Nine Harvard students can be wrong


They used to say that 1,000 Frenchmen can’t be wrong. But what about nine “diverse” Harvard students?

The Harvard Gazette, a house organ that’s sent to every Harvard alum (including four current Supreme Court Justices), presents an article with the title “Students call ensuring diversity on campus vital.” The piece purports to describe the position of Harvard students regarding their college’s preferential admissions policy, a challenge to which is now before the Supreme Court.

But there’s no indication that the Gazette surveyed Harvard students. It simply presents the views of nine students. They say, in essence, that they like Harvard’s race-based admissions policy and the student body it produces.

No dissenting view is offered, though it’s certain that the view of the nine is far from unanimous. It’s also certain that many students rejected by Harvard because of their race aren’t gushing about the wonders of its discriminatory policy.

Most of the student statements consist of clichés and non sequiturs. I was particularly amused by the view of a student from Turkey who describes herself as a “queer Middle Easterner” (now that’s diversity!):

I’m from Turkey, and I do not have an economically privileged background. I do not have Harvard alumni parents [the student said].

The vast majority of Asian American applicants whom Harvard excludes because of their race aren’t economically privileged, either, and they too lack Harvard alumni parents. In New York City, for example, census data shows that Asians have the lowest median income in the city and a majority speak a language other than English at home.

There is this so-called theory of meritocracy that says that if you work harder, you end up getting into the good places, you end up having more money,” [she] said. However, she added that those in positions of privilege can often stand in the way of those who work hard despite their circumstances.

The theory of meritocracy is not that working hard automatically gets you into “the good places.” Hard work will mean “more money,” but in a meritocracy it takes merit– including hard work, but also talent and ability — to get into the good places.

At Harvard, those who stand in the way of hard workers from “non-privileged” circumstances are the administrators who deny admission to hard working Asian-American students, and do so by denigrating them for being hard workers — giving them low “personality rankings” based on the stereotype that they are all work and no play.

The queer Middle Easterner seems to believe that Harvard’s racial preferences are needed to prevent the school from standing in the way of hard working non-Asian minority group members. She need not worry.

If Harvard loses at the Supreme Court, it won’t turn against the class of black applicants it has been favoring for decades. If it complies with an adverse Court decision ( a big “if”), Harvard will reward hard workers from all backgrounds to the extent their hard work translates into high achievement.

Applicants for whom it does not so translate will attend colleges that are better matches for them, where their hard work is far more likely to be rewarded by high achievement. An end to the “mismatch” that results from the radical racial preferences indulged in by schools like Harvard is a substantial benefit of ending discriminatory admissions policies — one that will accrue primarily to the classes of students who, under current admissions policies, receive the unlawful racial preferences.



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