Phi Beta Cons

California Wants to Discriminate Against Asians . . . Again

Okay, so Governor Jerry Brown didn’t say that explicitly when he joined the growing chorus of activists trying to water down or overturn California’s Proposition 209, a ballot effort that invalidated the consideration of race in higher education, in the wake of the ruling out of the Sixth Circuit. The Pasadena Star-News has the details. 

The overwhelming losers in this scheme to contort the logic of the Constitution are Asians, as years of data has revealed.

Jennifer Rubin, writing over at The Weekly Standard in 2008, laid bare the findings of a study that looked at the abolition of anti-Asian preferences in universities: 

A 2008 study of changes at the Universities of California, Texas, and Florida after racial preferences were eliminated showed:

At UCB [Berkeley], for example, Asian-American FTIC [first time in college] enrollment jumped from 1,277 or 37.30 percent in 1995 to 1,632 or 43.57 percent in 2000 following the implementation of Proposition 209, and, since that date, the number and percentage of Asian-Americans has increased steadily at both UCB and UCLA, reaching 46.59 percent at UCB and 41.53 at UCLA. For UCSD [San Diego], the number of Asian-American students continues to increase as both a number and percent of the student body, from 1,070 or 35.93 percent in 1995 to 1,133 or 36.33 percent in 2000 and to 1,684 or 46.88 percent in 2005. At Texas, the number of Asian-American FTIC students went from 886 or 14.26 percent in 1995 to 1,311 or 17.74 percent in 2000 and has leveled off at 17.33 percent in 2005, while in Florida, which has a much smaller Asian-American population, the UF numbers grew from 342 or 7.50 percent in 1995 to 518 or 7.84 percent in 2000, and to 531 or 8.65 percent in 2005.

The authors concluded:

Clearly in an open admissions process where affirmative action does not enter into enrollment decisions and where legacy and donor issues are discouraged, Asian-American students compete very well. What the data also reveal is that Asian-American students filled the gap as black and Hispanic enrollment fell following the elimination of affirmative action in California.

In 2005, yet another study, described in The Chronicle of Higher Educationlooked at who would be the big gainers in a world without affirmative action. Here’s what it found. 

In short, black and Latino enrollment would tank, while white enrollments would hardly be affected. The big winners would be Asian applicants, who appear to face “disaffirmative action” right now. They would pick up about four out of five spots lost by black and Latino applicants.

. . .

The research looked at admissions decisions at elite colleges and found that without affirmative action, the acceptance rate for African American candidates would be likely to fall by nearly two-thirds, from 33.7 percent to 12.2 percent, while the acceptance rate for Hispanic applicants probably would be cut in half, from 26.8 percent to 12.9 percent.

While white admit rates would stay steady, Asian students would be big winners under such a system. Their admission rate in a race-neutral system would go to 23.4 percent, from 17.6 percent. And their share of a class of admitted students would rise to 31.5 percent, from 23.7 percent.

All else being equal, Asians have, in the words of an Asian activist friend of mine, “a Chinaman’s chance” of being admitted at our top schools. If California Republicans were intelligent, they would use this data against their racist adversaries in every majority-Asian neighborhood in the state. Why don’t they?


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