Monday, October 22, 2018
Sunday, October 21, 2018
A Harvard University dean testified that the school has different SAT score standards for prospective students based on factors such as race and sex — but insisted that the practice isn’t discriminatory, as a trial alleging racism against Asian-American applicantsbegan this week.
The Ivy League school was sued in 2014 by the group Students for Fair Admissions, which claims that Asian-American students, despite top-notch academic records, had the lowest admission rate among any race.
He said Harvard sends recruitment letters to African-American, Native American and Hispanic high schoolers with mid-range SAT scores, around 1100 on math and verbal combined out of a possible 1600, CNN reported.
Asian-Americans only receive a recruitment letter if they score at least 250 points higher — 1350 for women, and 1380 for men.
Fitzsimmons explained a similar process for white wannabe students in states that don’t see a lot of Harvard attendees, like Montana or Nevada. Students in those states would receive a recruitment letter if they had at least a 1310 on their SATs.
“That’s race discrimination, plain and simple,” John Hughes, a lawyer for Students for Fair Admissions, challenged the dean.
“It is not,” the dean insisted. He said the school targeted certain groups in order to “break the cycle” and try to convince students to apply to Harvard who normally wouldn’t consider the school.
Fitzsimmons’ office oversees the screening process of about 40,000 applications and whittles them down to 2,000 acceptance letters that are handed out each year.
“Harvard has engaged in, and continues to engage in, intentional discrimination against Asian-Americans,” Mortara said.
William Lee, the lawyer representing the Cambridge, Mass., school, denied that it engages in discriminatory practices, saying its doors are “open to students of all backgrounds and means.”
“Harvard never considers an applicant’s race to be a negative,” he said.
The trial, which will last at least three weeks, is being heard by Judge Allison Burroughs — not a jury.
No matter the outcome of the case, an appeal that could reach the US Supreme Court is anticipated. It could shape the long-standing debate surrounding affirmative action, a landmark policy from 1978 that has given mostly African-American and Hispanic students an advantage in the college application process.
FILED UNDER AFFIRMATIVE ACTION , COLLEGE ADMISSIONS , HARVARD UNIVERSITY , RACIAL DISCRIMINATION , TRIALS
Hanson’s essay is well worth reading in its entirety; a summary hardly does it justice. I believe he intends “agony” in both its meanings, suffering and contest, and I believe it is the correct word for what the left is going through right now. It is by no means clear who will win this struggle, long term.
Here’s Hanson’s description of what happened right after Trump won in November of 2016:
Progressives soon woke up to the reality that without power they were unable to stop Trump, and so they embraced any desperate means necessary to trap the ogre. The effort proved as frenzied as it was impotent: boycotting the inauguration, suing over state voting machines, using the courts to stymie Trump appointments and executive orders, appealing to the emoluments clause and the 25th Amendment of the Constitution, and winking and nodding at the assassination chic of celebrities and politicos such as Johnny Depp, Peter Fonda, Kathy Griffith, Madonna, Robert de Niro, Snoop Dogg, and a host of others. The many methods to subvert Trump’s presidency or fantasize about his gory death were as varied as the number of faux-accusers who would come out of the woodwork to smear Brett Kavanaugh. And the result was eerily the same: the more the impotent frenzy, the more it discredited its source.
It was a sort of boomerang situation, in which the child’s traditional taunt “bounces off me and sticks to you” seemed to come true over and over. The left kept thinking it had driven a stake through the vampire’s heart, only to find that it had missed the mark.
Blacks Lives Matter, Antifa, and #MeToo were all in a sense weaponized to do what elections had not. Finally, in exasperation, Democrats have begun demonizing the Electoral College itself, which has gone from the legal basis of Obama’s treasured “blue wall” to a relic of old, white male Founders who supposedly favored rural hicks over the better people of the cities. Progressives now damn the idea of a nine-person Supreme Court and mysteriously praise the discredited, hare-brained scheme of FDR to pack the court with progressive toady judges.
This is not new. The left only likes any institution as long as they see it as benefiting them. FDR’s original court-packing scheme was in the furtherance of progressive politics, so it is no surprise that the current-day left would be in favor of it. But they’d be against it if the right were proposing it, of course. It’s purely situational.
It is also no coincidence that Democrats are called “Democrats” and Republicans “Republicans.” The Electoral College and the Senate are nods to the fact that the US is a republic rather than a pure democracy. The House is much closer to a democratic legislative body than the Senate, because although the House is representative, those representatives reflect population differences far more closly than the Senate (which totally ignores population and only reflects state entities) and the Electoral College (a sort of middle way between the two). One of the most profoundly frustrating elements of the 2016 presidential election for Democrats was the fact that Hillary actually did win the popular vote, so it makes perfect sense that Democrats would take out their ire on the Electoral College that had foiled them. So near and yet so far!
Another reason for Democrats’ agony is the nature of the contest against an opponent such as Trump. It’s a lesson the Republicans struggled with, too, during the 2016 primary season. Trump had a lot of rivals in the GOP during the primary vying for the nomination, and if you watched closely you saw that all of them, despite their brains and previous power and support, were caught flat-footed by his idiosyncratic approach. They simply didn’t know what to do with him. Conventional debate and conventional means didn’t seem to work; they’d never really seen anything like him in politics before, and they didn’t know how to meet his tactics and win.
During the primaries, Trump’s Republican opponents never quite figured out how to wrestle this particular alligator. In the time since he’s been president, some of the Republican NeverTrumpers are still going at it and failing, although most have given up the agon and praised him, albeit sometimes reluctantly. Now it’s the Democrats who are engaged in a struggle with this strange opponent, continually thinking “Gotcha!!” and continually being bested.
Which brings me to another metaphor, appropriate for this time of year: Trump as knuckleballer. The knuckleball pitcher confounds batters with the zaniness of the ball’s behavior once it leaves his hand. It doesn’t require extreme force but it’s not an easy pitch to throw and it’s a very difficult one to control. But it can make ordinarily good hitters look bad; they often just can’t figure out what’s going on, and they end up looking silly when they swing at a knuckler.
Here’s Wiki on the subject:
A knuckleball or knuckler is a baseball pitch thrown to minimize the spin of the ball in flight, causing an erratic, unpredictable motion. The air flow over a seam of the ball causes the ball to transition from laminar to turbulent flow. This transition adds a deflecting force on the side of the baseball. This makes the pitch difficult for batters to hit, but also difficult for pitchers to control and catchers to catch; umpires are challenged as well, as the ball’s irregular motion through the air makes it harder to call balls and strikes.
Long ago I read the memoir of prominent knuckleball pitcher Jim Bouton, and later as a Red Sox fan I watched many a game pitched by knuckleballer Tim Wakefield:
And here’s a knuckleball in slow motion:
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