This morning the Chronicle of Higher Education reports on yet another study that confirms Asians benefit much more than whites when racial preference policies are eliminated. In fact, the proportion of whites admitted often decreases when race preferences are curtailed.
An earlier study, discussed here, found that
when one group loses ground, another has to gain — in this case it would be Asian applicants. Asian students would fill nearly four out of every five places in the admitted class not taken by African-American and Hispanic students, with an acceptance rate rising from nearly 18 percent to more than 23 percent.
Asian-American enrollment at Berkeley has increased since California voters banned affirmative action in college admissions. Berkeley accepted 4,122 Asian-American applicants for this fall’s freshman class — nearly 42% of the total admitted. That is up from 2,925 in 1997, or 34.6%, the last year before the ban took effect. Similarly, Asian-American undergraduate enrollment at the University of Washington rose to 25.4% in 2004 from 22.1% in 1998, when voters in that state prohibited affirmative action in college admissions.
The University of Michigan may be poised for a similar leap in Asian-American enrollment, now that voters in that state have banned affirmative action. The Center for Equal Opportunity study found that, among applicants with a 1240 SAT score and 3.2 grade point average in 2005, the university admitted 10% of Asian-Americans, 14% of whites, 88% of Hispanics and 92% of blacks. Asian applicants to the university’s medical school also faced a higher admissions bar than any other group.
The new study, which will be published next week in InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies, also finds, according to one of its authors, that
Asian Americans’ share of enrollment has shot upward at selective public universities that have been forced to abandon affirmative-action preferences, he said, and the Asian-American population has not increased nearly enough to explain the trend.
Meanwhile, a report on the study’s findings says, white enrollments, as a share of the student body, actually declined slightly at the universities examined…..
It sounds as though this new study largely confirms the findings of earlier ones, but, based on the Chronicle’s summary, it also sounds as though the authors are uncomfortable with their findings. Whether for that reason or simply in an attempt to convince readers they are not racist, right-wing Republican meanies (sorry for the redundancy here), they engage in some wholly gratuitous and unsupported insults to critics of race preferences.
The report says, for example, that its findings that Asians, not whites, benefit from the demise of race preferences “‘can hardly be satisfying’ to ‘those who campaigned for the elimination of affirmative action in the belief that it would advantage the admission of white students.’”
And who, exactly, are “those who campaigned for the elimination of affirmative action in the belief that it would advantage the admission of white students”? Do the authors assume that all those who oppose race preferences do so because they believe whites will benefit? It would be nice to have some names of who the authors have in mind, or perhaps they are afraid of libel suits.
Not only did those who “campaigned” against race preferences do so in a mistaken effort to benefit whites. In the future, now that the facts are known, those who continue to campaign against preferences will no doubt do so in order to deprive Asians of the benefits they receive when they are nt longer victims of double-standard discrimination.
The report predicts that white people might begin actively opposing race-neutral admissions policies if Asian Americans continue to make gains. “Whites are still too influential in politics and in the private sector to sit quietly while this trend continues,” it says.
Such comments are not only dumb — where is the evidence? — but offensive.
I was just about to post the above comments when I saw Roger Clegg’s comments on the same study. If I’d only read his first, I could have saved myself some trouble and posted what I usually feel like saying after reading something Roger has written: “What he said.” Anyway, here’s a part of what he said:
I’m prepared to believe that Asians may be discriminated against more than whites by PC admissions policies, but the evidence is overwhelming — in, among other places, the dozens of studies done by the Center for Equal Opportunity — that both groups are discriminated against (and sometimes Latinos as well). I have a sneaking suspicion that this is just another desperate effort by the proponents of such discrimination to stem the tide that is running against them, this time by trying to persuade whites that they shouldn’t care about colorblind principles, since it is only those darn Asian kids who benefit from them. It’s an ugly tactic, and it won’t work. Those of us “who campaigned” against racial preferences did so not because we care about white kids and not Asian kids — we’re doing so because we don’t like discrimination against anyone. I think the overwhelming majority of those supporting these initiatives feel this way.