re: maya's point, that's fine...but harvard has very few conservatives and in particular very few white evangelicals. but they're a big part of the country. isn't the discussion impoverished that way too? who cares? no one really

(also, first!?!?!)

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Jun 29Liked by Kate Crawford, Milan Singh, Maya Bodnick

First thing that I have to say is that I really appreciate Milan and Maya's takes being included as thoughts #4 and #5 that operate as a bit of point/counterpoint. I always like reading when there's respectful disagreements, that ultimately make our views stronger in the end. Thanks for the contributions, both of you!

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Bottom line treating people differently based on the color of their skin is wrong.

This is a big win!

Also agreed that we need to fix K-12.

Roland Fryer did an excellent Econ Talk podcast where he showed how to do it


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I haven't seen mentioned yet, amidst all the comments along the lines of "would you really want to go to a 50% Asian school", is that these are the exact same arguments which were used to justify Jewish quotas a century ago. Turns out that some groups are really strong academically.

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Justice Thomas concurrence is 58 pages of fastballs. Straight flamethrower shit.

"The great failure of this country was slavery and its progeny. And, the tragic failure of this Court was its misinterpretation of the Reconstruction Amendments, as Justice Harlan predicted in Plessy. We should not repeat this mistake merely because we think, as our predecessors thought, that the present arrangements are superior to the Constitution.

The Court’s opinion rightly makes clear that Grutter is, for all intents and purposes, overruled. And, it sees the universities’ admissions policies for what they are: rudderless, race-based preferences designed to ensure a particular racial mix in their entering classes. Those policies fly in the face of our colorblind Constitution and our Nation’s equality ideal. In short, they are plainly—and boldly—unconstitutional." ~ Justice Thomas https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/22pdf/20-1199_hgdj.pdf

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Taught at a mid-level state university. Many first generation college students, mostly white and Black, because in the Midwest. My former students are flourishing, serving the community, raising their own healthy families. If the role of a college education is to create more elites, then more folks need to go to Harvard. If it is to create a better educated population and enable a stronger middle class, send your kid to a state school. (They'll still get into Harvard Law if they're motivated and smart enough.) And almost by definition, they'll have a more diverse college experience, which is important in the real world.

Also, quality early childhood education is a stepping stone to success in K-12 for many children and families.

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Jun 29·edited Jun 29Liked by Maya Bodnick

Twitter is obviously a very strange place but the discussion around this decision has really been something.

One terrible thing that liberal people might do is to push Asian Americans to the right with their reactions to his ruling. Both "Asians" and "White Women" are trending on Twitter.

Firstly, if they wanted all these schools could just set an academic minimum and then have a lottery. They are the ones that decided that they need to be ultra-selective.

The legacy/athlete discussion is very strange because legacy admissions seem very unpopular with all people according this this poll 0% of Dems and 7% of Republics think it is "very fair". If someone were to get rid of them it would likely be very popular.


Also colleges can just get rid of legacy/donor/athlete admissions if they want. If people think they are bad, they should tell Harvard to stop doing them.

There is a lot of discussion about White Women being the main beneficiary of AA. It's unclear if this is meant as a defense of it or not.


Finally, saying that Clarence Thomas sucks, and also that he got into school and the SC because of AA seems like a misguided defense.

Also Harvard should have maybe been less openly racist towards Asian applicants. People are sort of glossing over this in favor of the overall discussion but the practices that Harvard was using seems pretty not cool.

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As much as I appreciate Milan and Maya, I would dearly love it it Matt walked the walk and SB's next intern came from a fine state school.

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“we weren’t the ones doing slavery or Jim Crow”

I fully support the people who did slavery and Jim Crow having to surrender their slots in Harvard’s freshman class of 2024.

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0. The entire system became untenable and collapsed because Asian students are much stronger than other students (in the pool elite schools draw from) in terms of academic achievements at age 18. Neither side is particularly interested in emphasizing this point

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Jun 29·edited Jun 29

"I think professors at top universities face a conceptual problem in that they want to affirm values like “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” but the whole point of top universities is to be elitist, hierarchical, and exclusionary."

In my English PhD program in the 00's (which I thankfully eventually dropped out of), my fellow students who most vociferously thought that their future role as professors was to indoctrinate students into their own view of social justice activism with the goal of upending the current social order, also were the ones whose career goals were to get jobs at the most prestigious schools (Ivies and highly rated northeast liberal arts schools like Wesleyan and Amherst). It seemed to never occur to them that their career aspirations would end up placing them in front of almost exclusively elite students. (They also had the least interesting things to say about our putative subject, i.e., literature.)

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Jun 29·edited Jun 29

Question for the group:

What is the optimal distribution of races to achieve the best benefits of racial diversity and experiences and how do you come up with that number?

Seriously, this isn't a troll question. I honestly have no idea how people decide if something is "diverse" when the pool of applicants is not uniform.

UC Berkeley’s undergraduate population is made up of 42.2% Asian, 19.7% White, 4.4% Black, and 21% Hispanic students as of 2020.

39% of Californians are Latino, 35% are white, 15% are Asian American or Pacific Islander, 5% are Black, 4% are multiracial, and fewer than 1% are Native American or Alaska Natives, according to the 2020 Census.

How diverse is UC Berkeley?

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Re 15: There isn't a solution to this at the level of the individual, but there is an obvious one at the level of the institution: the best educational institutions should expand until they are the biggest educational institutions. Admit 20,000 students per year and you'll soon have a much more diverse population.

It should be seen as a failure of Harvard that UCF educates more people than Harvard does, and Harvard should have the objective of being the biggest university in the USA as well as being the best.

That's how a "top" university manages to achieve diversity, equity and inclusion - it includes more people, making it more naturally diverse, and far more equitable as it ceases to concentrate on a tiny elite, but creates a much broader equally-educated class: what one might call a "middle class", if you like.

This is standard practice in many other countries - a student who could have benefitted from a Harvard education but wasn't admitted is as much a student failed by Harvard as one admitted and then failed.

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You might want to clarify that #6 switches back to Matt's take. At first I thought it was a continuation of Maya's take (she could have had more than one numbered point to make, after all).

"When my son was five, he asked if the weakest students enroll at the best colleges because they’re the ones who need the most help."

You can't blame children for overgeneralizing from their parents' experience.

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Can a supporter of affirmative action explain why they think the old Jewish quotas were bad but the current situation with Asians is ok? I genuinely don’t get it.

My best theory: the difference is that there aren’t literal quotas, and it would actually have been ok if they had just heavily penalized Jewish applicants. Is that it?

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"Affirmative action is unpopular" is not exactly untrue...but having elite colleges be majority-Asian and have virtually no black students would also be unpopular. Unless you're paying kind of an insane level of attention to this, you don't realize what an admissions system that just straight used test scores/GPA/advanced classes (or even adding in: legacies, sports etc.) would deliver. I don't think that would look fair to many Americans. And I don't think they're going to get it -- elite private colleges will game out admissions to be more opaque that so that, next time, no one can prove what they're doing.

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