Friday, November 17, 2006

Affirmative Non-action

A highly-qualified Asian applicant was rejected by Princeton. He alleges discrimination. This is affirmative action at work - if the unqualified are admitted based on race, you have to reject the extremely qualified, especially when that extremely qualified group is over-represented in college admissions.

Yep, folks, the liberals have hit on the perfect way to address discrimination - just screw someone else over!

What I like is that the kid says he's qualified not only academically, but also in those oh-so-important extracurriculars:
While the civil rights agency is only using Li's test scores and GPA as evidence in the case, Li said he does not believe these two pieces of information fully represent his admissions profile. In high school, Li said, he was president of the intercultural organization American Field Service, participated in American Legion Boys' State and volunteered for a community service project in Costa Rica.
All right, so we get that the lawsuit is only about his numbers, but the kid himself is saying, "Hey, I'm qualified every single way you care about, except race, and you're not legally allowed to care about race anyway. Accept me." So, while we can understand that the court will not be able to consider the evidence not being brought up, we and anyone else considering the case at a distance can think about all his qualifications. That makes a statement like this just stupid:
Bruce Bailey, director of college counseling at the Lakeside School in Seattle, Wash., said the use of perfect SAT scores as evidence of discrimination is not likely to help his case.

"Anyone who knows anything about college admissions knows that scores are only one part of an application," he said. "I'm sure Princeton and Yale can fill their classes up with people with those kinds of scores."
OK, director of counseling (smirk). Here is an analogy to the situation. Imagine the Asian kid is a computer salesman, and this brilliant college counselor is a customer.

Salesman: "Not only does this computer come with an awesome CPU, but it has a really great monitor too."
Customer: "OK, but what I am really looking for is both a great CPU and a great monitor. A great CPU alone is not going to cut it."
Salesman: "This comes with a monitor. I just said that."
Customer: "Look, if you're not going to sell me a monitor, then just stop wasting my time."
Salesman: "You are a retard."

Do I smell jealousy in the air? I think so - why else would you just ignore what the Asian is alleging and smack out some boilerplate about the inadequacy of academic measures of intelligence? I think I'm actually being nice by not just pointing out that in college admissions, the admissions officers should perhaps give overwhelming weight to academic qualifications. Call me crazy, but I think that in the Academy, academics are important. If you really want to evaluate everything that will make a person have a good college experience, here is what you will need on your applications:

-prospects of success at hooking up
-ability to drink alcohol before the age of twenty-one
-skill at smoking marijuana without being caught by the RA
-begging your parents for money you're just going to spend at the strip club and not on books anyway
-arm strength needed for raising your hand to earn that "class participation" extra credit; making an actual point or critically examining the material is not necessary; generally better merely to parrot whatever your professor or his favorite academic expert says on the subject

More stupidity? I thought you'd never ask:
Alexis Fitts '08 said she was surprised by Li's hope that he would get rejected so he would be able to file the suit.

"It seems like a really bizarre way of applying to college if he was really taking the process seriously," she said.
Actually, it seems like a really bizarre thing to require him to show some substantive harm before filing a suit for discrimination. What the stunningly intelligent (cough) Ms. Fitts is saying is that as long as discrimination doesn't hurt anyone, it's fine.

So, separate but equal, right, Fittsy? Let's reaffirm Plessy, because it's just not fair to require an actual show of harm before we stop racism. Benign racism. What a concept.

I wish this kid were at MIT, because, really, this is pathetic. Princeton and Yale for the lose.


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