect in terms of communication, because no one wanted to take the time out in the general public to even think about ‘Wait a minute—that can’t happen.’ ” But, he adds, “if you’ve got that anger working for you, you’re gonna let it be.” "


https://www.washingtonian.com/2017/07/26/eric-cantor-republicans-obamacare-donald-trump/

Dude1394 said...

Democrat racists, will always see racism in everything.

bagoh20 said...

Being discriminated against is a privilege - White privilege. Asians ain't got no privilege becuase of the way they drive, and that seems fair to me.

bgates said...

Trump must be getting really desperate if he's playing the affirmative action card so early in his presidency

Maybe he thinks the universities acted stupidly.

Ralph L said...

Why can't the national government leave private schools alone. State schools too. It isn't like there's a college administration in the country trying to keep black students out.

tcrosse said...

My take on Affirmative Action is that the people at the top merely changed their pattern of discrimination.

Fernandinande said...

jwl said...
Discrimination always seem to be about what white people are doing to black people to hold them down but brown people from India, Thailand, South Korea .... always seem to get left out of discussion.


"Those people" cause failures in the official narratives about pitiful oppressed minorities; the easiest solution is to pretend they don't exist.

bagoh20 said...

I wonder what the percentage of stories this year contain the words: Russian, collusion, disturbing, or chaos. It's got to be near 100%, and not just contain the words, but have one as the main theme of the report.

hawkeyedjb said...

"Diversity" is the biggest dog whistle of them all.

I once had occasion to ask a diversocrat in the U of California system how, exactly, the university would benefit by the presence of fewer Asian students. He twisted himself into knots trying to avoid saying anything. By the time he was finished, he was speaking in tongues.

Ann Althouse said...

"I notice that the people complaining of a "dog whistls" seem to be the only ones hearing the "dog whistle", rather than the people it is ostensibly aimed at. Isn't the point of the "dog whistle" that no one else can hear it except for the people it is intended for?"

On the theory that the answer is yes, it means that a message is going out that is intended to create anxiety about white supremacy to those who don't like it. But why would such a message be intended? It would have to be as the quote in the post title say: We want the people in higher education to worry that the white supremacists are coming to get them. We want the paranoia there. The rest of the people don't need to hear anything at all. We're not asking for anything from them.

chuck said...

The NY Times is a window into the asylum, nothing more.

Ann Althouse said...

My comment at 9:08 accepts the hypothesis that there is a dog whistle. That means that there's someone on the blowing end, choosing to communicate with the "dogs" -- the people who hear a particular sound. Thus the sound in question should be the thing that the people who are hearing it have a special ability to hear and that those who are emitting the sound are intending to convey a message selectively to them and not to others.

Rick said...

Why does the left think opposition to race preferences must be a stand in for something other than opposition to race preferences? Are we to believe they cannot understand people think race preferences are wrong or is this standard "everything we disagree with is racist" leftism?

we use affirmative action at the college and grad school level because it's a hell of a lot easier than fixing the K-12 problems that leave minority applicants disproportionately less competitive under race-blind admissions. Better just to change the criteria, pretend you didn't, teach in college what should have been taught in high school, and promise to be more progressive.

This is right. Tackling subpar k-12 education would antagonize two key Democratic party constituencies, teachers unions and poor minority parents. Politically it's much better to paper over those problems with race preferences which promise a proportionate number of the group go to college and get government jobs afterward than to strive for improvement which would antagonize both constituencies. Bonus outcome: the more dependent on government the recipients remain the more likely they are to stay loyal Democrats.

buwaya said...

This all is an attempt to solve "the gap" in K-12 academic outcomes and performance at work. A very great deal has been sacrificed for this, the worst loss probably being in K-12 academic standards, and it has been for nothing.

Whatever has been happening in colleges is ultimately just an adjustment to the declining quality of their input.

And then there are the demographic effects, due to low fertility among the groups most likely to perform well.

Ralph L said...

They should start calling it a train whistle. Dog whistle is the new codeword for "codeword."

bagoh20 said...

Maybe it's impossible to not be racist. There is just an in racism and and out racism.

Anti-white racism is skinny jeans, and anti-black racism is fanny packs.

Real American said...

Good. About time our government starts sticking it to racist Democrat sacred cows.

Sebastian said...

@William: "Putting all complaints about affirmative action under the aegis of white resentment is itself a bit of a dog whistle." Correct. Prog dog whistle rhetoric is a dog whistle.

@AA: "those who are emitting the sound are intending to convey a message selectively to them and not to others." Since the so-called dog whistles actually don't work that way, I think you need a dog whistle bullshit tag.

@JPS: "we use affirmative action at the college and grad school level because it's a hell of a lot easier than fixing the K-12 problems that leave minority applicants disproportionately less competitive." But even if we "fix" all K-12 problems, there would be massive disparities, due to the variable distribution of--wait, didn't Charles Murray write a book about it?

No doubt the actual distribution in achievement does not adequately reflect the underlying distribution of aptitude, since some kids do get screwed along the way, but bell curves are bell curves.

Fernandinande said...

Fiddling with K-12 schools doesn't work:
America’s Most Costly Educational Failure

Chinese Girl in the Ghetto
She went to a ghetto school filled with violent, anti-Asian racist thugs and became "a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University" rather than ending up in prison, on welfare or working at McDonald's. The school didn't stop her, why should it stop anyone else?

The high heritability of educational achievement reflects many genetically influenced traits, not just intelligence

Everyone hates genes and so Lysenkoism is alive and well. Sigh.

Fernandinande said...

Chinese Girl in the Ghetto

bgates said...

From wikipedia:

An ethnic group or ethnicity is a category of people who identify with each other based on similarities such as common ancestral, language, social, cultural or national experiences.[1][2] Ethnicity is often an inherited status based on the society in which one lives. In some cases, it can be adopted if a person moves into another society[citation needed]. Membership of an ethnic group tends to be defined by a shared cultural heritage, ancestry, origin myth, history, homeland, language or dialect, symbolic systems such as religion, mythology and ritual, cuisine, dressing style, art, and physical appearance.

In what sense is a Deplorable like me part of the same ethnic group as the presumably predominantly white people who comment at The New York Times? They despise much of the cultural heritage available to us. We have radically different origin myths ("City on a Hill" vs "Plymouth Rock landed on us"). We "share a homeland" the way the Normans shared land with the Saxons. Religion? I acknowledge I have one. Mythology? I know Alexander Hamilton was white. Try advertising a restaurant in Brooklyn with the slogan "Big in Topeka". Ask Tom & Lorenzo if they share a dressing style with us out in the sticks. Their art includes rather more assassination porn than is fashionable outside the big cities. Tell an urban sophisticate she's physically indistinguishable from the sort of white person who lives in Idaho or West Virginia or 40 other states.

Lucien said...

"Dog Whistle" is the new "insensitive".

When you have no argument to make except an ad hominem argument, and your favorite ad hominem attack is to call someone racist, what to do when your target has not said anything "racist"? For a while you could look for things that were somehow racially insensitive, like saying Michael Brown was not a sweet innocent child. When you can't find something like that, you look for something that you could imagine would be significant to the hordes of white supremacists you (and all of your friends) just know is out there at the edge of the woods (with the creepy clowns). You can also refer to terms like "merit based" or "color-blind" as microaggressions.

This didn't really work too well in the last election when the left decided that anyone who wanted the US immigration laws enforced should be called a racist. Tens of millions who held that position and knew they weren't racists also knew that Trump wasn't either, et voila!

Roy Lofquist said...

Race has little to do with it. If a non-Democrat said they prefer vanilla over chocolate (Trump anyone?) they'd scream about H8 and discrimination. The only dogs involved are Pavlov's puppies.

Karen said...

Oh, the stories I could tell, but I'll settle for just one. We get a lot of SAT prep promos in the mail because my husband is Asian. The most recent one promises to help Asian students overcome the discriminatory practices at Ivy League colleges. Selling points? Asians need a 120 point lead in SAT to be contsidered, plus they have to start on their resumes as early as 9th grade to develop the "right" activities. Playing the violin identifies you as an Asian, hence bad. President of your class - good. Apparently Asians have to do a lot nowadays to game the systematic discrimination. By the way, the language of the administration's push on this says nothing about white. MSM made up that part.

Caligula said...

"- To take in applicants who would be iffy or long-shots if they didn't belong to historically disadvantaged groups, and make them very likely admits. From what I can see, they are often not less capable, but they are less obviously prepared. Many in this group, after admission, tend to struggle."

Affirmative action has created some evils; nonetheless, one should be careful of what one wishes for.

For if racial and ethnic preferences were totally eliminated yet college admissions remained committed to proportional-representation diversity then to achieve that they'll have to eliminate all admissions criteria that produce significant disparate impacts.

Which likely means they'll eliminate many measures that correlate with ability to do the work and graduate in a reasonable amount of time. Which would leave the schools with some unpleasant choices, such as:

1. Accept high flunk-out rates, even if these correlate with race and ethnicity.
2. Dumb-down most of the coursework ("All have won and all must have prizes!")
3. Create academic ghettos for those who can't handle more academically demanding work (and then pretend that these are not what they appear to be, and shout down/assault anyone who says otherwise).

Fernandinande said...

@Karen, you might enjoy this King of the Hill episode:

The Redneck on Rainey Street
"After Connie [Asian girl] becomes a victim of reverse discrimination, Kahn [her father] gives up his hopes and dreams and embraces the life of a hillbilly."

Big Mike said...

Sandra Day O'Connor's foolish vote on Grutter tried to kick the can 25 years down the road. Trump says 15 years is far enough. He's more than right, and she was very, very wrong.

JPS said...

Fernandinande:

"Fiddling with K-12 schools doesn't work: America’s Most Costly Educational Failure"

"The school didn't stop her, why should it stop anyone else?"

Don't know if you're referring back to my comment. I referred to our problems in K-12 education, but I don't remotely think that the solution to these is as simple (!) as Fixing Our Schools (TM). Yes, there are awful schools; yes, there are some useless teachers, but blaming them is too easy. I don't know what you do about a critical mass of kids who don't give a damn, or who would like to give a damn but their lives outside of school make it very hard; whose parents either don't give a damn, or would desperately like to but can't quite manage.

I for one don't hate genes, but I'm a lot less interested in group disparities in intrinsic aptitude than I am in cultural/environmental effects. I think if the latter were comparable, the effects of the former would be fuzzy and indistinct.

Lyle Smith said...

No TDS tag? Seems apropos.

Fernandinande said...

Big Mike said...
He's more than right, and she was very, very wrong.


She's doubling-down on her racism and stupidity:

"Justice O'Connor argues that the majority opinion she wrote in the 2003 affirmative-action case should not be seen as imposing a deadline on the use of race-conscious policies or as relieving the need for more research showing such policies have educational benefits."

Then she claims that "social scientists" can provide excuses for continuing to violate the Constitution...apparently for as long as Orwell's boot stomps on that face, which, IIRC, is forever.

Unknown said...

Obama as the ULTIMATE QUOTA HIRE

He had no qualifications beyond "President of the Law Review"

Michelle never stopped complaining even though she lived a life of great unearned privilege and received fawning adulation.

Obama set the standard for capricious enforcement, so let the pendulum swing back.

Fernandinande said...

JPS said...
Don't know if you're referring back to my comment.


Not directly, but referring to people who think "fix the schools" is the solution. It's not a solution. It's been tried over and over and doesn't make a difference.

I for one don't hate genes, but I'm a lot less interested in group disparities in intrinsic aptitude than I am in cultural/environmental effects.

It's fine to be interested in cultural/environmental effects, but:

- race is the biggest predictor of school performance, not SES, etc. (the poorest Asian kids do better than the richest black kids).

- groups of people create their own cultures and environments, not vice-versa.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Geez, find another metaphor.
Am I the only one sick of hearing about people "being thrown under the bus" and blowing "a dog whistle?"
When's the last time you actually saw a real dog whistle?

Anyway of course Asians are the biggest victims. That's not new, or news, but it's sort of a "white-Hispanic" exception, see?

I was told that using Executive branch discretion, in terms of spending and focus, for political/ideological ends is 100% natural and expected and only an overly-partisan whiner would complain. I heard that for a long 8 years or so, as I recall. The Obama admin politicized the hell out of the Civil Rights division, HHS offices, etc. (the IRS stuff probably happened without Obama specifically ordering it, but the Leftists within the IRS saw Obama's Admin as a green light...so only partial blame there).
As far as I can tell the article is discussing a possible legitimate use of discretion by a nominally-Republican President and the NYTimes & their readers are freaking out. Wasn't it cool to use a pen & a phone to get shit done? Weird how that changes, huh?

JPS said...

Fernandinande,

"- race is the biggest predictor of school performance, not SES, etc. (the poorest Asian kids do better than the richest black kids)."

Which I think has a huge cultural component, race being a great big predictor of culture. As you point out:

"- groups of people create their own cultures and environments, not vice-versa."

I'll note that the last time I taught a large class, the Nigerian-Americans were tightly clustered among the highest achievers. Straight-As, all of them. I have no idea of their socioeconomic status, though their dress was solidly middle-class. Not saying this proves anything, but it was interesting, and new, to me.

William said...

Many colleges, especially the Ivies, have large endowments. These endowments come mostly from the donations of slave owners of past generations or the bigots of more recent generations. It's unfair that these colleges have appropriated so much of the ill gotten wealth of America. It's time to make amends. I propose that the government expropriate thes endowments and use these monies to redresss past grievances. The money can be used to forgive past due student loans with special emphasis given to those loans made to minority students. Another part of these vast sums can be used to fund community colleges in poor neighborhoods and historically black colleges. To administer these programs I would suggest someone of undoubted integrity like Maxine Waters.......I believe that if these suggestions were promptly put into effect most of our current problems would be solved.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

(The word that jumps out at me is "white." What about Asian-Americans? Aren't they the ones losing out?)

Asian-Americans are white. They are just not white-white.

At present, "race" is determined by self-identity. This is chaos. The solution, if "race" is to be an issue, is a definitive, objective standard. The Feral Gummit, or each Department separately for their particular Constitutionally mandated purpose, should develop a standard. If the standard is genetically based there should be mandatory chromosome testing at birth.

That would solve the problem. (Finding the Constitutionally mandated purpose of some Departments is a separate issue.)

hawkeyedjb said...

Caligula said...

1. Accept high flunk-out rates, even if these correlate with race and ethnicity.
2. Dumb-down most of the coursework ("All have won and all must have prizes!")
3. Create academic ghettos for those who can't handle more academically demanding work (and then pretend that these are not what they appear to be, and shout down/assault anyone who says otherwise).

Number 1 will be made illegal. Under president Obama, school expulsions were required to be racially balanced. Why not grades?
Number 2 - this has been put into place at many schools - for example, the ones at which you can achieve a degree in English without reading Shakespeare.
Number 3 - these are called "-------- Studies" degrees. Also, sadly, Education degrees at some universities.

Ralph L said...

If colleges instead of the govt loaned tuition money to their students, there would be many fewer useless majors, and they'd do a better job of teaching and preparing students for the real world.

Richard Dolan said...

It was interesting how the NYTimes played the story about the DOJ internal memo. The internal memo said that DOJ intended to investigate claims of racial discrimination in university admissions. Nothing about the identity of those making the claims -- just claims of racial discrimination. The NYTimes turns that into a story of White vs. Black, claiming 'dog whistle', etc. No doubt, that's how the world looks to the DOJ staffers who leaked the memo to the NYT, as well as the NYT reporters and most of its subscribers. But as may have noted upstream, the more likely complainant is a high performing Asian student, not one of the usual WASP suspects from Shaker Heights. The reason is that quotas against Asians are now common, followed by quotas against Jews (they've never gone away). Among the white population, I suspect quotas against better-off WASPs are much less common, while those lower down on the social scale (the inhabitants of Murray's Fishtown, e.g., and the deplorables more generally) get the shaft with predictable regularity.

Journalism is getting harder to distinguish from bias confirmation narratives, and not just at the NYT.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Asian Americans is another group this is a huge issue with, but mostly vote democratic. This is potentially a huge wedge issue."

If the Trump Administration is smart here, they will use Asian-American examples to spearhead this drive. It is one thing to maybe make a White Privilege argument to justify the sort of blatant racial discrimination that is rampant under the name of Diversity and Affirmative Action. But the Asians often started with less, just worked a lot harder than anyone else, so face that 120 pt SAT penalty. Is that fair? How can it be? The lazy demographic groups get preferential treatment, and the hardest working face the most discrimination. Equality of outcome, regardless of effort, and not equality of opportunity.

Point is that East Asians, in particular, tend to vote Democratic. But why? I would argue that they, and the Jews, may pay the highest price for their seats at the Dem table. Charging the narrative, that Affirmative Action in academia is essentially taking from hard working Asians to benefit the lazy blacks and Hispanic, cannot help in holding the Dem party coalition together (Jews have, at least, officially merged into the "white" population, allowing their hard work and intelligence to give them greater representation, esp contrasted to when there were actual Jewish quotas up through at least the 1960s at most of the top schools). Think about it - Asian parents voting Republican because that is the best way for their kids to avoid that 120 pt SAT penalty (and be able to play a violen, if they really want to). Which is why this could be the perfect wedge issue.

Earnest Prole said...

When it comes to affirmative action the Trump administration wants the entire nation to be more like California.

dbp said...

"The document does not explicitly identify whom the Justice Department considers at risk of discrimination because of affirmative action admissions policies."

Where did "white" come from? Why the New York Times, of course.

Bruce Hayden said...

@Dolan - I do think the plight of Jews in higher education has gotten better in the last half century. I dated a brilliant Jewish woman while we were in business school together in the latter 1970s. She graduated from Brown in 3 years, and had the highest starting salary in her class in B School. Why Brown? It was, according to her, the only Ivy without a Jewish quota. She couldn't get into Harvard, Yale, etc, because she was Jewish. In my kid's prep school graduating class, a decade ago, the Jewish kids seemed to be getting into top colleges at about the same rate as other "white" kids, as contrasted to the East Asian kids who were underperforming in college admissions, as contrasted to their qualifications.

SDaly said...

It's a message that is aimed at the suburban white college educated folks who supported Hillary over Trump. Their kids are being screwed nnd they are finally realizing it.

The most recent college acceptance season was a bloodbath for high-achieving suburban white kids, while the top universities crowed about having minority enrollments vastly in excess of relative populations. I have been shocked to hear a lot of openly expressed anger about this from white liberals.

Rick said...

Fernandinande said...
Not directly, but referring to people who think "fix the schools" is the solution. It's not a solution. It's been tried over and over and doesn't make a difference.


We haven't made an attempt to fix them. We've tried to fix them while not changing anything. Obviously this was theater rather than a serious effort.

hombre said...

Well, the DOJ has to have something to do. It is too corrupted by Obots and Sessions is too timid for it to engage in investigations of public corruption.

BTW, has anybody read Sally Yates seditious op-ed in the NYT?

David said...

You want the feds to get involved in everything? Just remember that the involvement will not always be to your taste.

buwaya said...

"We haven't made an attempt to fix them. We've tried to fix them while not changing anything."

I don't agree. There have been thousands of educational experiments in public, charter and private schools since the 1960's, and pretty much everything has been tried, repeatedly. Sometimes on a surprisingly large scale, as with a few mid-sized school districts with conservative reforms, and large ones with liberal reforms.

These have involved numerous curriculum standards, teaching methods, including some extreme variants, top down organization to free-form org, high teacher standards, etc. and etc. Most if not all the suggested reforms advocated at Heritage and Hoover et. al. have been tried, several times over.

The results are disappointing. There are marginal improvements in some cases, and it has usually been shown that a "smart fraction" can be rescued from the mass, but only very marginal progress has ever been shown in closing "the gap" for the mass of the population in question.

These are experiments. The widespread policy is something else. The general case has been a dumbing-down of standards across the whole, worse in some parts than others, where the real losers have been the high fraction of US students, in non-mathematics areas. In math and science I believe the decline has been masked by the entry of high-performing Asians.

David said...

What about the poor deaf dogs? Who is going to tell them?

Tommy Duncan said...

This post repeats many of the sentiments of previous posters.

It has been suggested on this thread that if we fix K12 education, the need for college affirmative action might disappear. Perhaps that is true. Can someone here explain what is broken in K12 schools, particularly in diverse school districts? Haven't we tried just about every possible solution already?

Why do we focus on the K12 schools? Aren't they a symptom rather than a cause? Why do we summarily dismiss other factors like the home environment, societal pressures, culture, genetics and personal character and motivation?

It seems to me affirmative action treats a symptom without treating the underlying disease. It fixes the statistics without providing an actual remedy.

Rick said...

Haven't we tried just about every possible solution already?

Have we run it as an education system instead of a jobs program?

Why do we summarily dismiss other factors like the home environment, societal pressures, culture, genetics and personal character and motivation?

What makes you think critics are dismissing these elements? When I wrote reform would antagonize poor minority parents doesn't that imply something about the solution involves them?

buwaya said...

"Can someone here explain what is broken in K12 schools, particularly in diverse school districts?"

Mostly, the students.

"Haven't we tried just about every possible solution already?"

At least experimentally, yes.

The best thing the US can do is to restore tracking and the escalation of standards at the top end, and to put in policies to mine talent out of the rest - very much for instance what Jaime Escalante, very much misunderstood, was actually doing.

But this will not significantly improve average or median performance.

jebkinnison.com said...

"Mismatch" is the negative consequences of admitting some people who appear to be a lot less likely to succeed at a hard college program than some of those not admitted because they aren't minorities (or in the case of Jews in the 1920s and Asians today, might be too successful at gaining entrance based on neutral standards.)

The result of mismatch: students who would have succeeded and integrated into less competitive schools are pressured into changing majors into "social" fields where they can make it by mining their identity status. The best universities still have very high standards in STEM and some other traditional fields, but tolerate low-competition schools in soft sciences (psych, sociology), liberal arts, and education. Those minority students who flee hard majors tend to gravitate to government jobs in teaching, environment, and general bureaucracy, or serve as HR drones and Chief Diversity Officers (extremely well-paid protection against corporate enemies in government and media.)

So AA in college admissions supports and strengthens the clerisy of government, media, and education by providing committed recruits with credentials. And by forcing the end of objective tests of aptitude and competence in hiring, government has set up degrees as a requirement for entry-level jobs (which used to be available to nongrads who tested well.)

The system is self-reinforcing. Questioning it is heresy.

Ray said...

>as early as 9th grade to develop the "right" activities.

Actually earlier. A friend of my daughter got into Stanford, parents are ethnic Chinese, they went to the same elementary school. The Mother paid some major dollars starting in Middle School for coaching on getting into the right school. I have tried to remove stuff that would ID her.

How she did it:

1. Stopped music
2. Took up a Sport.
3. Went big into leadership. Class President in High School.
4. Interned in an elected political leader's office. Mother drove her.

Another friend's son did the same thing basically, and got admitted to one of the Claremont Colleges. He did not do the intern, but rather the charity / non profit plus student leadership.

My wife is Asian, so my daughter is mixed. My daughter is amazing at Piano, Voice, and good at Cello. No sports. Went through IB. Got admitted to middle and below tier UC's. And the top Cal State.

A couple of my daughter's friends, brilliant people, did not get admitted to Stanford.

And from I am reading, top MBA schools have the same admission BS. Lots of virtue signalling needed.

And what is frustrating, is a lot of not qualified people get admitted, and then they transfer to -studies majors, because they can't make it their initial major. Which creates a lot of resentment. And the Asian students who have to be super top to get in, they have no problem surviving.

buwaya said...


https://www.academia.org/social-engineering-gets-literal/

"To give you an idea of how radical a change this is, take a look at Ayn Rand’s first novel, We The Living. Published in 1936, it is the Gone with the Wind of the Soviet Union. Ironically, GWTW was published that same year.

The heroine of We The Living, Kira Argounova, studies to be an engineer because it is a field not subject to interpretation. So, those who would transform engineering are going beyond even the imaginations of the commissars of Stalinist Russia. "

Interesting piece - a little late, this has been going on for a while.
As when Cal State Chico renamed their rather good Manufacturing Engineering program "Sustainable Manufacturing". This did not sit well with me, but was probably necessary to satisfy the State powers that be.

Khesanh 0802 said...

I have to keep dragging out these numbers every time this conversation starts. Harvard's incoming class is made up of 50.9% non-whites. The US population in 2014 was made up of 62% whites. Making a very simplistic analysis, Harvard's freshman class is overweighted to non-whites. How they got there must have been through discrimination, right?

Ann, Harvard's freshman class is made up of 22.2% Asian Americans. The latest census info I could find was that Asian Americans comprise a little over 6% of the US population. In Harvard's case are A-A's being discriminated against?

Khesanh 0802 said...

Here's the U of WI ethnicity.

Race/Ethnicity
American Indian / Alaskan Native 65 <1%
Asian 1,726 5%
African American / Black 662 2%
Hispanic 1,457 5%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 40 <1%
White 23,765 75%
Two or More Races 911 3%
International 2,772 9%
Race/Ethnicity Not Reported 264 1%

Whereas UCal Berkely has 35% Asian and 27% white. Only makes clear that any national policy in this regard will be a mess.

Khesanh 0802 said...

Of course, perhaps the best course of action is that suggested by Chief Justice Roberts: stop discriminating by race.

buwaya said...

"The US population in 2014 was made up of 62% whites. "

But the youth is much less white than the overall population. The relevant cohort (18 year olds) is nearly (not quite) 50% non-white/or Hispanic. It should pass 50% next year.

"Harvard's freshman class is made up of 22.2% Asian Americans. The latest census info I could find was that Asian Americans comprise a little over 6% of the US population."

Yes, because Asians are certainly >22.2% of the applicants who would qualify on the basis of grades and test scores. I.e., of the kids of the ability who could hack Harvard, Harvard (and most of the rest of the Ivies) are deliberately limiting their intake of Asians.

To compare, Cal Tech, with even higher intellectual standards, does not discriminate on race, and in the 2016-17 intake it is 42% Asian.

Mike Sylwester said...

Trump knows what he's doing. He knows that 'affirmative action' is one of the loudest dog whistles there is.

Trump-haters know what they are doing when they send out their loud dog whistles to assassinate Trump.

Jim at said...

I'm always amazed at the left's penchant for finding 'dog whistles' in every thing Trump says and does .... when they're the only ones hearing said whistles.

tcrosse said...

Implicit in all this is the assumption that not being accepted at the College of Your Choice is a one-way ticket to Palookaville.

Khesanh 0802 said...

Buwaya Your analysis mat be spot on statistically however the Admissions committee at Harvard, and the other Ivies, uses more than academics to determine members of the freshman class. As someone pointed out above one family figured out admissions strategy and had their daughter diversify her activities to include a sport and leadership roles. Easy for the admissions people. I have been scoffed at before for saying this, but admissions committees need to supply the college with football players, tennis players, swimmers, Sousaphone players, sopranos and basses, scientists, pre-med types, actors, people willing to do social work, computer jocks, English majors etc., etc., etc. They can not and will not look at pure academic achievement as the only criteria for admission. (I rise to the defense of admissions while being, on the whole, quite angry about a number of policies being implemented by the Harvard College administration.)

A school like CalTech serves a different mission where academics outweigh all other considerations.

Henry said...

People don't seem to know what a dog whistle is.

It's not a klaxon.

Khesanh 0802 said...

@Buwaya I think you will also find that there has been a major increase in A-A's admitted to Harvard over the last 10 years. The total of acceptances in 2016 at Harvard was a bit over 5% of the applications. Caltech's acceptance rate was 8%. How does either school winnow down that number of qualified applicants without appearing to discriminate against someone?

Khesanh 0802 said...

@Buwaya Here's a piece that speaks to your comment on Harvard vs CalTech. Apparently Harvard is doing okay.

SukieTawdry said...

tcrosse said...My take on Affirmative Action is that the people at the top merely changed their pattern of discrimination.

Precisely. When Michigan lost its Supreme Court case, it didn't stop discriminating on the basis of race. It just stopped using its point system. And people stopped referring to affirmative action as a means of compensation for historical institutionalized discrimination and started bowing to the great god diversity because diverse campuses, workplaces and public institutions were of supreme benefit and foremost importance to everyone.

Affirmative action is a form of reparations and we'll never rid ourselves of it as long as "white privilege" is perceived to be a problem. Even blacks who agree it has deleterious effects on outcomes don't want it gone. It's been an enormous expense for universities with all the ethnic/race based studies programs they've had to develop, all the remedial education they've had to provide, all the administrative personnel they've had to add to deal with minority needs, all the special accommodation for those "needs," not to mention the high cost of the kind of bullshit that goes on at places like Mizzou and Evergreen.

Lowell High School in San Francisco is considered the city's top public high school. It's a magnet school open to all residents and admission is competitive and based on objective criteria. Or at least it used to be. Lowell was rapidly becoming an all-Asian (Chinese mostly) campus so they had to institute some affirmative action policies so that white and minority students could compete. So Asian kids might have exacted a measure of revenge for the discrimination they face as non-privileged minorities, but the city wouldn't let them.

Ray said...

> UCal Berkely has 35% Asian

Berkeley is a bit of a special case, because of out of state admissions. Basically if you have the $$$ and live out of state, you get in with lower admissions requirements. So there is a lot of Mainland Chinese attending the top UC's, that throws off everything. They pay about double the money, so UC's are very happy to get them.

My Rankings for UC's Chinese want to go to:

UC Berkeley
UCLA
UC San Diego

UC Davis
UC Irvine

Lower:
Santa Barbara
Santa Cruz
SF (not sure about this one)
Riverside
Merced

And they all use the essay and other stuff beyond academics. It's a bit of a crap shoot on getting in. So you can be admitted to a higher ranked UC, but not get into a lower ranked one.

Ray said...

>A school like CalTech serves a different mission where academics outweigh all other
>considerations.

Most schools forgot what they are really supposed to be doing. Instead they seem to be focused on "The Experience" vs. giving actual skills, or what used to be called Academics. This ties in with so many Republican's who are becoming less impressed with the results of Colleges.

I wish the Supreme Court would get rid of Griggs v. Duke Power, this would solve a lot of issues.

What also seems to be happening is the top schools are becoming even more important, and lower tier private schools are hurting. Plus the costs keep going up.

Ray said...

The number of qualified is actually a bit of a game. Many schools will game the system, by getting unqualified people to apply that have zero chance of getting in. This way they get high rejection rate. And with admissions going online, it gets easier to apply to a lot of schools.

> How does either school winnow down that number of qualified applicants without
> appearing to discriminate against someone?

Fernandinande said...

Ray said...
I wish the Supreme Court would get rid of Griggs v. Duke Power, this would solve a lot of issues.


Disparate Impact Realism - Amy Wax

If they were consistently serious about "disparate impact", rather than arbitrary and capricious, there wouldn't be any laws at all.

Rabel said...

DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores put out a statement:

“Press reports regarding the personnel posting in the Civil Rights Division have been inaccurate. The posting sought volunteers to investigate one administrative complaint filed by a coalition of 64 Asian-American associations in May 2015 that the prior Administration left unresolved,” Flores wrote. “The complaint alleges racial discrimination against Asian Americans in a university’s admissions policy and practices.”

Emily Litella could not be reached for comment.

Che Dolf said...

Althouse - The word that jumps out at me is "white." What about Asian-Americans? Aren't they the ones losing out?

Yes, but they're not the only ones.

"When lower-class whites are matched with lower-class blacks and other non-whites the degree of the non-white advantage becomes astronomical: lower-class Asian applicants are seven times as likely to be accepted to the competitive private institutions as similarly qualified whites, lower-class Hispanic applicants eight times as likely, and lower-class blacks ten times as likely."

- Summary of one of the conclusions reached by Princeton sociologists who looked at admissions data from eight "highly competitive" colleges.

buwaya said...

"A school like CalTech serves a different mission where academics outweigh all other considerations."

That was the traditional view of universities. The modern view is more along the lines of it being a cross between a social club and finishing school - and this was the case even in the one-time Anglosphere leaders Oxford and Cambridge. Some time between WWI and WWII, and especially postwar, they became in large part membership clubs for the British leadership class.

So with US Ivies. An up-and-comer will see these as fortresses to attack and overcome, because that's what they are, they guard access to the elite.

Cal Tech merely tries to expand human knowledge, in general and particular. That is a humble and uncompromised role.

buwaya said...

“The complaint alleges racial discrimination against Asian Americans in a university’s admissions policy and practices.”

Precisely so. And long overdue.

buwaya said...

"How does either school winnow down that number of qualified applicants without appearing to discriminate against someone?"

The simple answer is with an entrance exam, conducted fairly. That's what most world universities use.

buwaya said...

Khesanh,

Thanks for the reappropriate article.

I find that piece disingenuous. The fellow is making wild assumptions about the Asian population, of the demographic cohorts thereof, of the state of preparation of that population (which has been growing by leaps and bounds) and etc.

The critical metric is the proportion of the applicant pool that consists of well-prepared Asian applicants. He assumes this number on a crude piece of data, the total Asian population.

His analysis is poor IMHO and adds nothing to what Unz came up with.

The very well known disparity in SAT/ACT scores of Asians admitted to the Ivies vs others is the most telling by far.
Espenshade's study is the most often cited -
http://press.princeton.edu/titles/9072.html

Espenshades own qualifications of his study lie on the "other factors" argument.

Personally, the "other factors" argument smells like BS. One would assume that a fair reading of these subjective matters would affect these highly competitive applicants equally, but they obviously don't, they systematically discriminate. This is enormously suspicious.

FIDO said...

So, whites coming out of the woodwork to spread their tales of being looked over is racist, but tales of minorities coming out of the woodwork to assert THEY were looked over is 'authentic'.

Hmm.

White people did not play the identity/affirmative action card...and now that the worm is turning, I am LAUGHING!

The Left doesn't realize that it is losing parents at a rapid clip and this fear mongering isn't helping matters.

Khesanh 0802 said...

@Buwaya Here's a quote from a Princeton Prof who after studying the issue (Link) who seems to come to the same conclusion you did at 7:04.

"Call it the Cal Tech Model since the California Institute of Technology seems to be the only elite institution that comes close to realizing such an ideal. Or call it the U.S. Olympic Team Model, or the Major League All-Stars Model, since it is based on the same strict merit-selection principle governing our Olympic sports teams and our major league baseball all-star teams. Let the diversity chips fall where they may and focus on recruiting the most intelligent,most creative, and most energetic of the rising generation of young people. In my naive way this is what I always thought elite universities were supposed to be about."

Two of his three criteria are purely subjective. How does one judge creativity? How does one judge who is most energetic? There is no absolute merit measure for either of these qualities. They can only be judged by comparison with others in the cohort and they can only be judged subjectively. Even in the Olympic team selection subjective judgements are always made at the margin about fit, team chemistry, leadership. (MLB all stars has become a popularity contest.) College admissions can not be based on a pure mathematical scale, it just won't work.

The only real answer is to stop all discrimination by race.

Khesanh 0802 said...

The interesting thing about the Princeton Prof piece I linked above is that he makes it clear that low income whites are clearly discriminated against.

FIDO said...

There is no question that SOMEONE is after academia.

Those someone's are the public, parents, respecters of free speech, and possibly the administration.

Higher education has not covered themselves in glory for the last 4 decades. Shoddy work, being blatantly offensive and pushing hard post modernism which is the death of societal values, and there has been a simmering rage brewing against these Marxists in Robes. Frankly, the loudest voices are the most useless people there...and it shows.

This last year, with the advent of Trump and colleges have finally reached the tipping point. Most people don't trust them and a reckoning is coming. Normal folks are not happy with the academy and want them chastised.

Shut up and teach! Teach Western values. How to write, not what to write.

The Times knows a reckoning is coming and since they are fellow travelers, want to characterize this well deserved and long overdue reckoning as 'racism'.

So any parent who has a problem with 53 black history courses and nothing on US history? Racist! Anyone who is disturbed by a lack of free speech on campus? Racist! Anyone who questions spending $100,000 for a gender studies degree? Racist!

Because insulting the population and dismissing their concerns is SO persuasive.

The Times thinks it is speaking the truth against power.

Instead, they are parroting apologetics for the status quo.


FIDO said...

I think that Trump just punked the NYT.

Ralph L said...

The modern view is more along the lines of it being a cross between a social club and finishing school - and this was the case even in the one-time Anglosphere leaders Oxford and Cambridge. Some time between WWI and WWII, and especially postwar, they became in large part membership clubs for the British leadership class.

So with US Ivies.
I believe you have it reversed. Oxbridge and the Ivies polished upper class boys almost exclusively until WWII. Scholastic achievement was less important than social connections, legacies, and money. Meritocratic admissions is postwar.

Bad Lieutenant said...

The simple answer is with an entrance exam, conducted fairly. That's what most world universities use.

Have you ever read Parkinson's law? The Chinese used the Confucian system of competitive exams and the Royal Navy...did it their own special way. Which one of them stomped the bodily fluids out of the other every time they met? It's not JUST scores (this from the highest SAT rejected by Harvard in my graduating class).

Ray said...

Entrance exam is basically what the SAT is.

So we have lots of test prep centers in our area telling of their students that got a perfect score. One of my daughters friends did in the 7th grade, still rejected by Stanford.

So now schools are moving away from the sat... has a racial bias supposedly.

Rick said...

Oops, it turns out the complaint is from Asians.

http://dailycaller.com/2017/08/02/justice-department-gets-attacked-for-trying-to-protect-asians-from-discrimination/

The posting sought volunteers to investigate one administrative complaint filed by a coalition of 64 Asian-American associations in May 2015 that the prior Administration left unresolved,”

Separately there's an easy method to judge whether the criteria are racist as those who set the criteria claim: do they use these came criteria to distinguish between applicants within racial groups?

Isn't it odd reading an article which claims test scores and grades are "useless" knowing the minorities admitted under the resulting plan will be chosen based on...test scores and grades?

These are not serious people, they can't even keep their own arguments straight.

Balfegor said...

Re: Rick:

Here's the New York Times article downplaying and contextualising the fact that it was about Asians after all. Watch them spin! It's reflective of a trend you see quite frequently -- that Asians are literally invisible to these progressive journalists. They're the sort of people who can, with blithe confidence, write that Silicon Valley is "overwhelmingly white and male," even though this is obviously untrue (Asians are massively overrepresented in Silicon Valley). Asians expose all kinds of problems with progressives' outdated racial theories, therefore they must not exist. QED you know. Proof by contradiction.

Anyhow.

Not to say that Whites don't have reason to complain about affirmative action -- there are many cases where they are treated unfairly as a result -- but in college admissions, their numbers are basically unaffected at the elite schools. Instead admissions slots are taken away from Asians and given to Blacks and Hispanics.

Jonathan Graehl said...

"must". what a waste of oxygen