Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
SPOTLIGHT: Full-fledged racism is being practiced by the very institutions that claim to abhor it.
BIG PICTURE: Institutions across the Western world profess to be in favour of equality and opposed to racism. These views are especially prevalent at institutions of higher learning, where young people are taught that racism, past and present, is a profound moral stain. We’re supposed to treat people as individuals, not as members of an identifiable group.
But that’s not how many universities actually behave. If you happen to be born into an Asian family and wish to attend Harvard, the deck is stacked against you. In the words of Debra Soh, test scores “of Asian applicants need to be hundreds of points higher than applicants from other ethnic backgrounds.” Rather than treating Asian teenagers as individuals, Harvard holds their ethnicity against them.
Somewhere along the line, you see, colour-blindness got tossed aside. Harvard and other Ivy League schools (which receive billions in public money) care more about something else: racially ‘balanced’ campuses in which the percentage of students from various populations is set arbitrarily. In other words, the accident of belonging to a particular ethnic group becomes central to whether you’re awarded a coveted spot or get rejected.
Historically, during the bad old days, Harvard took steps to ensure it didn’t accept too many Jews. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
TOP TAKEAWAY: Depriving someone of the chance to attend a prestigious university because of their ethnicity is repugnant. Period.
|The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton
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