“What weekly chutzpah award?” you may well ask. You’re right. At the moment DISCRIMINATIONS doesn’t bestow a weekly chutzpah award, but if it did this week’s would go to Princeton.
Regular readers will be aware of Jian Li’s complaint that Princeton discriminates against Asian applicants by holding them to a higher standard than others, a case I discussed here. Li’s complaint is being investigated by the Department of Education, and in fact has been broadened, causing nervous jitters across all Ivy Leaguedom.
Today’s Trenton Star Ledger has an article about Li’s case today that avoids most common pitfalls of mainstream media news coverage of racial preferences … except this one: author Ana M. Alaya writes:
For decades, critics of affirmative action have contended elite colleges, in their zeal to form racially diverse student bodies, have discriminated against top white applicants.
In a twist on that long-running feud, federal authorities are investigating an allegation that Princeton University discriminates against Asian-American applicants by accepting black and Hispanic students with lower entrance scores.
At the heart of both arguments lies the question of whether and how colleges should consider race when choosing a class….
But there is no new “twist” here; there is only one argument, not two: awarding benefits or burdens based on race is wrong, no matter who receives either burden or benefit. Ms. Alaya’s contrary assertion is rather like arguing that opposition to the state awarding preferential treatment to Jews and Catholics is really two arguments, rather than one argument based on the principle of separation of church and state.
But that slip pales into insignificance compared to the following remark that earned Princeton the much un-coveted DISCRIMINATIONS Chutzpah of the Week Award (or would if there were such an award):
Princeton, for its part, denies using quotas. The university declined, however, to release admissions data broken down by race and test scores, spokeswoman Cass Cliatt said, “because we don’t want anyone to make the mistake that we make admissions decisions by category.”
Translated from diversity-speak, what Ms. Cass Cliatt is saying on behalf of Princeton is that the release of admissions data revealing that Asian applicants had to jump over a much higher hurdle might cause the gullible public to make the “mistake” of concluding that … Asian applicants had to jump over a much higher hurdle.
Nevertheless, it’s still not clear exactly why Princeton is afraid to release this data, since it claims to believe that discriminating against Asians is not really discrimination.
A commitment to “acting affirmatively to ensure diversity,” Cliatt said, is not the same as discriminating.
The problem here, as most people not entwined in the “diversity” industry and rationale can see, is that at places like Princeton “acting affirmatively to ensure diversity” requires acting negatively when evaluating the applications of a whole host of people like Jian Li.
But wait! There’s more entertainment from Ms. Cass Cliatt of Princeton.
At Princeton, race is one factor, including socioeconomic background, extracurricular talents and academic record, considered during the admissions process, Cliatt said. Building a diverse class is like forming an “orchestra,” that may need different talents from year to year, she added….
Excuse me, but don’t most orchestras have, well, quotas for their string, wind, percussion, etc., sections (or are these only “goals”?)?
In short, if words have meaning Princeton believes that choosing some applicants and rejecting others on the basis of their race or ethnicity is no different from filling a violin vacancy with a violinist.
Despite decades of tutelage to the contrary from Princeton et. al., liberals, Democrats, etc., most Americans continue to march to the tune of a different drummer, believing that everyone should be treated without regard to their race or ethnicity. Being black, white, Asian, Hispanic, or whatever, is simply not the same as playing an oboe or plucking a guitar. And that’s not just whistlin Dixie.