Harvard is embroiled in a lawsuit that claims the university discriminates against Asian-Americans applicants, and it is bringing to light all sorts of ugly truths about the world of liberalism. Kevin Williamson, writing for The New York Post, argues that liberals’ obsession with Harvard reveals the extreme narcissism of the Left and a lack of appropriate priorities.
“Harvard is run by nice liberals in the interest of nice liberals, and nice liberals do not like being accused of racial discrimination, which is practically the worst thing a nice liberal can be accused of countenancing,” Williamson writes.
He then points to the outsized media coverage Harvard has received because of the lawsuit: The New York Times has run more than 30 stories about the controversy, by Williamson’s count, including one titled, “5 Harvard Friends, and a Frank Talk About How They Got In,” which Williamson describes as “millennial navel-gazing.”
Williamson contrasts the amount of media coverage the Harvard lawsuit has received with the lack of coverage for other issues in education, such as one struggling school district:
The Hempstead School District on Long Island is, by any reasonable measure, a catastrophe, an offense against the very idea of public education, one of the lowest-performing districts in the state, plagued by violence, ineptitude, corruption and hopelessness. You’ll find about two stories about it in the Times in the past decade, mostly straight reporting: The state had considered taking over the school district, but in the end declined to bear the burden.
Williamson puts the situation bluntly: the students in Hempstead are “poor and screwed in a place that nobody cares about,” located “far from where the Times lives, physically and spiritually.”
He points out that the students applying to Harvard “probably are going to do just fine in life,” given that their backups are “Stanford or Bryn Mawr or, heaven help them, a generous offer from the University of Texas.”
In contrast, “Most of the kids at Hempstead will not graduate from high school. Eighty-four percent of them will fail to satisfy the state’s minimum academic standards. Very few of those mostly Hispanic and black students have reason to be concerned about whether their Harvard applications are going to get a nudge from affirmative action.”
School systems like Hempstead are where the real education crisis lies, Williamson writes. But, as he concludes, “Members of the elite are a tribe like any other tribe, and they have their own tribal interests.”