Reading an article in the WSJ about the lawsuit against Harvard regarding discrimination against Chinese students. One thought comes to mind, this likability score they use as part of the judgement for admission is admittedly and objectively existent sentiment that affects success and future donation to the school.
Chinese people have things that are extremely not likable. Trust me, I would know, being one and living among them. Not any more so than other races, but one can definitely see the problem. And I’ll abbreviate here and all Chinese-like Asian cultures I’ll just abbreviate and call everyone Chinese for this post.
I mean com’on let’s start with their starchy ricy food tradition, one can’t possibly do well and have the longevity to pay back the school on a diet like that! For a person on a modern diet, being offered a Chinese meal is practically an affront to one’s dignity and sanity. I cannot imagine Harvard ever wanting to recruit Chinese people or people who eat like that. Look at the Indians, they eat long grain rice that doesn’t give you diabetes and slow-burns longer.
Chinese vanity for humbleness is incredibly destructive. Why be humble? why sandbag? when the competition is so fierce, why spend any brain-energy on holding back? No body really knows how strong everyone are because of this extra layer of defense. This age-old tradition is unlikely to go away, and contributes little to the endowment or prestige of an institution.
Chineese problem solving, if one were to sample from the entire US Chinese population, suffered from Communist indoctrination. Really, the things you don’t like are not all traditionally Chinese, a lot of it is modern imported thoughts from Marx, Lenin, Engels, and many others… Chinese people have this social expectation that other people behave well. The Chinese governments have arms–may, tentacles–that can exert power to enforce a certain level social nicety. I remember the indoctrination by all authority figures that one should yield to elderly when taking seats on busses, one should not spit, not be greedy or lazy, one should be honest, and be loyal to the country which will provide you with a nice society to live in. (And maybe some other managed aspects of life that I did not personally experience like conditions of marriage, pregnancy+abortions, and death…)
The same is accomplished in our developed world by non-profits through advocacy, and through operational culture, which, in this case, seems encoded in the admission process of Harvard and similar schools. There is no explicit funded authority whose job it is to make the world a nice place to live. This difference in expectation of others and the government, the entitlement to reciprocation equaling to one’s own regulated participation in society, is clearly a political perspective shared by many Chinese people–the unconscious bias of Chinese. The Chinese demands a society that wants everyone to be nice if they themselves are nice.
There is no authority, except the admission authority in the universe of Universities, they are funded and empowered to choose the members of their prestigious society. Perhaps they fear what would happen to these delusional people when they find out that the world really doesn’t work that way. Society wants what it wants, not what you do or what you want. In some sense, this bias against inclusion of Chinese students is kindest choice, for everyone.
To me, the ideal outcome is this lawsuit is the establishment of unfair discrimination, but with no punishment for these institutions. All we want is to improve life for future generations and we, realistically, expect no greatness for the generation that did and still do that.
I realize, perhaps this last idea is too Chinese. Why the fuck would we seek no damages if the school discriminated? Have I caught a bug in my brain? This pessimism I feel for the possibility of progress in the society is troubling and definitely Unamerican, imho, but is it Chinese to seek no reparation?
In the meantime, though, while American Chinese figure out these things from within, perhaps we should have our separate peace? Let sleeping dogs lie. And if the institution decides to fake it until betterment is made to happen, that would be fine with me.