Soft-Racism of Low Expectations

There are many people that insist America is more racist now than ever before. They claim that we have institutionalized racism, which we have…but not in the ways they think. Affirmative action is institutionalized racism. It gets racial minorities jobs based on the color of their skin. Back when minorities didn’t have the same opportunities as whites this would have been helpful. That isn’t the case anymore. Yet, Affirmative Action remains. Some people will point to the few white-supremacy groups that make the news with their antics. Others mistake associating a specific culture, or specific values, with a specific minority for racism. However, there is an attributer to America’s racism that largely goes unnoticed, and is yet perhaps the biggest problem facing some minorities today. The bigotry of low expectations.

 “It is amazing how many people think they are doing blacks a favor by exempting them from standards that others are expected to meet.” – Thomas Sowell

The University of Chicago has recently decided to do away with considering SAT scores during the admissions process. Openly stating that they wish to increase their minority population. That’s right, they are forgoing one of the best indicators of academic success in an effort to bring in more minorities. This insinuates that blacks, hispanics, etc. cannot get into the university while being held to the same standards as whites. 

Meanwhile at Harvard a lawsuit has been filed by Asians who have applied and been denied admission. The lawsuit, which is being brought by Students for Fair Admission, argues that Harvard racially discriminates against Asian students. This racial discrimination is evidenced by an internally completed, unpublished Harvard analysis which found that in 2013, 43% of admissions would have been Asians if admissions were based on academics alone. Harvard’s Asian population has long remained around 20%, despite the continued SAT dominance of Asians. This is in stark contrast to CalTech, which bases it’s admissions virtually on academics alone. CalTech boasts an Asian population more than double that of Harvard. Harvard claims that they consider a student’s athletic and personal characteristics and achievements as well as academic. We can therefore infer that Harvard finds half of all Asian applicants to be deficient in these areas. Unsurprisingly, the “personal” category allows for high levels of subjectivity. Perhaps giving them room to get away with picking students based solely on skin color.

Believing that standards need to be lowered for people of color is the core of soft-racism. It is equivalent to claiming that minorities are not capable of meeting the same standards as whites. This belief is apparent in the decision made by University of Chicago. While Harvard has allowed themselves room in their admissions policy to essentially do the same thing.

The next time someone claims that America is a racist country, don’t be too quick to deny it. Most racism isn’t overt.


Comments are closed.