Saturday, October 27, 2012

Asian hordes in the NYT and WSJ

Stuyvesant High School (traditionally the top high school in NYC; admission is by exam) is now over 70% Asian-American. Meanwhile, at elite universities that do not practice race-blind admissions (from earlier post Demography and destiny; IIRC, currently the Asian-American fraction at all Ivies is lower than at Harvard in the early 1990s):
OCR = Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, which conducted an investigation of anti-Asian bias in Harvard admissions around 1990.
The Chosen, p.510: ... Asian-Americans had the highest SATs of all [among groups admitted to Harvard]: 1450 out of a possible 1600. In 1991 the Asian-American/white admission ratio [ratio of percentages of applicants from each group admitted] stood at 84 percent -- a sharp downturn from 98 percent in 1990, when the scrutiny from OCR was at its peak. Though [this ratio] never dropped again to the 64 percent level of 1986, it never returned to its 1990 zenith. Despite Asian-Americans' growing proportion of the national population, their enrollment also peaked in 1990 at 20 percent, where it more or less remained until 1994. ... by 2001 it had dropped below 15 percent.
So the "subjective but fair" measures used in admissions resulted in a record high admit rate for Asians during the year Harvard was under investigation by the federal government. But mysteriously the admit rate (relative to that of white applicants) went down significantly after the investigation ended, and the overall Asian enrollment has not increased despite the increasing US population fraction of Asians.
A child of privilege:
NYTimes: Ting Shi said his first two years in the United States were wretched. He slept in a bunk bed in the same room with his grandparents and a cousin in Chinatown, while his parents lived on East 89th Street, near a laundromat where they endured 12-hour shifts. He saw them only on Sundays. ...

The afternoon his acceptance letter to Stuyvesant High School arrived in the mail, he and his parents gathered at the laundromat, the smell of detergent and the whirl of the washing machines filling the air. “Everyone was excited,” Ting recalled.
As usual the article makes a big deal about test prep. Academic studies show that test prep is of limited value in raising scores (see figure below). On the other hand, very intense study over many years probably results in actual learning. We can't have that, can we?

This WSJ article is entitled "Rise of the Tiger Nation":
WSJ: ... The subtle vying for success in various realms of American life between Asian-Americans and American Jews makes one wonder what mores and tastes will look like when Asian-Americans begin to exert their own influence over the culture. Will the verbal brio and intellectual bent of Jews, their edgy irony and frank super-competitiveness give way to Asian discretion, deference to the community, and gifts for less verbal pursuits like music, science and math? Will things become, as they once were under WASP hegemony, quieter?

Not if the mercurial nature of culture has anything to do with it. Think of the wild Korean-American comedian Margaret Cho, who belongs on the same family tree of comic art as the wild Jewish-American comedian Sarah Silverman. Jeremy Lin himself, in his video for the class of 2012 at Stuyvesant, included an antic rap song performed with an Asian-American friend. And the speaker who addressed the high school's graduates in person last June was the 32-year-old Chinese-American actor Telly Leung, a star of the hit TV series "Glee."

Mr. Leung spoke for over 20 minutes, joking, shouting, making ironic quips, teasing and provoking. At one point, he boasted that he had overthrown his parents' middle-class expectations of stability and security and made them redefine their idea of the American dream. He sounded, dare I say it, like a certain type of Jew. Which is another way of saying that he sounded like everyone who comes to America from somewhere else and ends up exemplifying, anew, a native irreverence and vitality that is as old as the American hills.

Congratulations Stuyvesant High School Class of 2012!


asdf asdf said...

Steve, what are you trying to do here? Do you really want to take a stand against your people shut out at Stuyvesant and elsewhere? Or are you just going to back down and hedge everything you believe the first time a sociology professor gets aggressive with you?

Do you think change just happens? You've got to get down in the trenches and fight. Sometimes you've got to make sacrifices. Sometimes it gets ugly.

Yan Shen said...

"As it happened, 1975 was one year before Bellow was awarded the Nobel Prize, after winning the Pulitzer once and the National Book Award twice. Contrary to Bellow's somewhat delighted fantasy of persecution, the ghetto walls had come down around Jewish cultural figures decades before. The perception of anti-Semitism often exceeded its reality because, after the Holocaust, any expression of hostility toward Jews got amplified from muted social ugliness into loud moral crime. But there was another factor at work. Having attained prominence and social power, Jews could be disproportionately vociferous and visible in their complaints about rejection and exclusion."

So if you are vocal in actually standing up for yourself, eventually society realizes that you can't be bashed more or less with complete impunity! When will Asian Americans learn to stand up for themselves in the same manner that Jewish Americans have done, instead of meekly and passively taking it up the ass from the rest of American society over and over again? The behavior of certain Asian Americans I've encountered has truly been mind-boggling. For instance, instead of actively criticizing the Asian bashing that goes on at this blog, which I've argued is merely a microcosm of a much greater phenomenon afflicting American society at large, some Asian Americans have actually suggested that we should just accept the status quo as given and if not content we should return to the lands of our origin! It's incredibly hard for me to imagine any Jewish American so eager and willing to bend over, pull his pants down, and beg for it right up the ass.

"Ting Shi said his first two years in the United States were wretched. He slept in a bunk bed in the same room with his grandparents and a cousin in Chinatown, while his parents lived on East 89th Street, near a
laundromat where they endured 12-hour shifts. He saw them only on Sundays."

A child of privilege indeed... Most liberals have this completely misguided notion that every academically successful individual must somehow come from a privileged socioeconomic background, where success is handed to him or her on a silver platter. The sad truth is that many Asian American immigrants come from remarkably humble backgrounds and despite that fact still persevere in the face of adversity.

IIRC, Thomas Espenshade's main point was the burden of creating affirmative action spots for blacks and Hispanics at elite schools(at least the ones he studied) had been more or less pushed entirely onto the shoulders of Asian Americans! This is the quintessential absurdity of AA. It's essentially a way for white Americans to assuage their sense of racial guilt while imposing most of the costs entirely upon another ethnic group, in a sense gaming the system by having your cake and eating it too.

A point often noted by detractors of AA is that the black beneficiaries are disproportionately well-off African immigrants, rather than ghetto blacks, as is typically assumed to be the case. How can it be the case that we grant affirmative action to these wealthy African immigrants simply on the basis of their race, despite our hysterical disavowal of the objective reality of race? And how we can do the same for well-off Hispanic Americans or wealthy and privileged white legacy admits, while leaving Asian Americans as the odd group out? It's it remarkably absurd given the oft-stated justification for AA that we grant those benefits to the aforementioned individuals while rampantly discriminating against people like Ting Shi?

Tertius Lydgate said...

I went to Harvard UG. There are many different Harvard undergrad scenes... There are exceptional math/physics student blocking groups, but many humanities and social science students, artists, softer pre-meds, journalists, social activists etc. Theater and literary magazines are major scenes -- something I would imagine is very different than at Caltech, if not Stanford as well. In fact, I believe the only science concentrations in the top 10 in popularity are Molecular and Cellular Biology and Neurobiology, each in the 6-10 range.

Also, there are many students who are primarily athletes or social/extracurricular presences rather than students, although there are many exceptions who manage to straddle this divide. Valuing test scores first for the entire class (i.e. the bottom 50 percentile) would produce a major change in the Harvard College culture. You can argue that it would improve Harvard College, and I would agree, certainly in terms of its educational mission alone, but their overall mission seems to be something different (if not sinister).

An interesting assessment might be to calculate the percent of Asians in the Junior 24 and Senior 48 Phi Beta Kappa groups, and within the Math/Science group in particular, although supposedly selection is based on an application, strength of schedule, and other factors. They are published in The Crimson every semester.

yulva said...

The State Of Florida has just adopted "race" based achievement goals:

2017-18 Goal

Percentage of students
scoring at or above grade
level on statewide English
Language Arts, science,
and mathematics
assessments by subgroup
to reduce the
achievement gap

• American Indian 82%
• Asian 90%
• Black/African American
• Hispanic 81%
• White 88%
• Economically
Disadvantaged 78%
• English Language
Learners 72%
• Students with Disabilities

• American Indian 81%
• Asian 92%
• Black/African American
• Hispanic 80%
• White 86%
• Economically
Disadvantaged 78%
• English Language
Learners 74%
• Students with Disabilities

In Canton, Georgia, near Atlanta (remember the Atlanta school achievement scandal achievement goals will be met by prescribing a cocktail of psychiatric drugs such as
Adderall, Risperdal and Clonidine (to put the children to sleep and to counteract the first two medications).

“I don’t have a whole lot of choice,” said Dr. Anderson, a pediatrician
for many poor families in Cherokee County, north of Atlanta. “We’ve
decided as a society that it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s
environment. So we have to modify the kid.”

"Dr. Anderson is one of the more outspoken proponents of an idea that is
gaining interest among some physicians. They are prescribing stimulants
to struggling students in schools starved of extra money — not to treat
A.D.H.D., necessarily, but to boost their academic performance."

Here is a link to the story. WARNING ( I felt physically sick after
reading the article. I have nothing but contempt for the psychiatric

The documentary "Dead Wrong" exposes how devastating—and deadly— drugs can be for children and families.

Dead Wrong: How Psychiatric Drugs Can Kill Your Child

David Coughlin said...

This nails it for me: On the other hand, very intense study over many years probably results in actual learning. We can't have that, can we?

ben g said...

Says a man with the courageous name of asdf

Yan Shen said...

Somewhat off topic, but anti-Asian racism hits Michigan State University. See here.

"A Chinese student at Michigan State University finds his car spray-painted, the words reading "Go back home."

At Michigan State, the spray-painting happened around the same time this summer that students discovered an offensive Twitter feed, “MSU’s Token Asian.” Many of the Tweets have been taken offline, but screenshots reveal common stereotypes of Asian students, articulated in broken English. There is the “Asians as math nerds” stereotype -- “I feel of angry depression, when does math start again?” – and the "Asians as rich" stereotype, too. “[W]hy no [A]mericans like when I drive my Lamborghini? I thought it cool??”

An article in the college newspaper reporting on the vandalism and the Twitter feed drew anonymous commenters, one of whom, using the pseudonym “haha,” disputed that the Twitter feed was hostile -- “you guys confused making fun of [A]sians as being racist when it is not” – and suggested that the reported problems stem from the Asian students’ own self-segregation. “Asian International students are SO innocent,” haha wrote. “They stick
together and are too full of themselves to bother connecting with the non-international students at MSU. When you purposefully, separate yourself from the other students at the University[,] [w]hat do you expect? How about you guys stop being so rude and arrogant to the rest of us and let us talk to you, maybe do some language exchange, go out for coffee... or something!”

What's downright scary is that making fun of blacks, Hispanics, Jews, etc would immediately be denounced by Americans as vile racism, while making fun of Asians is something that I've actually witnessed white liberals defend first-hand, as if somehow you're the one with the problem if you actually dare complain about it. I've stated before that Asian bashing isn't merely confined to the white nationalist/neo-Nazi blogosphere, but really is something that has infected even mainstream white America. That white liberals would openly defend this kind of racism worries me greatly, because I was under the impression that most white liberals considered themselves to be paragons of moral virtue. And I think it should outrage anyone who's in the habit of criticizing others for bad behavior.

Yan Shen said...

"It happens frequently. Steve Tzeng will walk down Grand River Avenue on weekend nights and will have to deal with racial slurs and comments about his Asian ethnicity. Although it’s not something he can ever get used to, it’s something he has learned to absorb so he can move on — until the next time it happens. Three incidents of racial slurs against Asians were reported in the last year, Chinese Faculty Club president John Jiang said. “There seems to be a big (divide between) international students and other students on campus,” Tzeng said.

Last week, Tzeng was shocked to learn of a Twitter account named @MSU_Token_Asian, with a “bio” reading “I Come To MSU For Bettah Lifestyle.” The Asian Pacific American Student Organization, or APASO, began posting about the issue with comments saying “it still demonstrates the growing anti-Asian sentiment at MSU.” Tzeng, a supply chain management senior is APASO’s former co-president. The owner of the Twitter account was unable to be contacted and the account has since been deleted.

Although Tzeng said accounts such as this further divide students by promoting stereotypes, computer engineering junior Xinye Ji said stereotypical jokes such as these can sometimes be funny. “It really shouldn’t be acceptable, but when it happens you can only ignore it and laugh,” said Ji, who immigrated to the U.S. from China as a child. Ji said there is a problem with prejudice and racism against Asians and has heard many students say that Asian students should “Go back to China.”

Jiang said his group, Spartans for a Global Tomorrow, works to bridge the gap between international students and American-born students, and gives students tips to avoid issues, such as not buying expensive cars that may be targeted. Jiang added that students and faculty have reported graffiti on their cars telling them to go back to China, people screaming at them to do so, and more.

“Students are afraid to report this,” Jiang said. “We have over 3,000 (Chinese) students now enrolled at MSU … a lot of Chinese students, they do want to have American friends but somehow they don’t know how.” Tzeng said having a separate building for the Multicultural Center would help.

Although Jiang said steps are being taken to encourage cultural integrations, he still sometimes becomes upset or saddened by racial incidents against Asians on campus or around town. “It’s alarming,” Jiang said. “This is not the MSU I know.”

asdf asdf said...

If I may propose the only line of argument I think is respectable for Steve.

99.9% of all states throughout history, including all of modern Asia, have been ethnic states. That is they were formed primarily by a single majority ethnicity and the well being of that ethnicity was the primary, if not only, stated goal the that state.

The modern west, especially America, is the very first "proposition nation". That is it represents not its primary ethnic group, not even its current citizens, but rather some set of legalistic/philosophical ideals. That's why Asians, and others, can get into so many high positions in our society.

That isn't normal. If you go to Japan they mostly try to keep all the foreigners out and they don't want to let you advance. At best they begrudgingly accept you if your particularly useful to them (rich/skilled). Even then foreign born are less then 1% of the population, and they want to keep it that way.

If people become aware of HBD. If they become aware that race is not a social concept but a real genetic thing that represents significant differences, then there is a chance this whole proposition nation thing breaks down. After all, why give Asians any spots are Harvard if they are different from us at a genetic level and always will be? Aren't we just giving them power when their first loyalty will always be to their race and not some proposition nation?

That's the real danger. That HBD awakens white racial conscious and they start to question the whole idea of the proposition nation. Then your really screwed. Then you aren't complaining about 20% vs 15% Asian enrollment at Harvard. You're worried about zero percent. Giving up a few token spots to blacks is just the price of keeping white racial consciousness out of the picture.

You might think that complaining and rallies will work like it did for other groups, but your forgetting size and threat. Whites aren't afraid of blacks, they are too dumb and aren't a threat. They aren't afraid of Jews, there are so few and they need the host society to survive. Asians though are both a threat and absurdly numerous. That's scary.

That article in the NYTimes isn't for blacks. No blacks read the NYTimes. It's for upper middle class liberal whites that feel threatened. They fear Asians. The whole black thing is just a cover to striking back at Asians. There are just too many of them.

And maybe that is how it has to be. Because the alternative is whites stop with all the subterfuge and actually start taking their racial interests seriously, which would be a disaster for Asians. So if losing some spots to token minorities is the price of keeping whites docile about their own interests maybe that is the price to pay.

Odoacer said...

This is tangential to your post. I just want to comment on this:

On the other hand, very intense study over many years probably results in actual learning.

I'm ambivalent about this with respect to kids and high stakes tests. I've read many of your posts wherein you emphasize working hard and studying to improve yourself and your prospects and in general I'm all for that. That certainly has helped me get to where I am now. Knowledge is good. However, and this may be a misconception on my part or in the reporting, I read stories about South Korean test culture and I'm aghast. I don't want the US to become like that. Kids pulling off years of 14+ hr/day of studying, parents spending several grand a year on after school tutoring, etc. I don't want that to become the norm in the US. If people want to do that for themselves, then so be it, more luck to them. I just don't want the overwhelming US culture to turn that way.

I don't know the answer to things. I just know that when I have kids I don't want to be a tiger parent. That said, is there data out there about Asian-American views on education and testing throughout generations? I mean do second, third and fourth+ generations of Asian Americans have the same views on education?

Jeff said...

"The modern west, especially America, is the very first "proposition nation".

Wow. You are clearly delusional. Put up some information to back your assertion.

Jeff said...

"What's downright scary is that making fun of blacks, Hispanics, Jews, etc would immediately be denounced by Americans as vile racism, while making fun of Asians is something that I've actually witnessed white liberals defend first-hand, as if somehow you're the one with the problem if you dare complain about it. I've stated before that Asian bashing isn't merely confined to the white nationalist/neo-Nazi blogosphere, but really is something that has infected even mainstream white America."

Yan Shen, please take the following to heart. People like you are what turn some people nativist. You are such a complainer and appear to be a authoritarian waiting to happen. You seem to have a myopia for how the world works and discount huge swaths of countervailing evidence and complete social dynamics (only furthering a negative stereotype about Asians in general as conformists). Are all those white guys trying to bang Asian girls, secretly anti-Asian?

As for potential questioning of Steve's appointment what is wrong with that? That is part of free inquiry? Are people supposed to forget and not notice that Chinese espionage is a huge problem? Are people not supposed to take an interest in America's best interests? Good for people asking difficult questions. I am sure that if he were forced to, that Steve could address those issues. Sure it might be uncomfortable for any number of reasons, but such is the price of rising to higher responsibility; any such discomfort being more than offset by the tremendous honor of the offer and office at hand. As a man, I would expect people to be more afraid of me late at night, than they would an old lady. Am I supposed to be outraged by their divergent fear patterns? I just cannot believe that you constantly spout out notions of Chinese superiority, but then so fully reinforce negative stereotypes about foreigners: i.e. they are concerned mostly about their own ethnicity and not concepts of rule of law, limited government and free inquiry. Man it must suck, to wake up, look in the mirror and not even realize that you make the very people you are supporting look bad.

ben_g said...

Very courageous coming from a guy named "asdf". Steve actually puts his name and reputation out there for what he believes in. You hide behind an anonymous internet curtain and criticize.

asdf asdf said...

I've posted my real name before, this has more to do with just not keeping track of logins.

Besides, I've made a lot of sacrifices for my ideals. I don't even know if I'll have a job in two weeks because I won't sell out.

asdf asdf said...

Yan Shen had bad social skills (well what do you expect :P), but we can all understand his desire to do right by his own people. Steve can probably defend himself (though you never know if he'll get the full treatment like Summers and others). However, that kid at the laundromat can't defend himself. Other people have to defend him, and who else but his own race.

Now we can disagree about whether Yan Shen's methods will have the correct utilitarian effect (scare people vs advance Asian interests), but I hope we aren't debating his commitment to looking after the interests of his most vulnerable brothers.

And that is why my constant question here is what is Steve trying to do. Is he trying to raise HBD awareness in order to defend things like admissions testing to Stuyvesant or does he think HBD awareness would be counter productive to Asian interests? Or does he not care about Asian interests and just wants to state the truth? And if he does just want to state the truth why back off it when it gets difficult? I can't really tell what Steve is trying to accomplish with his blog and statements. It's all over the place. Exactly what are his goals.

Big Sing Ds said...

"On the other hand, very intense study over many years probably results in actual learning. We can't have that, can we?"

Every IQ test is also an achievement test. The difference between the unprepped and the prepped --- the unprepped will score just as high or low on every other test.

Big Sing Ds said...

Thorazine Yan. Seriously.

Yan Shen said...

New followup article from the NYT...

Asian-Americans in the Admissions Argument

"For Asian-Americans across the country, the Fisher case is a source of ambivalence. While most people think of blacks and Latinos when they think of victims of past discrimination, Asian immigrants, who first came to build railways in the late 19th century, were also mistreated. Most famously, Japanese-Americans were interned during World War II for fear of treachery. To some in Texas, the state with the third largest Asian-American population, after California and New York, the mistreatment does not feel like ancient history. Anti-miscegenation laws, in effect here until 1967, and separate-but-equal laws applied to all nonwhites."

“We were the first illegal immigrants and had the first blighted neighborhoods,” said Irwin A. Tang, co-author and editor of the book “Asian Texans: Our Histories and Lives.” A Dallas business directory of 1894 declared on its cover, “Send Chinese laundries back to China!”

As Mr. Tang writes of the first half of the 20th century, “Asian Texans lived in a distinct racial-caste system structured by racist laws; social hierarchy; segregation of residence, sexual relations and marriage; and the separation of Asian family members from each other.” So the idea of helping them overcome past discrimination in the same wayas Latinos and blacks has held appeal for some, especially those who say the suffering has gone unacknowledged."

I'm glad that a major newspaper like the NYT is finally discussing something that I've been harping on for years now. This country has a dark history of discrimination against Chinese and Japanese Americans, i.e. People v Hall, the 1877 San Francisco Riots, the internment of Japanese Americans during WW2, the murder of Vincent Chin, etc, and I'm happy that finally we're moving beyond the simple black/white race narrative and discussing these other important issues as well.

dwbudd said...

Yan, the US has a harsh history against virtually every group that is not Anglo-Saxon protestant. The danger of your approach, in my opinion, is that it can quickly escalate into a sort of Four Yorkshiremen parody, arguing who got the worst end of the stick.

I think anyone who looks at the facts on this will plainly see what is happening, both at Stuy High, and in the larger academic world. The fact of the matter is that there is no one alive today who was a slave. No one alive who was forced into a Chinatown after building the Transcontinental Railroad. And Roman Catholics dominate our courts.

I find it VERY odd that Steve can quite rightly complain about the impact of affirmative action in the same blog where he supports Barack Obama. If you want to get rid of affirmative action, or at the least, blunt its negative impact, having Obama pick two more supreme court justices is an unlikely path forward.

Yan Shen said...

"Yan, the US has a harsh history against virtually every group that is not Anglo-Saxon protestant."

I agree David. In fact, I don't even think there's any real value in complaining about racism or discrimination. I'm just doing it to highlight the double standard that I see, which is that racism against Asian Americans is largely ignored. I'd much rather that none of this stuff mattered and we could all just move forward with our lives.

Racism against white Americans is also practiced by white liberals, blacks, and Hispanics. However, unlike racism against Asian Americans, anti-white racism is vociferously criticized by right wing whites, whether people like Steve Sailer and Jared Taylor or more mainstream white conservatives like Bill O'Riley and Rush Limbaugh. My real gripe here is that there's a double standard working against Asian Americans and ther's literally no voice in this country that speaks out against it.

dwbudd said...

Yan, I personally find it appalling that, for example, Marion Barry - who was the mayor of the capital of our country - could make remarks such as he did and not only not draw condemnation, but have the whole thing ignored by the media, as if it never happened.

I wonder if part of the reason that there is no "voice" for anti-Asian (which previously was pretty much anti-Japanese, and has transmogrified into anti-Chinese antipathy) racism is because Asians themselves are on the one hand far less politically engaged, and at the same time much less unified than, say, black Americans? For example, recently, Lucy Liu was on the Letterman show, and made several quite disparaging remarks about Filipinos. As an outsider, my observation is that there is almost as much antipathy WITHIN the "Asian" America (Chinese vs. Japanese, Northeast Asians vs. Southeast Asians, recent immigrants vs. second and third generation Americans) than there is white-Asian, black-Asian, or Hispanic-Asian animosity. Even looking at your example of Vincent Chin, it is ALWAYS pointed out as part of the discussion that Chin was wrongly targeted as a Japanese; implicitly, I think hidden in that is the kernel that if Chin *had* been Japanese, it would have been more acceptable.

As to the former, Asians are less likely to go into politics, to be active in groups, and generally to push for their interests. Hell; when I lived in the Bay area, I could hardly believe that the only loud voices we heard during the arguments about Affirmative Action (Prop 209) was a group called "Chinese for Affirmative Action," in SF. I didn't then nor do I know understand how such a group could exist?

Blog Archive