Blog Ipsa Loquitur

Published on under Educated Guesses

Hey, so, uh, this thing happened in McKinney, Texas. It’s pretty ugly. Really, really pretty ugly.

Ugly things like this don’t have to involve guns. One of my friends pointed me to this story in New York Magazine from a few years back. People can be pretty awful to one another:

Jenny Tsai, a student who was elected president of her class at the equally competitive New York public school Hunter College High School, remembers frequently hearing that “the school was becoming too Asian, that they would be the downfall of our school.” A couple of years ago, she revisited this issue in her senior thesis at Harvard, where she interviewed graduates of elite public schools and found that the white students regarded the Asians students with wariness. (She quotes a music teacher at Stuyvesant describing the dominance of Asians: “They were mediocre kids, but they got in because they were coached.”)

Real nice, guys.

I think the short version is “we’re all striving for these accomplishments, but when people who aren’t white achieve them, it’s a bad thing.” Got it.

Ah, but there’s more from the New York Magazine piece:

In 2005, The Wall Street Journal reported on “white flight” from a high school in Cupertino, California, that began soon after the children of Asian software engineers had made the place so brutally competitive that a B average could place you in the bottom third of the class.

See? Look! Downfall of the school, just like the racists warned us would happen! It’s a damn shame.

Here’s the worst part:

Colleges have a way of correcting for this imbalance: The Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade has calculated that an Asian applicant must, in practice, score 140 points higher on the SAT than a comparable white applicant to have the same chance of admission. This is obviously unfair to the many qualified Asian individuals who are punished for the success of others with similar faces. Upper-middle-class white kids, after all, have their own elite private schools, and their own private tutors, far more expensive than the cram schools, to help them game the education system.”

I mean, this whole thing is pretty awful, but the real tragedy here is obviously that I didn’t get into Harvard even with a 140-point White Dude Bonus.