Posted on | July 29, 2010 | 12 Comments
Harvard alumnus declares that getting into Harvard is no big deal, at least for poor white kids:
People who are plausible admission candidates at Harvard and don’t quite make the cut end up at Columbia or Penn. People who don’t get into Berkeley go to UCLA. And they all end up fine. There’s just absolutely no need to cry for someone who got into Bryn Mawr instead of Wellesley thanks to affirmative action or legacy preference or structural bias in the SAT or anything else. This is a made-up social problem. . . .
If you were to start writing a list of the problems faced by poor people in the United States of America you’d run out of paper long before you got to elite university admissions policies.
Strangely enough, I agree with Yglesia as to these facts. Why, therefore, did Jesse Jackson lead protest marches against Proposition 209? Why, as a general rule, do liberals rush to the barricades to defend affirmative action programs for minorities, if such programs are a response to “a made-up social problem” and if admission to elite universities doesn’t actually help the supposed beneficiaries?
And isn’t it strange that Yglesias is making such arguments now, when we have a black president with a bachelor’s degree from Columbia and a law degree from Harvard?