Thursday, June 29, 2023

in defense of racial discrimination

[“scotus ‘just said no’ to a.a. in college admissions—but did the conservative majority arrest systemic racism, or just deliver a pyrrhic victory.”]

By Eahilf
thursday, june 29, 2023 at 3:44:00 p.m. edt

“The unqualified, unfit applicants” (N.S.)

I don’t think too many, if any, are “unqualified” or “unfit,” however you want to define that.

What does it mean to be “unqualified” or “unfit” to attend a university? They obviously meet whatever minimum qualifications have been set by the school. As long as some minimum standard is met, everyone admitted is “qualified” to be there, in that sense.

[N.S.: They obviously did not meet whatever minimum qualifications had been set by the school. If Whites and asians have to score over 300 points higher than blacks on the sat who are admitted, then the blacks are unqualified. But you knew that, so why do you play such stupid word games?

They are unfit by their racist campaigns against White students and professors who refuse to grovel at their feet.]

It’s similar with holding political office. You just have to get elected. George Santos proved that.

[N.S.: Talk about a specious analogy! Getting elected to political office has nothing to do with merit; getting admitted to college is supposed to have everything to do with merit!]

Many blacks and hispanics admitted to these very selective schools have lower scores on standard tests than asians and Whites who are not admitted. Often clearly lower, not marginally lower. So regarding these objective measures, the admissions policies are unfair. That’s the issue.

If you met the blacks and hispanics in person you would probably find them to be reasonably intelligent. Just not as intelligent and academically accomplished as many Whites and asians who were not admitted.

N.S.: As in, unqualified and unfit.

And why do you sometimes post as “Eahilf,” and at other times double anonymously? GRA called you on that the first time you pulled that stunt. You didn’t fool him, or me.


Anonymous said...

"Many blacks and hispanics admitted to these very selective schools have lower scores on standard tests than asians and Whites who are not admitted."

Admitted to selective schools were the study and course load are tough even for the very bright. Sub-standard applicants find themselves just trying to keep up, much less prosper.

Anonymous said...

"Sub-standard applicants find themselves just trying to keep up, much less prosper."

Do you have any data on that?

It's probably true that if you followed students who were admitted due to race preference, however you determine that, you'd find they were much more likely to choose soft, subjective majors, where in the first couple of years it is more like an extension of high school than a quantum jump in difficulty. After a couple years, a good many will have matured and do better or ok after that.

I don't think you need to be a genius to major in political science and then graduate. PS is probably the top major of students who want to go to law school later. How well you do in the classes, how intelligent you are and so how professors see you, whether they would be willing to write a letter of recommendation for you, are different matters. So far law schools have resisted pressure to drop the LSAT. Seems there is a national governing body that has a say in that.

Saw this comment somewhere else about this:

"It would be interesting to develop criteria to recognize or determine when a student has benefited from race preference. Then investigate and assess how these students distribute themselves among academic departments. I expect you will find soft disciplines benefit inordinately from the presence of students admitted via affirmative action. I don’t think you will find too many such students majoring in math, physics, engineering, or any of the other quantitative hard sciences. So for some academic departments, it may be that in addition to the flood of women over the last decades, affirmative action, including explicit racial preferences, is also a significant economic issue."

Anonymous said...

Reading the original comment, nothing about it can reasonably be said to be a "defense of racial discrimination".

It just says that any student admitted to a university has been vetted by the admissions office, and so can be said to have been found to be qualified or fit to attend that university, based on their determination and standards. That's true of course.

"Many Blacks and Hispanics admitted to these very selective schools have lower scores on standard tests than Asians and Whites who are not admitted. Often clearly lower, not marginally lower. So regarding these objective measures, the admissions policies are unfair. That's the issue."

So the problem is that admissions are unfair vis-a-vis standard quantitative measures like test scores. Which is also true of course. And in too many cases the scores of students who are not admitted (Whites, Asians) are not just a little bit better than students who are admitted (Blacks, Hispanics). They are obviously better. So it is very unfair to Whites and Asians who on average definitely have higher test scores, which have always been seen as the best way to see who has the potential to succeed in college.

But something to consider: in general, Asians have a higher IQ than Whites. Japan, S Korea, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan are usually at the top of the list, above all white nations. But if you look at the quality of civilizations created by Whites vs Asians, the difference in average IQ level between European (white) nations and those Asian nations has not made a significant difference. In fact, looking at migration, Asians appear to prefer white civilizations. So it appears factors other than raw IQ (cognitive ability) are also important.

It may also be unfair if you look at grades and difficulty of classes taken in high school too. Whites and Asians probably on average have better grades and have taken harder classes. But without looking at the transcripts of all the students who apply that is harder to be sure about. High schools will have different levels. A high class ranking at a HS that is 90% White or Asian means more than a high ranking at a HS that is 50% black.

All of which is why standard tests were developed and used in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Any student admitted to a university was found, in some sense, to be "qualified" or "fit" to attend that university. That is a fair statement and seems clear enough.

Looking just at test scores, and assuming they were higher, you can say other students who were not admitted were more "qualified" or "fitter" than students with lower test scores who were admitted. That is also a fair statement. And no doubt true in many cases.

Seems like a pretty simple distinction.

You can then go on to *conclude* that looking *just* at test scores, if a bunch of students who on average have lower scores are admitted while a bunch of students with higher scores are not admitted, then any admissions policies that led to that result are *wrong and unfair*, for example policies that consider race and other factors not directly related to academic achievement and potential. That would also be a fair statement. And most people would agree. (I agree.) Especially regarding race, which most people feel should not matter at all.

That also seems like a pretty simple distinction, as compared to saying flatly that the admitted students with lower test scores are "unqualified" and/or "unfit".

Anonymous said...

Harvard already announced they will adjust their admissions policies to weigh subjective factors more heavily. They will consider "an applicant's discussion of how race affected his or her life, be it through discrimination, inspiration, or otherwise".

Via the internet, there will be plenty of ideas for a student to include in an essay. As long as the essays are not published, there will be no way for online sleuths to check for plagiarism etc. And these essays are bound to be somewhat repetitive anyway. Put some personal details around a few similar, basic narratives. Avoid outright lies or obviously absurd stories.

It's all ridiculous.

You will probably see a small change. Slightly fewer Blacks and Hispanics. But I don't think you will see Blacks fall below 10%. Right now they are typically just above 15% of a Harvard class. In the US they are 13.5%. Using pure merit (SAT etc) they would be less than 2%, and some of those would be athletes.

The problem is racial diversity and the difference in average mental ability, which is almost entirely genetic. That is simply not compatible with proportional representation at these elite, very selective schools, which get far more applicants than they have places (Harvard admits only about 3% of those who apply).

With so many high scoring Whites and Asians applying, there is no way to get a 13.5% black class without using race preferences.

Anonymous said...

Harvard appears to have no admission requirements. They have *application* requirements, meaning things you have to submit, like transcripts with grades and teacher recommendations. Standard test scores are now optional.

They probably expect every student who applies to have completed 4 years of HS English, math, and some kind of science classes. But that is normal for almost all 4 yr colleges.

They no doubt also expect students have done reasonably well, what that might mean exactly is unclear. Probably at the *very least* a B average.

In that sense, admission is largely subjective, and it does not make a lot of sense to speak of qualified and/or fit. If you are admitted, you have been judged qualified and fit. Not being admitted does not mean you are unqualified or unfit. It's subjective and, at least regarding test scores, relative.

It's well-known that Harvard (and other elite schools) admit many Blacks and Hispanics who have lower standard test scores than Whites and Asians who are not admitted. They do this to achieve racial diversity. They are open and unapologetic about it. Admissions and test score data have been available for analysis (at least at Harvard).

Most fair-minded people agree test scores are a good objective measure of a student's academic potential (and intelligence). Even the best measure. Certainly better than GPA, since high schools are not at the same level.

So you can say Blacks and Hispanics admitted with lower scores due to racial preferences are less qualified and less fit than Whites and Asian with higher scores who are not admitted. This is straight logic. It is not unfair and not all that controversial.

But this is not the same as saying the admitted Blacks and Hispanics are unqualified and unfit.

Administrators and admissions people have an agenda. They are not fair-minded, in the sense that looking at test scores, they will admit lesser qualified Blacks and Hispanics in order to achieve diversity. They see diversity as a higher good that justifies test score unfairness. You will not change their minds.

A court decision cannot and will not fix that problem. It will not instill missing good will or an absent sense of fairness in the minds of these people.

Small government conservatives will not like to hear this, but there is no solution to this other then comprehensive legislation mandating standard tests and transparently regulating admission to universities and professional schools based primarily on those test results.

This is very unlikely to ever happen.

But it makes sense in that any country ought to be educating its best, most capable students at its best universities. Less capable students can enroll somewhere else.

Some will see the recent SC decision as a win. But likely little will change. Even more schools will drop standard tests. Admissions will become more opaque which will hide the subjective decisions. Without publicly available standard test scores it will be much more difficult to show systematic racial preferences.

Anonymous said...

Is there an enforcement mechanism for this? Looks like not really. How can it be known whether race is playing an outsized role in admissions decisions? Especially without standard tests.

People in charge of colleges and admissions seem intent on having racially diverse classes. This decision will not deter them. You need concrete ways to tell when race is being used unlawfully as a deciding factor and ways to force them to stop. That means laws and monitoring and enforcement mechanisms, not just court decisions.

Maybe Whites and Asians not admitted in past years can now sue? For lost opportunities etc due to getting degrees from less prestigious schools. Something like that. But that does not seem very promising either.

It was the right decision but what it will mean in the real world is unclear.