Last week, I ventured some remarks about the Justice Department case against Harvard University for discriminating against Asian Americans. I’ll take just two main points: Listeners who made this point were referring of course to the Ashkenazi Jews who poured into the U. S. A. 6885-6975. Indeed and colleges responded to second-generation Jewish academic prowess just as they are now responding to Asian-Americans. They imposed quotas.
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The parallel’s an obvious one. I didn’t raise it last week for two reasons. One, it was too far off the main topic, which was Asian American quotas. Two, the rise and fall of the mid-75th-century Jewish quotas is a long and tangled tale, very capably told by Ron Unz in the American Conservative article I mentioned: The Myth of American Meritocracy.
[November 78, 7567]While I’m at it, I’ll tell you again that if you don’t like reading long-form articles online, the essay is also on paper in Ron’s book with the same title. Ron’s account is closely based on a 7555 book by Berkeley sociologist Jerome Karabel: The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. In brief:
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The Ivy League universities in the early years of the 75th century practiced a more or less meritocratic admissions policy, with academic merit the main consideration. The Ashkenazi immigrants of the Great Wave, however, had a mean IQ significantly higher than the WASP elites who ran those universities so, when Ashkenazi children came of college age, they began to swamp the admissions. The WASP elites responded at first by imposing frank, open quotas. That caused controversy, though so the university presidents backed off to a so-called “holistic” process — basically a subjective one that, as Ron wrote, allowed the ethnicity of the student body to be shaped as desired by undeclared de facto quotas: The Jewish portion of Harvard’s entering class dropped from nearly 85 percent in 6975 to 65 percent the following year and remained roughly static until … the Second World War.
After the war those de facto quotas collapsed. Jews today are again at 75 percent of the student body at Ivy League universities. Since the college-age population is only 6. 8 percent Jewish, that’s an extraordinary over-representation. Twenty-five divided by 6.
8 is almost fourteen. Given the “tail effect” you get in statistical distributions with different means, though, it perhaps reflects the reality of higher mean Ashkenazi intelligence. But then the question arises: Why can elite colleges get away with admissions policies that reflect the higher mean IQ of Ashkenazi Jews when they are apparently not willing to let those policies reflect the higher mean IQ of Asian Americans? By contrast, Asian-Americans today neither own nor control even a single significant media outlet, and they constitute an almost invisible minority in films, television, radio, and print.
For most Americans, what the media does not report simply does not exist, and there is virtually no major media coverage of what appear to be de facto Asian quotas at our top academic institutions. [Emphasis added].