A barrage of amicus briefs was filed last month defending Harvard University and the University of North Carolina, whose use of race as a criterion in their admissions processes heads to the Supreme Court this term.
As others have noted , Harvard’s own data (as presented in the petitioner’s brief ) expose an odious pattern of discrimination. An Asian American student in the top decile of the “academic index” (“a metric created by Harvard based on test scores and GPA”) has a 12.7% chance of admission, while an African American applicant has a 56.1% chance. In the seventh decile, it is a 4% versus a 41.1% chance. Asian American students consistently have the lowest chance of admission at every decile, even though their academic scores are often higher.
Anti-Asian discrimination at elite universities has a long and ugly history. In 1985, the New York Times recounted what Princeton University professor Uwe Reinhardt witnessed at a graduate school admissions committee: "[W]e came to a clearly qualified Asian-American student ... and one committee member said, 'We have enough of them.' And someone else turned to me and said, 'You have to admit, there are a lot.'"
There is no other word for this except "racism."
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