Court documents unsealed Friday show that Harvard College consistently ranks Asian applicants lower on several personality traits than it does students of different ethnicities in its admissions process.
“Harvard’s admissions officials assign Asian Americans the lowest score of any racial group on the personal rating—a subjective assessment of such traits as whether the student has a ‘positive personality’ and ‘others like to be around him or her,’ has ‘character traits’ such as ‘likability … helpfulness, courage, [and] kindness,’ is an ‘attractive person to be with,’ is ‘widely respected,’ is a ‘good person,’ and has good ‘human qualities,’ say the court documents.
The Ivy League giant has been sued by Students for Fair Admissions, an activist group that is fighting the negative externalities of Affirmative Action, which is supposed to protect minorities against discrimination.
“It turns out that the suspicions of Asian-American alumni, students and applicants were right all along,” Student’s for Fair Admissions attorneys said in the court documents. “Harvard today engages in the same kind of discrimination and stereotyping that it used to justify quotas on Jewish applicants in the 1920s and 1930s.”
It has long been known that Affirmative Action policies negatively affect certain racial sub-groups, particular East Asians. A 2005 Princeton University study shows that Asian American students, on average, must score 270 points higher than Latino students, and 450 points higher than black students on the 1600 point SAT in order to be admitted to the same universities.
If Harvard were to admit students strictly based on merit and without consciousness, it would have a much higher percentage of Asian students.
But Students for Fair Admissions argues in its lawsuit that Harvard is actively taking measures to ensure against that. The group argues that Harvard has implemented a “soft-quota” of “racial-balancing” aimed at Asian students, which amounts to institutional discrimination in violation of civil rights law.
“Thorough and comprehensive analysis of the data and evidence makes clear that Harvard College does not discriminate against applicants from any group, including Asian-Americans, whose rate of admission has grown 29 percent over the last decade,” Harvard said in a statement.
Harvard failed to address the fact that the Asian applicant pool has grown more than 40 percent during roughly the same time period while other racial applicant groups has stayed approximately the same.
The school has previously defended itself by claiming that standardized test scores are not the only factor taken into consideration when admitting a student. That defense is meaningless in light of the fact Asians are scoring demonstrably lower on subjective personality assessments conducted by Harvard admissions employees.
The irony is palpable. Ivy League schools are the hotbed for social justice babble against perceived racism. But the racism that is right under their nose – blatant discrimination against a certain group of applicants solely on the basis of the immutable characteristic of race – not only goes unnoticed, but it rather defended.
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