“Alumni preference, so crucial to the sustenance of Harvard’s $38 billion endowment, could provide cover before the courts for racial bias. Harvard’s commitment to racial diversity could whitewash its devotion to the preservation of privilege before liberal public opinion.”
This is how Asian Americans got screwed by an Ivy League institution best known for doing it first to Jews.
Wesley Yang, author of the forthcoming book The Souls of Yellow Folk, writes in The New York Times that Harvard committed “a carefully considered act of slander” against this group of holistically excellent applicants by deeming them personality-deficient, and thus unworthy of matriculation to Harvard.
Why? Because it needed to give cover to its continuing practice of letting in otherwise unqualified “legacy and wealthy students, most of whom are white,” who prop up its cartoonishly large endowment:
The conclusion is unavoidable: In order to sustain this system, Harvard admissions systematically denigrated the highest achieving group of students in America. Asian-Americans have been collateral damage in the university’s quest to sustain its paradoxical mission to grow its $37 billion endowment and remain the world’s most exclusive institution — all while incessantly preaching egalitarian doctrines.
Yang digs into court documents to show that Asian-background applicants deserve a bigger chunk of Harvard based on practically every metric: “grades, SAT scores and the most AP exams passed,” extracurriculars, and even “personal qualities” based on interviews. The latter, of course, was “subjective enough to be readily manipulable to serve Harvard’s institutional interests.”
He fact-checks Harvard’s claim that “there is no racial bias against Asian-Americans once you control the preferences offered to athletes and alumni,” using Harvard’s own data:
A report from Harvard’s own Office of Institutional Research found that even after alumni and athletic preferences were factored in, Asians would be accepted at a rate of 26 percent, versus the 19 percent at which they were actually accepted. That report, commissioned back in 2013, was summarily filed away, with no further investigation or action taken.
No innocuous explanation can account for the extent of these disparities. Yet Harvard is insisting that those who call it what it plainly is — racial discrimination — are advancing a “divisive agenda.”
That includes outgoing Harvard President Drew Faust, who leaves her position in five days. If the moral arc of the university truly bends toward justice, she’ll be asked to leave any Asian restaurant where she is recognized for the decade she spent practicing racism against young Asian Americans.
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