The attempt to racially engineer the ideal society just ran into more silliness. The NYT is reporting (registration required) that Harvard is concerned about the fact that their admissions policies are benefiting immigrants rather than long-time USA residents.
What, you say? Why would this be a bad thing, that immigrants are getting into our top colleges at higher rates than people who have been citizens for three or four generations? And why would a liberal hotbed like Harvard have a problem with that? It’s because the immigrants being benefited are blacks of African and West Indian descent, or their children, and the blacks not being helped as much are the descendants of slavery.
How can somebody possibly keep straight which groups are supposed to benefit from Affirmative Action? Is it skin color? Can’t be, because I’m sure many of these African immigrants are darker than the average African American who is supposed to be getting the benefits. Is it, as the article suggests, those with all four grandparents being African-Americans? Presumably this is because these were the ones who actually were disadvantaged by slavery. But what if one of the grandparents wasn’t black? The article suggests that then they wouldn’t be as desirable a candidate for Affirmative Action. But what if that one non-black grandparent was a slaver who forced his attentions on the black grandparent? And shouldn’t descendents of Irishmen who suffered extreme economic oppression when they first came here be eligible for some kind of benefit? And how could you possibly sort all of this out on a college admission form?
Ironically, the ‘problem’ leading to this fact is that immigrants as a rule are a highly motivated lot, whether they be from Africa or Asia or anywhere else (whether this applies to the illegal Mexican immigrant problem is another question, I’d think). Most of them come here for the opportunity. But this then would imply that skin color has nothing to do with the disadvantages that American blacks face. Even place of origin doesn’t directly affect it, since there’s this major difference between blacks who came from Africa just recently, and blacks who came from Africa involuntarily several generations ago. The next corollary of this is that public policy based on said skin color or place of origin is hopelessly simplistic and unfair, and ought to be abandoned.
I waited in vain for anyone from Harvard, or the NYT, to make this point.