Woonsocket Call

Is NYC mayor an anti-Asian bigot?

- Pa­trick J. Buchanan is the au­thor of a new book, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Bat­tles That Made and Broke a Pres­i­dent and Di­vided Amer­ica For­ever.”

“Though New York City has one of the most se­gre­gated schools sys­tems in the coun­try,” writes El­iz­a­beth Har­ris of The New York Times, un­til now, Mayor Bill de Bla­sio “was all but silent on the is­sue.”

He was “re­luc­tant even to use the word ‘seg­re­ga­tion.’”

Now the no­tion that the lib­eral mayor be­longs in the same bas­ket as South­ern gover­nors in the ‘50s and ‘60s like Or­val Faubus of Arkansas and Ross Bar­nett of Mis­sis­sippi seems a bit of a stretch.

For what Har­ris means by “seg­re­ga­tion” is that in the city’s eight most pres­ti­gious schools, like Stuyvesant High School and the Bronx School of Sci­ence, where ad­mis­sion is by writ­ten test, the makeup of the stu­dent body does not re­motely re­sem­ble the racial di­ver­sity of the city.

“Black and His­panic stu­dents make up nearly 70 per­cent of the city’s pub­lic school stu­dents,” writes Har­ris, “but they re­ceived just 10 per­cent of of­fers for seats at spe­cial­ized schools this fall.”

“About 27 per­cent of the of­fers went to white stu­dents who make up 15 per­cent of the stu­dent sys­tem; 52 per­cent went to Asian stu­dents, who up make 16 per­cent.”

Har­ris later ad­justed her num­bers. Asians are 62 per­cent of stu­dents. At Stuyvesant, only 10 of 900 stu­dents be­ing ad­mit­ted this fall are black.

At Stuyvesant, The Wall Street Jour­nal writes, “2.8 per­cent of stu­dents are Latino and 0.69 per­cent are black. But 72.9 per­cent are Asian-Amer­i­can.”

Har­ris de­cries this as “ex­treme school seg­re­ga­tion.”

De Bla­sio now de­mands change: “We must be sure that the very best high schools are open to ... ev­ery kind of New Yorker.” The stu­dent bod­ies at the elite pub­lic schools “need to look like New York City.”

Trans­la­tion: We must have more His­panic and black stu­dents, and if that means throw­ing out the en­trance exam to cut the num­bers of Asians and whites, throw out the exam.

Soo Kim, pres­i­dent of the Stuyvesant alumni as­so­ci­a­tion, is hav­ing none of it: “Cor­rect me if I’m wrong, but they’re say­ing these schools are too Asian, so there must be some­thing wrong. ... Am I the only one who looks at that and says, ‘I don’t un­der­stand how that’s even le­gal.’”

Coun­cil­man Peter Koo took it straight to the mayor:

“The test is the most un­bi­ased way to get into a school. ... It doesn’t re­quire a re­sume. It doesn’t even re­quire con­nec­tions. The mayor’s son just grad­u­ated from Brook­lyn Tech and got into Yale. Now he wants to stop this and build a bar­rier to Asian-Amer­i­cans -- es­pe­cially our chil­dren.”

“I’m not sure if the mayor is a racist,” says Ken­neth Chiu, chair­man of the New York City Asian-Amer­i­can Demo­cratic Club, “but this pol­icy is cer­tainly dis­crim­ina- tory.”

As Asians demon­strated this week against chang­ing ad­mis­sions stan­dards to re­duce the num­ber of Asian stu­dents, schools chan­cel­lor Richard Car­ranza gave them the back of his hand: “I just don’t buy into the nar­ra­tive that any one eth­nic group owns ad­mis­sions to these schools.”

Yet it is Car­ranza and De Bla­sio who are claim­ing an en­ti­tle­ment to seats at the schools based on race. The Asian pro­test­ers are in­sist­ing on main­tain­ing merit and per­for­mance, mea­sured by tests, as the stan­dard of ad­mis­sion.

This is­sue is not con­fined to New York. It has gone na­tional and pits Asian-Amer­i­cans who believe in and ben­e­fit from a mer­i­toc­racy in ed­u­ca­tion against egal­i­tar­i­ans who em­brace race quo­tas and af­fir­ma­tive ac­tion to bring about a greater equal­ity of re­wards.

That Asians are the new vic­tims of race dis­crim­i­na­tion seems un­de­ni­able. In Au­gust, the Times re­ported:

“A Prince­ton study found that stu­dents who iden­tify as Asian need to score 140 points higher on the SAT than whites to have the same chance of ad­mis­sion to pri­vate col­leges, a dif­fer­ence some have called ‘the Asian tax.’

“A law­suit cites Har­vard’s Asian-Amer­i­can en­roll­ment at 18 per­cent in 2013, and notes very sim­i­lar num­bers rang­ing from 14 to 18 per­cent at other Ivy League col­leges, like Brown, Columbia, Cor­nell, Prince­ton and Yale.”

Now, com­pare the num­bers from Cal­i­for­nia:

“In the same year (2013), Asian-Amer­i­cans made up 34.8 per­cent of the stu­dent body at the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Los An­ge­les, 32.4 per­cent at Berke­ley and 42.5 per­cent at Cal­tech.”

Among pos­si­ble rea­sons for the racial dis­par­i­ties: In 1996, by voter ref­er­en­dum, Cal­i­for­ni­ans out­lawed racial pref­er­ences.

What the Ivy League is do­ing may be crim­i­nal in the Golden State.

In 1965, in words writ­ten by Richard Good­win, who died last month, and de­liv­ered at Howard Univer­sity, LBJ de­clared:

“This is the next and the more pro­found stage of the bat­tle for civil rights. We seek not just ... equal­ity as a right and a the­ory but equal­ity as a fact and equal­ity as a re­sult.”

In to­day’s clash in lib­er­al­ism’s ci­tadel over which races have too many seats at Brook­lyn Tech and Stuyvesant, and which races have too few, we get a glimpse of Amer­ica’s fu­ture.

It ap­pears to be a fu­ture of end­less col­li­sions and con­flicts over who de­serves and who gets what -- based upon eth­nic­ity and race.


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