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Andrea Mitchell: “I don’t know if there are cases” of whites hurt by affirmative action

Andrea Mitchell: “I don’t know if there are cases” of whites hurt by affirmative action

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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thalesofmiletus | August 3, 2017 at 10:16 am

Andrea Mitchell: “I don’t know.”

Yeah, that about sums it up.

The sub-heading doesn’t match the article here. I see nothing about DOJ having any focus on protecting the interests of Asian-Americans. The plan seems to be to ream them even more thoroughly than everyday American-Americans.

      tom swift in reply to Mark Finkelstein. | August 3, 2017 at 10:33 am

      And where does that say anything about “protecting Asian-Americans”?

      What I see in there is a specific statement about “protecting all Americans from all forms of illegal race-based discrimination,” implying that they will not be protected from legal race-based discrimination.

      In other words, because Asian-Americans are victims of legal race-based discrimination, they will not protected, as a matter of department policy.

        Valerie in reply to tom swift. | August 3, 2017 at 11:37 am

        The lawsuit was filed by a group of Asian-American associations to rectify a blatant penalty of 140 SAT points against asian-american kids. The argument, of course, is that this practice is illegal.

        It does seem to me that the argument, that changing a person’s academic achievement measurement based on the color of one’s skin is arbitrary, capricious, and therefore illegal discrimination, is sound.

    amatuerwrangler in reply to tom swift. | August 3, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Tom- Here is the DOJ response by spokeswoman Sarah Flores to the NYT article that addresses your comment:

    “Press reports regarding the personnel posting in the Civil Rights Division have been inaccurate. The posting sought volunteers to investigate one administrative complaint filed by a coalition of 64 Asian-American associations in May 2015 that the prior Administration left unresolved. The complaint alleges racial discrimination against Asian Americans in a university’s admissions policy and practices.”

    I found this embedded in a post on the topic at Ethics Alarms-dot-com. Not only is the issue of the treatment of Asian-Americans at the hands of “elite” universities the heart of the matter, it was raised in 2015 and ignored by the Obama DOJ, probably in favor of some other “special needs” group. This is just another portion of the clean-up task the current DOJ faces. There is more at the EA site including links to earlier posts on the subject. You’re welcome.

Like the rep from the NAACP was going to say “It’s true Andrea! White kids are being treated unfairly!”

White people have all that natural privilege going on.

WHOOPIE…. another blow to the base of the left.

I am surrounded by aging hippies, independents, and “just don’t care anymore” voters… may center left and hard left.

The chef dating one daughter yelled at the TV the other night when they were playing sob stories of single mothers with a clutch of welfare brats… being deported. The segment was her sad sad story.

He went NUTS… screaming at the TV. He deals with illegal dishwashers and kitchen help all the time… says they are NOT hard working or desirable newcomers.

And this is a pot smoking, long haired, kumbaya executive chef from Austin. He also hate the affirmative action wave that is hitting kitchens across the country. They promote black chefs who don’t know parsley from cilantro.

SO … have at it Andrea… more Trump voters on the menu.

    Mark Finkelstein in reply to gustafus21. | August 3, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Wait a second: so there’s a difference between parsley and cilantro? No wonder my home-made tacos taste so bland! 😉

      Of course there’s a difference. It’s been known since the earliest days of cooking.

      (Google search…fails)

      Darnit. There’s a wonderful Far Side cartoon with a bunch of cavemen sitting around a roast mammoth. Caption: “Wait, Thog. Not eat parsley. Only for looks.”

4th armored div | August 3, 2017 at 11:44 am

the start of race wars has begun and the non white/asians are starting to finally fight back –
one alternative is to start a private education systen taught by retired top of their field instructors.

The only mystery is why anybody cares what Andrea Mitchell thinks.

Worse than Pauline Kael. Mitchell doesn’t even feel them sometimes in theaters.

Do you think Andrea Mitchell and Alan Greenspan get their kids in any school they want? I’m sure they went to private school then Ivy League College. Is it fair that their children score higher on SAT’s than public school kids? It’s very easy to give advantages to others when your own is protected. That’s why the Andrea Mitchell’s of the world are such phonies. She reminds me of the Federal Judge Sand who ordered low rent public housing in the middle of an upper middle class neighborhood. He was adamant that Yonkers was racist. Judge Sand lived on Sutton Place in New York. An address so exclusive that There wasn’t a poor minority within blocks of him.

Mitchell may be more or less correct (if one substitutes “whites are not substantially disadvantaged by affirmative action in college admissions” for her more easily rebutted “I don’t know of any cases, even” remark.

That is, if whites are disadvantaged by preferences for some minorities then they are also advantaged by discrimination against Asian applicants. Thus it’s at least possible (and perhaps likely) that the net effect on white applicants to selective schools is zero, or only slightly negative.

Which would imply that Asian-American applicants are paying all or most of the price. Which, if true, would surely justify the investigation and likely some corrective action.

And as always, one should never underestimate the dishonesty of college admission officials, or their willingness to achieve diversity by any means necessary.

Dear Andrea:

You claim you do not know of any cases where whites have been hurt by affirmative action. Then let me take this opportunity to introduce you to Mr. Allan Bakke who was denied admission to UC Davis Medical School in spite of his superior credentials in comparison to minority candidates who were granted admission.

Allan Bakke is a white male who applied to the Davis Medical School in both 1973 and 1974. In both years, Bakke’s application was considered under the general admissions program, and he received an interview. His 1973 interview was with Dr. Theodore C. West, who considered Bakke “a very desirable applicant to [the] medical school.” Despite a strong benchmark score of 468 out of 500, Bakke was rejected. In both years, applicants were admitted under the special program with grade point averages, MCT scores, and benchmark scores significantly lower than Bakke’s.

After the second rejection, Bakke filed the instant suit in the Superior Court of California. He sought mandatory, injunctive, and declaratory relief compelling his admission to the Medical School. He alleged that the Medical School’s special admissions program operated to exclude him from the school on the basis of his race, in violation of his rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, Art. I, § 21, of the California Constitution, and § 601 of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

As Paul Harvey would say here is the rest of the story.

[It] is evident that the Davis special admissions program involves the use of an explicit racial classification … It tells applicants who are not Negro, Asian, or Chicano that they are totally excluded from a specific percentage of the seats in an entering class. No matter how strong their qualifications, quantitative and extracurricular, including their own potential for contribution to educational diversity, they are never afforded the chance to compete with applicants from the preferred groups for the special admissions seats. At the same time, the preferred applicants have the opportunity to compete for every seat in the class …

[N]o applicant may be rejected because of his race in favor of another who is less qualified, as measured by standards applied without regard to race.

See, 438 U.S. 265

    amatuerwrangler in reply to MadisonS. | August 3, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    I am surprised that the thread got this far before Mr. Bakke was mentioned. So much for Andrea Mitchell’s knowledge of history of a topic she chose to report on.

    As soon as I saw her “I know of no cases…” statement, my age-addled mind came up with “Bakke” immediately. And I am but one of those B- students from a very average state university; so much for those hot-shot elite places, huh?

the only current lawsuits are ASIANS.. not whites..

you are falling for the #FakeNews meme ‘it’s to promote white discrimination’

    Char Char Binks in reply to mathewsjw. | August 5, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    It’s not fake. If colleges keep Affirmative Action for Blacks while appeasing, to any degree, Asians, who will lose out? Hint: Not Latinos.

I would argue that the admission of low quality minority students, simply because they are a minority, forces the professor to dumb down the class in order to allow the minority students to have a chance to pass the course hurts all the other students in the class by offering them a substandard education. If I am paying $50,000 – $100,000/year for an top notch education at a top notch school, only to discover that my education has been dumbed down to a level that leaves me with hardly any education at all, then doesn’t that constitute being hurt?