Asians are beneficiaries of affirmative action

Following is the full text of the section of chapter eight of “The Affirmative Action Hoax” by Steven Farron that deals with Asians benefiting from affirmative action (reproduced with his permission).  He did mention that a new edition of this book is coming out soon.  I strongly recommend purchasing it and reading it if it is anything like the first edition.  Presumably, it’s even better:

Thus, Asians should logically be the main victims of affirmative action.  But, in fact, they are not.  In The Bell Curve, Herrnstein and Murray (1996: 451-3) list the average Verbal+Math SAT scores of Whites, Asians, and Blacks at twenty-six prestigious colleges.  In most of the colleges on their list, Asians have higher average Verbal+Math SAT scores than Whites.  But the differences between Whites and Asians are neither great nor universal.  More importantly, the combined Verbal+Math SAT score is misleading since Verbal-SAT is more important than Math.  In 2004, the average SAT Verbal and Math scores of Whites were 528 and 531; of Asians, 507 and 578.  On ACT’s, which have subtests on English, Mathematics, Reading Comprehension and Science Reasoning, the average White and Asian scores are nearly identical.

Lerner and Nagai (2002) provided the median Verbal and Math SAT scores of Whites and Asians at twenty-seven American colleges.  At twenty-four, the median White Verbal score was higher than the median Asian Verbal score.  At fourteen of these colleges, the gap was thirty points or more.  The Asian median Verbal score exceeded the White median at only three colleges, all by a small margin (ten, ten, and twenty-five points).  The median White Math score was higher at two of these twenty-seven colleges; at six, they were the same; at nineteen, the median Asian Math score was higher.  But at only six of these, was the gap thirty points or more.  Lerner and Nagai (2002) also provided the median White and Asian ACT scores at twenty-two colleges.  At fourteen, the median White score was higher.  At four of these colleges, it was higher by three or more points (on a thirty-six point scale).  At five colleges, the median White and Asian ACT scores were the same.  At only three was the median Asian ACT score higher, all by less than three points.

The most frequently used evidence of anti-Asian discrimination was from its supposed existence at Berkeley’s undergraduate division.  In fact, in the late 1980s, when this accusation was constantly being made, of the California high school graduates who were academically eligible for Berkeley (on the basis of high school grades and SAT scores), 67.7 percent where White and 19.9 percent were Asian.  But only 32.6 percent of the 1989 Berkeley freshman class was White and 21.2 percent were Asian.   (Of California high school graduates, 61.6 percent were White, and 8.6 percent were Asian (Sarich 1990-91; 73-4, 76).)

Discrimination in admission to professional schools is more serious than in admission to college.  Every high school graduate can find an American college that will accept him, but that is not true of professional schools.  In 1992, the average LSAT score of first-year Asians at American law schools was .32 of a standard deviation lower than the average LSAT score of White first-year students (Herrnstein and Murray 1996: 455-6).  In 1990-91, 1.55 more Asians were admitted to American law schools than would have been admitted on the basis of undergraduate grades and LSAT scores alone, and only .80 as many Whites (Wightman 1997: 16).  As a result, when that class graduated from law school, 80.75 percent of the Asians, but 91.93 percent of the Whites, passed the bar exam on the first try (Wightman 1998: 27).  Law schools have practiced that level of pro-Asian discrimination for decades.  Only 60 percent of the Asians admitted to American law schools in 1976 would have been admitted if they were White (Welch and Gruhl 1998: 58).  As with all affirmative action programs, the socioeconomic background of the recipients is not considered.  For instance, Ron Chen got into Rutgers Law School through its Minority Student Program even though both his parents had PhDs and he attended one of the most elite private schools in the United States (Exeter) and Dartmouth.  He told the Washington Post that he needed affirmative action to get into law school because “I goofed off in college” (Russakoff 1995).

Similarly, in 1994, 93.4 and 96.3 percent of White medical students passed Step I and II respectively, of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (which replaced Parts I and II of the NBME exam) on the first try.  Only 86.8 percent and 87.6 percent of Asians passed them on the first try (Case, et al. 1996: S91).

In Section A of Chapter 9, I provided statistics on the rate at which teachers pass teacher competence tests in various states.  In all, Whites’ pass rates are much higher than Asians’.  In the same section, I quote the average scores of Whites and Blacks at different educational levels on the prose literacy, document literacy, and quantitative literacy tests of the National Assessment of Adult Literacy.  I will now add that on all three tests, the average score of Whites is higher than that of Asian/Pacific Islanders at every educational level – high school graduates, graduates of two-year colleges, graduates of four-year colleges, and graduates of graduate and professional schools.  And most of the differences are substantial.

In all spheres of American life besides university admissions, Asians are the greatest beneficiaries of affirmative action.  Many university faculties and corporations recruit Asians to increase their proportion of minorities.  For instance, in 1995, when New Hampshire’s population was 97.4 percent White, the University of New Hampshire announced that it intended to increase its minority undergraduate enrollment to 7.5 percent by 2005 and the proportion of its minority tenure-track professors to 7.5 percent by 2000.  Two-thirds of its minority professors are Asian.  In 1995, only 0.84 percent of New Hampshire’s population was Asian (Gorov 1995).  Similarly, heroic efforts by the University of Michigan raised the proportion of its faculty who are minorities to 14.1 percent in 1995, more than half of whom (7.3 percent) were Asian (4.9 percent were Black and 1.9 percent Hispanic).  Blacks comprised 13.9 percent of Michigan’s population, Hispanics 2.2 percent, and Asians 1.1 percent (Lynch 1997: 277-8, 312).

Asians are also by far the greatest beneficiaries of government set-aside contracts for minority business enterprises (MBEs).  In 1996, Asians were 12 percent of the minority population of the United States, but they received 28 percent of MBE contracts (Graham 2002: 164).  The Asian proportion of America’s minority population has increased rapidly since 1996.  Therefore, the proportion of minority set-aside contracts that Asians receive must now be considerably higher than 28 percent.

Consequently, 61 percent of Asians in California voted against the 1996 referendum banning the California government from practicing racial discrimination (Beinart 1998).

This is undoubtedly surprising to people who have not studied affirmative action carefully because they constantly hear and read about its adverse effect on Asians.  The reason is that opponents of affirmative action try any trick they can to avoid defending its real victims: Whites.

About jewamongyou

I am a paleolibertarian Jew who is also a race-realist. My opinions are often out of the mainstream and often considered "odd" but are they incorrect? Feel free to set me right if you believe so!
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10 Responses to Asians are beneficiaries of affirmative action

  1. Bay Area Guy says:

    I’m guessing this post was inspired by my skepticism regarding Asians benefiting from affirmative action. Lol!

    It’s hard to accurately assess where exactly Asians stand on racial issues.

    On the one hand, many Asians are prejudiced against blacks and Hispanics, and assimilate more into white American culture. Based on conversations with many Asian friends and acquaintances, they certainly don’t have a ton of love for blacks.

    On the other hand, when it comes to political issues such as affirmative action, Asians are racially liberal. Most Asian college professors are racial liberals and even “critical race theorists” (well, you could say that about college professors of any race).

    Perhaps that’s because Asians do benefit from “the white man done me wrong” gravy train.

    However, based on my personal experience, most Asians don’t really see themselves as “people of color” intent on uniting with blacks and browns in order to take down whites. I’ve even known an angry Asian guy who was upset by the fact that this academically mediocre black girl got into a good UC over him.

    Or, perhaps Asians are just better at hiding their rage against the white man than others.

    We may never know.

    • Gaurav Ahuja says:

      Since I am technically in the Asian category according to the Census, let me give you a clue about what Asians think. You seem to have a good handle on Asians except for one word. “Prejudiced” is a word you use that is a word that is used by the left to usually shut up anyone who has dissenting views. In this case, Asians have correct views on Blacks and non-White people from Latin America. The negative statistics about such things as crime and other anti-social markers can show their critical views to be correct. If you go to Asia they have similar views as well about Blacks. Asians probably know very little about the people of Latin America. Asians are not as racially conscious as they should be. I am not trying to make them out to be just like readers of American Renaissance. However, it only seems White people like yourself are foolish enough to not to be race-realists in any aspect. I suppose that may be one of the few benefits of seeing White people becoming a vanishing minority. There will not be dominant, extreme foolish views to deal with anymore.

      • Bay Area Guy says:

        Interesting analysis, but with all due respect, I must disagree.

        “Prejudiced” is a word you use that is a word that is used by the left to usually shut up anyone who has dissenting views.

        Um, I think that the word you have in mind is “racist.” That’s the word frequently abused by the left.

        All rational human beings are prejudiced. We all prejudge strangers and try to assess whether or not they are our friends or foes. I proudly admit to being prejudiced. To me, “prejudice” is simply another survival technique.

        If you go to Asia they have similar views as well about Blacks.

        Not disagreeing with you on that one. Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone in 1986 congratulated the U.S for its great success in spite of the burdensome presence of blacks and Hispanics.

        Of course, we all know about the way that blackanese girl l Lou Jing was greeted in China following her success on the Chinese equivalent of “American Idol.”

        Not being constrained by cultural Marxism and far left anti-racism, Asian nations certainly don’t delude themselves by extolling the virtues of multiracial societies.

        If they could actually see what anti-racists and far leftists advocated, they’d die laughing at the white masses for tolerating such nonsense.

        However, it only seems White people like yourself are foolish enough to not to be race-realists in any aspect. I suppose that may be one of the few benefits of seeing White people becoming a vanishing minority. There will not be dominant, extreme foolish views to deal with anymore.

        Whoa! I’m no deluded white fool. If you read my previous posts, you would know that I am a conscious white advocate who recognizes the threat to his people.

        Regarding whites becoming a vanishing minority, I already know exactly what it’s like to be a white minority.

        I was a minority in middle school, I was the only white guy in my high school friend group (why I had a majority non-white friend group is for another discussion), and now attend a university that at the very most is 25% white.

        One of the reasons why I am now a white advocate is because I am a minority and received a small taste of what exactly will happen to whites once we are reduced to a powerless minority nationwide.

        So no, I am hardly blind to these issues. Just because I don’t agree with everything American Renaissance says doesn’t mean that we’re miles apart.

        We both wish to help whites. I just believe in going about that task in a different way.

  2. Yan Shen says:

    The problem with analyzing data about Asians is that the category lumps together East Asians and South Asians, who perform quite well academically, with Pacific Islanders and South East Asians, some of whom perform no better academically than blacks or Hispanics. This is why the distribution of Asian scores on tests such as the SAT generally tend to have rather large standard deviations, because you basically have two different groups academically speaking, lumped into one. Given that this crucial distinction isn’t made, I’d say that most of the material quoted above isn’t too useful in terms of analyzing the effects of affirmative action.

    In particular, East Asians and South Asians are often the ones who apply to elite universities and who suffer the most from affirmative action policies.

    I think it also goes without saying that there is an inevitable immigrant effect which affects certain SAT verbal scores.

    • jewamongyou says:

      Yes, this is a very important distinction. I’m fairly certain that Steven Farron is aware of it but, in his book, he doesn’t delve into it because his goal, in this case, is to debunk the myth that affirmative action mainly benefits blacks and Hispanics. I agree that Pacific Islanders should not be lumped into the “Asian” category. I think the leftist establishment does this in order to blur racial academic performance gaps. In other words, it’s trickery on their part.

  3. Yan Shen says:

    It’s also virtually impossible to delve into the issue because all of the comprehensive data(SAT scores, LSAT scores, etc) lumps the 4 categories together.

    As I’ve stated, while your average Vietnamese, Hmong, Cambodian, Laotian, or Filipino American probably performs at a fairly mediocre level academically, your typical Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Indian(from India) American most likely excels academically. I’d wager that you’d be hard pressed to argue that East Asians and South Asians weren’t hurt more than whites by affirmative action. In the old days, affirmative action policies hurt Jewish Americans the most.

  4. Anony says:

    From the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

    Title 15: Commerce and Foreign Trade
    PART 1400—DETERMINATION OF GROUP ELIGIBILITY FOR MBDA ASSISTANCE
    Section Contents
    § 1400.1 Purpose and scope.
    § 1400.2 Definitions.
    § 1400.3 Request for determination.
    § 1400.4 Evidence of social or economic disadvantage.
    § 1400.5 Decision.
    § 1400.6 Construction.
    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 1512, E.O. 11625, 3 CFR 616 (1971–75), 36 FR 19967 (1971); and E.O. 12432, 3 CFR 198
    (1983), 48 FR 32551 (1983).
    Source: 49 FR 42698, Oct. 24, 1984, unless otherwise noted.
    § 1400.1 Purpose and scope.
    top
    (a) The purpose of this part is to set forth regulations for determination of group eligibility for MBDA assistance.
    (b) In order to be eligible to receive assistance from MBDA funded organizations, a concern must be a minority business enterprise.
    A minority business enterprise is a business enterprise that is owned or controlled by one or more socially or economically
    disadvantaged persons. Executive Order 11625 designates Blacks, Puerto-Ricans, Spanish-speaking Americans, American
    Indians, Eskimos, and Aleuts as persons who are socially or economically disadvantaged and thus eligible for MBDA assistance.
    Other groups designated are listed below in paragraph (c). The purpose of this regulation is to provide guidance to groups not
    previously designated as eligible for assistance who believe they are entitled to formal designation as “socially or economically
    disadvantage” under the Executive Order. Upon adequate showing by representatives of the group that the group is, as a whole,
    socially or economically disadvantaged the group will be so designated and its members will be eligible for MBDA assistance.
    Designation under Executive Order 11625 establishes eligibility status only for MBDA funded programs. It will not establish
    eligibility for any other Federal or Federally funded program.
    (c) In addition to those listed in E.O. 11625, members of the following groups have been designated as eligible to receive
    assistance: Hasidic Jews, Asian Pacific Americans, and Asian Indians.

  5. Joseph says:

    Please use the recent data, since 2008 Asian student’s Average Verbal Score has been much higher than whites with great gap. Asians beat whites in verbal, math and games.

  6. Long Wang says:

    First off, I want to say that it’s wrong to justify discrimination against Asian in one case by favorable treatment of Asians in another case. Every case of discrimination is a wrong on its own.

    Moreover, I’m very skeptical of the examples you use as evidence of Asian benefiting from Affirmative action.

    “…California high school graduates who were academically eligible for Berkeley (on the basis of high school grades and SAT scores), 67.7 percent where White and 19.9 percent were Asian. But only 32.6 percent of the 1989 Berkeley freshman class was White and 21.2 percent were Asian….”

    These numbers are very misleading. Why Berkley freshman’s racial distribution should reflect that of California high school graduates, when the entire country can apply for Berkley? Why nothing was mentioned about how those 19.9 percent Asian’s grades and SAT scores compare to those 67.7 percent white? What if Asian’s disproportionally occupy top spots?

    “…In 1990-91, 1.55 more Asians were admitted to American law schools than would have been admitted on the basis of undergraduate grades and LSAT scores alone, and only ….”

    Then how do you explain the fact that after banning Affirmative Action, the percentage of Asians who enroll in UC law school actually went up? Your data seems quite outdated. Asian students are usually more interested in Science and Engineering. Why data in those areas are missing? If Asians are heavily discriminated in those areas, I have to say that using Law school as a sole example is very misleading at best.

    “…For instance, in 1995, when New Hampshire’s population was 97.4 percent White, the University of New Hampshire announced that it intended to increase its minority undergraduate enrollment to 7.5 percent by 2005 and the proportion of its minority tenure-track professors to 7.5 percent by 2000…”

    A university recruits candidates all over the country. Why should the population composition of the state be even a factor in consideration of hiring? With Asians’ overwhelmingly out performance other races in academics, why is it that they need special favor to be adequately represented among University faculty? In Silicon Valley, Asians are heavily over represented. They don’t need any favor to get job there. All they need is not discriminated against because they are more qualified than other races. Considering that Asians are doing very well in college, it’s ludicrous to believe that they need some major favor in order to be adequately represented in landing a job. Citing the few instances where individual Asians did get favor and claim Asian is the “greatest beneficiary” of Affirmative Action, regardless of the heavy discriminations they face in college admission, is borderline dishonesty.

    • jewamongyou says:

      You should pose these questions to the author; I’m pretty sure he doesn’t read this blog regularly. He might have addressed these issues in the latest version of his book.

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