Double trouble: Panel embraces racial discrimination in admissions AND it turns out DOJ focusing on protecting Asian-Americans, not whites.
Yesterday, we noted the left’s freak-out over the news that the Justice Department will be investigating race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.
The freak-out was on full display on Andrea Mitchell’s MSNBC show yesterday. You knew the fix was in from Mitchell’s choice as guests of two critics of the initiative: the Washington Post‘s Jonathan Capehart, and Janai Nelson of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
The most outrageous moments came when Mitchell said: “I don’t know if there are cases, even” of white students being disadvantaged by minority students taking available slots. Responded Nelson:
“The premise that this is harming white students is wrong on at least two key fronts. There are more white students in college now than ever before. So to suggest that white students are somehow not getting the advantage of higher education is absolutely false.”
Nelson’s argument was a classic of the straw man genre. No one is claiming that racial discrimination against whites and Asians prevents them from getting some sort of college education. There are plenty of institutions around that will take pretty much anyone with a pulse.
So Nelson’s claim that there are “more white students in college now than ever before” proves nothing. The problem is that white and Asian students are being denied admission to the most selective, prestigious schools in favor of applicants with inferior—at times vastly inferior—academic credentials based on racial discrimination.
Take, for example, the findings of this study of admissions at top US universities [emphasis added]:
“Blacks received an admissions boost worth 310 SAT points compared with whites. Hispanics received a 130 point preference, and Asians received a 140 point penalty compared with whites. Taken together, on average, an Asian American student must score a whopping 450 points higher on the combined math and verbal sections of the SAT to have the same chance of being admitted as an African American applicant.”
Surely both Nelson and Mitchell must be generally familiar with those facts. For Nelson to claim that the “premise that this is hurting white students is wrong” is to deny the obvious.
Even more maddening was Mitchell’s profession of ignorance as to whether “there are cases, even” of white students being disadvantaged by such racial discrimination. MSNBC bills Mitchell as a “correspondent,” implying objectivity. Could the network at least have the integrity to describe her as the liberal advocate she is?
It gets worse: According to a statement released by DOJ, the initiative is specific to complaints by Asian Americans. So the premise of Mitchell’s segment—that the initative was intended to investigate discrimination against white students—was incorrect.
The Justice Department says it does not have broad plans to investigate whether university admissions policies discriminate against students based on race.
Spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores says a job posting within the Civil Rights Division was related to a complaint filed by a coalition of 64 Asian-American associations in May 2015. They sued Harvard University, saying that school and other Ivy League institutions are using racial quotas to admit students other than high-scoring Asians.
Flores says the department has not received or issued any further directive on university admissions in general. She adds that the department is “committed to protecting all Americans from all forms of illegal race-based discrimination.”
Note: Nelson’s second argument in support of her theory that whites aren’t being harmed by racial discrimination against them in admissions was that “white students . . . benefit from being in a diverse learning environment.” Nelson didn’t explain how a white student shut out of say, Harvard because of racial discrimination benefits from the “diverse learning environment” there.
Note segundo: Mitchell further editorialized against the initiative by asserting that it “takes money away from the pursuit of more pressing civil rights cases.”
ANDREA MITCHELL: And Janai, let’s talk about this, obviously the counterpoint is that white students claim, perhaps, I don’t know if there are cases even, that seem to be — this seems to be the Justice Department looking for a problem in order to put resources there. So the claim would be that white students are being disadvantaged by other students, minority students, getting entrance to the available slots. What about the fact that this takes money away from the pursuit of more pressing civil rights cases that are out there?
JANIA NELSON: Yeah, that’s a great question. First, just the premise that this is harming white students is wrong on at least two key fronts. There are more white students in college now than ever before. So to suggest that white students are somehow not getting the advantage of higher education is absolutely false.
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