Challenging Racial Discrimination at Harvard The Supreme Court Reconsiders Affirmative Action

At first glance, this issue and article may not appear to be of significance to a largely non-American audience. But consider the role of the American neo-liberals on the world stage at this very moment; this article demonstrates how many of them been cultivated in one exceedingly powerful academic institution, an institution which largely gets a free pass and is not allowed to be criticised.
This author points out the preponderance of Jewish students, far out of proportion to the general population.

Based on the overall distribution of America’s population, it appears that approximately 65–70 percent of America’s highest ability students are non-Jewish whites, well over ten times the Jewish total of under 6 percent.

Needless to say, these proportions are considerably different from what we actually find among the admitted students at Harvard and its elite peers, which today serve as a direct funnel to the commanding heights of American academics, law, business, and finance.

Just as striking as these wildly disproportionate current numbers have been the longer enrollment trends. In the three decades since I graduated Harvard, the presence of white Gentiles has dropped by as much as 70 percent, despite no remotely comparable decline in the relative size or academic performance of that population; meanwhile, the percentage of Jewish students has actually increased.

On Monday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments on a potentially momentous case challenging the use of race in admissions decisions at Harvard University and our other academic institutions.

Over the last half-century, our system of Affirmative Action—preferences based upon race—has become an increasingly powerful and entrenched aspect of American society, so much so that any notion of rolling it back had long since been regarded as quixotic. But a small group of determined opponents persevered in their efforts, so many now believe that a legal victory might finally be at hand. No one had ever expected that Roe v. Wade would be overturned after nearly fifty years, and perhaps Bakke and its epigones may suffer a similar fate.

This legal challenge to Harvard admissions policy had centered upon the strong evidence of racial discrimination against Asian applicants. When the trial began in Boston federal district court four years ago, I published a long article analyzing the case and noting the close connection to my own original Meritocracy article published in late 2012, whose own tenth anniversary is now almost at hand.

Last Sunday, just before the legal proceedings began, the Times ran a major article explaining the general background of the controversy, and I was very pleased to see that my own past research was cited as an important factor sparking the lawsuit, with the reporter even including a direct link to my 26,000 word 2012 cover-story “The Myth of American Meritocracy,” which had provided strong quantitative evidence of anti-Asian racial quotas. Economic historian Niall Ferguson, long one of Harvard’s most prominent professors but recently decamped to Stanford, similarly noted the role of my research in his column for the London Sunday Times.

Two decades ago, I had published a widely-discussed op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on somewhat similar issues of racial discrimination in elite admissions. But my more recent article was far longer and more comprehensive, and certainly drew more attention than anything else I have ever published, before or since. After it appeared in The American Conservative, its hundreds of thousands of pageviews broke all records for that publication and it attracted considerable notice in the media. Times columnist David Brooks soon ranked it as perhaps the best American magazine article of the year, a verdict seconded by a top editor at The Economist, and the Times itself quickly organized a symposium on the topic of Asian Quotas, in which I eagerly participated. Forbes, The Atlantic, The Washington Monthly, Business Insider, and other publications all discussed my striking results.

Conservative circles took considerable interest, with Charles Murray highlighting my findings, and National Review later published an article in which I explained the important implications of my findings for the legal validity of the 1978 Bakke decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

There was also a considerable reaction from the academic community itself. I quickly received speaking invitations from the Yale Political Union, Yale Law, and the University of Chicago Law School, while Prof. Ferguson discussed my distressing analysis in a lengthy Newsweek/Daily Beast column entitled “The End of the American Dream.”

Moreover, I had also published an associated critique suggesting that over the years my beloved Harvard alma mater had transformed itself into one of the world’s largest hedge-funds with a vestigial school attached for tax-exempt purposes. This also generated enormous discussion in media circles, with liberal journalist Chris Hayes Tweeting it out and generously saying he was “very jealous” he hadn’t written the piece himself. Many of his colleagues promoted the piece with similarly favorable remarks, while the university quickly provided a weak public response to these serious financial charges.

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to myself or other outside observers, Harvard itself launched an internal investigation of the anti-Asian bias that I had alleged. Apparently, the university’s own initial results generally confirmed my accusations, indicating that if students were admitted solely based upon objective academic merit, far more Asians would receive thick envelopes. But Harvard’s top administrators buried the study and did nothing, with these important facts only coming out years later during the discovery process of the current Asian Quotas lawsuit.

 

Only the first part of my very long article dealt with the question of anti-Asian racial discrimination in elite college admissions, but it attracted vastly more attention than any other element.

For many years, there had been a widespread belief within the Asian-American community that such discriminatory practices existed, a sentiment backed by considerable anecdotal evidence. But the university administrations had always flatly denied those claims, and the media had shown little interest in investigating them. However, my powerful new quantitative evidence proved very difficult to ignore…

But my most dramatic finding relied upon an even simpler analysis of public data, which had previously remained unnoticed. As I wrote in my New York Times column:

Just as their predecessors of the 1920s always denied the existence of “Jewish quotas,” top officials at Harvard, Yale, Princeton and the other Ivy League schools today strongly deny the existence of “Asian quotas.” But there exists powerful statistical evidence to the contrary.

Each year, American universities provide their racial enrollment data to the National Center for Education Statistics, which makes this information available online. After the Justice Department closed an investigation in the early 1990s into charges that Harvard University discriminated against Asian-American applicants, Harvard’s reported enrollment of Asian-Americans began gradually declining, falling from 20.6 percent in 1993 to about 16.5 percent over most of the last decade.

This decline might seem small. But these same years brought a huge increase in America’s college-age Asian population, which roughly doubled between 1992 and 2011, while non-Hispanic white numbers remained almost unchanged. Thus, according to official statistics, the percentage of Asian-Americans enrolled at Harvard fell by more than 50 percent over the last two decades, while the percentage of whites changed little. This decline in relative Asian-American enrollment was actually larger than the impact of Harvard’s 1925 Jewish quota, which reduced Jewish freshmen from 27.6 percent to 15 percent.

The percentages of college-age Asian-Americans enrolled at most of the other Ivy League schools also fell during this same period, and over the last few years Asian enrollments across these different universities have converged to a very similar level and remained static over time. This raises suspicions of a joint Ivy League policy to restrict Asian-American numbers to a particular percentage.

This statistical finding was illustrated in a simple graph, demonstrating that over the last two decades enrollment of Asian-Americans had gradually converged across the entire Ivy League, while sharply diverging from the rapidly increasing Asian-American population, with only strictly meritocratic Caltech continuing to track the latter.

It would be difficult to imagine more obvious visual evidence of an Asian Quota implemented across the Ivy League, and this chart was very widely circulated among Asian-American organizations and activists, who launched their lawsuit the following year. If they do succeed in winning their current case in federal court, the history books may eventually record that the wealthiest and most powerful university in the world was brought low by a single striking graph.

 

My extremely long 2012 article ran more than 26,000 words plus several quantitative appendices, and only the first part dealt with the issue of Asian Quotas in the Ivy League. This was a matter of deliberate strategy on my part since I assumed that most casual readers would grow weary and stop at some point, long before they reached the central core of my material, which was even more controversial.

Among American journalists and academics, matters touching upon Jewish sensitivities constitute the deadly “third rail” of their professions and the quantitative analysis I presented was probably one of the most explosive published anywhere in many decades. As I explained in the closing paragraphs of my 2018 article:

The current high-profile trial in Boston is widely portrayed by the media as a conflict between Asian-American groups, whose educational interests suffer under the current subjective and opaque admissions system, and black and Hispanic groups, whose numbers might be sharply reduced under some proposed changes. Whites are largely portrayed as bystanders, with Harvard indicating that their numbers would scarcely shift even under drastic changes in admissions policy. But the term “white” encompasses both Jews and Gentiles, and thus may conceal more than it reveals.

The implications of my 2012 Meritocracy analysis are certainly well-known to all of the prominent participants and observers in the ongoing legal battle, but the fearsome power of the ADL and its media allies ensures that certain important aspects of the current situation are never subjected to widespread public discussion. Asian advocates rightly denounce the unfairness of the current elite academic admissions system, but remain absolutely mute about which American group actually controls the institutions involved.

Throughout the enormous media controversy surrounding the Harvard trial in Boston, all sides are doing their utmost to avoid noticing the 2% elephant in the room. And that fact provides the best proof of the tremendous size and power of that elephant in today’s American society.

For decades the primary pipeline for joining America’s political, media, financial, or academic elites has been represented by Harvard and our other elite colleges, and I demonstrated that the distribution of their students sharply diverged from that of our society as a whole or its highest performing segment. I discussed the striking ethnic skew:

The evidence of the recent NMS semifinalist lists seems the most conclusive of all, given the huge statistical sample sizes involved. As discussed earlier, these students constitute roughly the highest 0.5 percent in academic ability, the top 16,000 high school seniors who should be enrolling at the Ivy League and America’s other most elite academic universities. In California, white Gentile names outnumber Jewish ones by over 8-to-1; in Texas, over 20-to-1; in Florida and Illinois, around 9-to-1. Even in New York, America’s most heavily Jewish state, there are more than two high-ability white Gentile students for every Jewish one. Based on the overall distribution of America’s population, it appears that approximately 65–70 percent of America’s highest ability students are non-Jewish whites, well over ten times the Jewish total of under 6 percent.

Needless to say, these proportions are considerably different from what we actually find among the admitted students at Harvard and its elite peers, which today serve as a direct funnel to the commanding heights of American academics, law, business, and finance. Based on reported statistics, Jews approximately match or even outnumber non-Jewish whites at Harvard and most of the other Ivy League schools, which seems wildly disproportionate. Indeed, the official statistics indicate that non-Jewish whites at Harvard are America’s most under-represented population group, enrolled at a much lower fraction of their national population than blacks or Hispanics, despite having far higher academic test scores.

When examining statistical evidence, the proper aggregation of data is critical. Consider the ratio of the recent 2007–2011 enrollment of Asian students at Harvard relative to their estimated share of America’s recent NMS semifinalists, a reasonable proxy for the high-ability college-age population, and compare this result to the corresponding figure for whites. The Asian ratio is 63 percent, slightly above the white ratio of 61 percent, with both these figures being considerably below parity due to the substantial presence of under-represented racial minorities such as blacks and Hispanics, foreign students, and students of unreported race. Thus, there appears to be no evidence for racial bias against Asians, even excluding the race-neutral impact of athletic recruitment, legacy admissions, and geographical diversity.

However, if we separate out the Jewish students, their ratio turns out to be 435 percent, while the residual ratio for non-Jewish whites drops to just 28 percent, less than half of even the Asian figure. As a consequence, Asians appear under-represented relative to Jews by a factor of seven, while non-Jewish whites are by far the most under-represented group of all, despite any benefits they might receive from athletic, legacy, or geographical distribution factors. The rest of the Ivy League tends to follow a similar pattern, with the overall Jewish ratio being 381 percent, the Asian figure at 62 percent, and the ratio for non-Jewish whites a low 35 percent, all relative to their number of high-ability college-age students.

Just as striking as these wildly disproportionate current numbers have been the longer enrollment trends. In the three decades since I graduated Harvard, the presence of white Gentiles has dropped by as much as 70 percent, despite no remotely comparable decline in the relative size or academic performance of that population; meanwhile, the percentage of Jewish students has actually increased. This period certainly saw a very rapid rise in the number of Asian, Hispanic, and foreign students, as well as some increase in blacks. But it seems rather odd that all of these other gains would have come at the expense of whites of Christian background, and none at the expense of Jews.

Based on these figures, Jewish students were roughly 1,000% more likely to be enrolled at Harvard and the rest of the Ivy League than white Gentiles of similar ability. This was an absolutely astonishing result given that under-representation in the range of 20% or 30% is often treated by courts as powerful prima facie evidence of racial discrimination.

Several charts and graphs effectively presented these remarkable findings:

These charts demonstrated the hidden reality that white Gentiles were heavily under-represented at elite colleges not merely with regard to their fraction of highest-performing students but even relative to their share of the college-age population. Academic administrators might publicly fret that blacks or Hispanics were not enrolled proportional to their national numbers, but the under-enrollment of non-Jewish whites was actually far more severe. To a considerable extent, the student bodies of our top colleges constitute the next generation of our national elites in embryonic form, and during recent decades white Gentiles had been increasingly excluded from that important pool.

All these meritocracy statistics were originally compiled ten years ago, but when I’ve occasionally updated them, I noticed that little had changed except that they had sometimes grown even more extreme. As mentioned, legal discovery eventually revealed that an internal Harvard study had largely confirmed my analysis of Asian discrimination but had been suppressed. Meanwhile, my much more explosive analysis of massive Jewish over-representation had never been significantly challenged despite the angry fulminations of a few agitated Jewish activists, but the topic had unsurprisingly disappeared from any public debate.

 

Faced with such seemingly insurmountable institutional and media obstacles, in 2016 I undertook a bold plan to rectify all these matters at a stroke, organizing the Free Harvard/Fair Harvard slate of candidates for the university’s Board of Overseers. Headed by longtime progressive icon Ralph Nader, we proposed that the stupendously wealthy university should abolish its undergraduate tuition while providing greater transparency in admissions, and if we had won and gained effective control of Harvard University, academic dominoes would have swiftly tumbled nationwide. But we lost.

  • American Meritocracy Revisited
    Elite Admissions, Asian Quotas, and the Free Harvard/Fair Harvard Campaign
    Ron Unz • The Unz Review • May 4, 2022 • 28,400 Words

Although our campaign failed, it may have had some longer-term consequences. Although neither our own slate nor that of our bitter opponents ever raised the issue of Jewish numbers, the front-page story in the New York Times announcing our effort must surely have reminded activist groups of the explosive contents of my original 2012 paper, and the risk that the astonishing facts I presented might eventually slip past the media blockade and reach the American public, perhaps with fateful consequences.

All my enrollment figures had been drawn from the public estimates annually provided by Hillel, the nationwide Jewish campus organization, whose numbers had been used for decades by academic researchers and media outlets. My article had noted that even slight declines in Jewish enrollment had sometimes provoked enormous public controversies and demands that they be immediately reversed. As I wrote in 2012:

Meanwhile, any hint of “anti-Semitism” in admissions is regarded as an absolutely mortal sin, and any significant reduction in Jewish enrollment may often be denounced as such by the hair-trigger media. For example, in 1999 Princeton discovered that its Jewish enrollment had declined to just 500 percent of parity, down from more than 700 percent in the mid-1980s, and far below the comparable figures for Harvard or Yale. This quickly resulted in four front-page stories in the Daily Princetonian, a major article in the New York Observer, and extensive national coverage in both the New York Times and the Chronicle of Higher Education. These articles included denunciations of Princeton’s long historical legacy of anti-Semitism and quickly led to official apologies, followed by an immediate 30 percent rebound in Jewish numbers. During these same years, non-Jewish white enrollment across the entire Ivy League had dropped by roughly 50 percent, reducing those numbers to far below parity, but this was met with media silence or even occasional congratulations on the further “multicultural” progress of America’s elite education system.

Yet the year after our unsuccessful Harvard Overseer campaign, the Hillel website reported a massive, sudden collapse in Jewish enrollment at Harvard and every other American university, a decline of more than 50% that was totally ignored by both the national media and normally alert Jewish activist organizations, and this striking disappearance of Jews at elite colleges has continued down to the present day. However, I quickly determined that this shift seemed merely to be one of redefinition, with students apparently only counted in that category if they declared themselves to be practitioners of the Jewish religion, a change that had an enormous impact, as I explained in 2018:

These arguments based on general plausibility are strongly supported by quantitative evidence, and ironically enough, it is Baytch herself who provided it. Around the time she produced her lengthy and unpublished document, Harvard Hillel was claiming a Jewish undergraduate enrollment of 25%, and near the beginning of her text, she claimed that figure was obviously false by citing a Harvard Crimson survey indicating that only 9.5% of the Class of 2017 were Jewish. However, she failed to notice that the survey referred to being religiously Jewish, which is entirely different than being Jewish in the broader ethnic or ancestral sense, especially since Jews are among the most secular populations in American society and a full 42% of the Harvard students described their religious beliefs as atheist, agnostic, or “other.” Indeed, a worldwide survey finds that only 38% of (ethnic) Jews follow the Jewish religion. So if the Crimson survey were correct and Harvard Jews were typical in their religiosity, this would imply that 9.5% / 0.38 = 25%(!!!) of Harvard freshman were ethnically Jewish, exactly the figure claimed by Harvard Hillel. Fanatic ideologues such as Baytch sometimes have a tendency to score game-ending own-goals without even realizing what they have done.

In general, Jewish classification has a rather protean nature, with somewhat overlapping definitions based on religion, ethnicity, and full or partial ancestry, allowing it to be drastically expanded or contracted for various reasons. I suspect that Baytch’s confusion on this matter was entirely sincere, related to the obsessive tendencies she exhibited in real life. But others may employ these shifting definitions based upon more pragmatic considerations.

It is well known that for many decades the American Communist Party and especially its top leadership were overwhelmingly Jewish, even at a time when Jews were just 3% of the national population. But Jewish community leaders were not pleased with this situation, and they sometimes flatly denied the reality, insisting that there were actually no Jewish Communists whatsoever—how could there be, when Communists were hostile to all religious belief?

Similarly, my findings that Jews were apparently enrolled at Harvard and other elite colleges at a rate some 1,000% greater than white Gentiles of similar academic performance must surely have set off alarm bells within the leadership of Jewish activist organizations, who wondered how best to manage or conceal this potentially dangerous information. With a high-profile Asian discrimination lawsuit wending its way through the courts and my own unsuccessful 2016 attempt to run a slate of candidates for the Board of Harvard Overseers, the likelihood of growing public scrutiny surely loomed very large.

Baytch’s apparent confusion between having Jewish ancestry and practicing the Jewish religion would have been well-known in these circles, and offered an obvious solution. If Jewish numbers were suddenly narrowed to only include those students who claimed to follow Jewish religious practices, the flagrant over-representation of Jews on elite campuses would be greatly reduced. Meanwhile, large numbers of lesser-qualified applicants of Jewish ancestry but no religious belief could continue to gain unfair admission by writing essays about their “Holocaust grandmas” with America’s 98% Gentile population being none the wiser.

For whatever reason, Hillel seems to have recently adopted this practice, drastically reducing its published estimates of the Jewish enrollment at Harvard and other elite colleges, thus eliminating a glaring example of ethnic bias by a simple act of redefinition. For example, the Hillel website now claims that merely 11% of Harvard undergraduates are Jewish, a huge reduction from the previous 25% figure, and a total suspiciously close to the Crimson survey of a few years ago which counted Jews only based upon their religious beliefs. The Hillel figures for Yale, Princeton, and most other elite colleges have experienced equally sudden and huge declines.

One very strong clue regarding this new definition of Jewish enrollment comes from Caltech, an elite science and engineering school which is quite unlikely to attract Jews professing religious faith. According to the Hillel website, the Jewish enrollment is 0%, claiming that there absolutely no Jews on campus. Despite this, the website also describes the vibrant Jewish life at Caltech, with Caltech Jews involved in all sorts of local activities and projects. This absurd paradox is obviously due to the distinction between individuals who are Jewish by religion and those who are Jewish by ancestry.

As the 1999 media firestorm engulfing Princeton demonstrated, in the past even slight and gentle declines of Jewish enrollment over a fifteen year period would provoke massive controversy and angry denunciations from Jewish organizations. The absolute lack of any organized response to the recent sudden disappearance of nearly 60% of Harvard’s Jews certainly suggests that little more than a mere change in definition had occurred.

 

My own Meritocracy analysis was viewed hundreds of thousands of times, but such numbers represent merely a tiny sliver within the vastness of the Internet, and after a few months my explosive Jewish findings had permanently vanished from any secondary coverage or other public discussion. So although well-informed individuals interested in Jewish matters or elite college admissions must be aware of my results, the complete silence of the broader media has ensured that everyone else remained entirely ignorant.

As an example of this, a few days ago a friend of mine pointed me to a Tablet podcast series on Jews in the Ivy League entitled “Gatecrashers” and hosted by Mark Oppenheimer, an Orthodox Jewish journalist who often focuses on religious matters. Although I listened to the episode “Harvard and the End of the Jewish Ivy League,” I found Oppenheimer’s obvious lack of quantitative skills or any true understanding of the issues involved rather disheartening.

However, the podcast page did provide a link to a very helpful article in the Harvard Crimson, presenting the results of four years of Freshman surveys on a variety of lifestyle issues, including religious faith. During 2013-2016, there had been a very sharp decline in most religious affiliations, with the percentage of Catholics and Protestants together dropping from over 42% to less than 35% in just four years, and a corresponding, even stronger decline in followers of Judaism, while the combined category of Atheists, Agnostics, and “Other” grew from under 42% to nearly 53%. We can safely assume that a very substantial portion of the adherents in those latter categories are Jewish by ethnicity.

Freshmen who were religiously Jewish had dropped to just 6.3% in 2016, but during the other three years the percentage had closely clustered around 10%, which is also the figure currently reported for Harvard on the Hillel website. So if we assume that Harvard College attracts Jews who are average in their religious faith, this indicates that the ethnically Jewish fraction of the undergraduate population would be roughly 25% or perhaps a bit higher.

If this estimate is even remotely correct, the implications are quite astonishing, and we can easily understand why switching from ethnicity to religion was employed as a subterfuge to conceal this reality. Since 1980 every college and university in America has had to report the demographic characteristics of its student body to the National Center for Education Statistics. Our own website provides this public data in a highly-convenient form, allowing easy examination of the historical trajectory of all our thousands of undergraduate academic institutions. The 2021 numbers are not yet out, but I am able to provide a table showing the changing enrollment at Harvard College since 2012:

Harvard College Demographics Percentages
Year White Black Hispanic Asian Foreign
2012 45.1 6.4 9.2 17.8 11.2
2013 44.9 6.5 9.3 18.1 11.5
2014 43.8 6.8 9.9 18.6 11.2
2015 42.7 6.3 10.4 19.2 11.7
2016 41.2 7.0 11.2 19.6 12.0
2017 40.4 7.6 11.6 20.2 11.5
2018 39.1 8.3 11.2 20.2 12.4
2019 37.6 8.6 11.1 21.0 12.3
2020 34.2 11.0 12.3 21.7 11.7

One of the most striking facts is that during the last five years the percentage of black students grew from 6.3% to 11.0%, a remarkable rise of 75%, certainly the most rapid increase in Harvard’s history. Moreover, the more recent numbers will surely be much higher, given that blacks were 14.8% of the students admitted in 2020 and a whopping 18% of the 2021 admissions.

The Iron Law of Arithmetic demands that percentages must sum to 100, so during this same period, Harvard’s white enrollment dropped more than 10 percentage points, steadily falling from 45.1% in 2012 to just 34.2% in 2020; perhaps this year it barely exceeds 30%. And if, as seems likely, ethnically Jewish students are in the approximate range of 25%, the inescapable conclusion is that although white Gentiles are 60% of the American population and probably over 65% of our highest-performing students, they have now been reduced to a single digit presence at our most elite college. As I noted in my original 2012 article, Harvard has long enrolled American blacks at a considerably higher rate than non-Jewish whites, but the former are now likely larger in absolute numbers even though the latter are more than four times more numerous in our society.

These shocking conclusions must be carefully hedged with a couple of caveats. It is possible that for some reason Jews at Harvard are far more religious than the Jewish population as a whole, which would impact our ethnic estimates. There also seems to be some anecdotal evidence that the lure of Affirmative Action admissions has increasingly persuaded some white students to falsely claim non-white status, and perhaps those numbers have become large enough to impact Harvard’s official statistics. But aside from these two possible factors, both quite difficult to evaluate, the astonishing conclusions I have drawn seem irrrefutable.

The increasing elimination of non-Jewish whites from Harvard and other top colleges is real, but the underlying factors responsible are far from certain. However, I should quote a relevant paragraph from my 2012 article, which noted the close historical parallel presented in Jerome Karabel’s magisterial volume The Chosen:

It would be unreasonable to ignore the salient fact that this massive apparent bias in favor of far less-qualified Jewish applicants coincides with an equally massive ethnic skew at the topmost administrative ranks of the universities in question, a situation which once again exactly parallels Karabel’s account from the 1920s. Indeed, Karabel points out that by 1993 Harvard, Yale, and Princeton all had presidents of Jewish ancestry,[80] and the same is true for the current presidents of Yale, Penn, Cornell, and possibly Columbia, as well as Princeton’s president throughout during the 1990s and Yale’s new incoming president, while all three of Harvard’s most recent presidents have either had Jewish origins or a Jewish spouse.[81]

When I published that article a decade ago, probably half of the eight Ivy League colleges had Jewish presidents, and that figure is higher today, with these including the presidents of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton; the ratio had been even greater last year before Amy Gutmann left the presidency of Penn to become our ambassador to Germany.

 

Relatively few Americans ever consider applying to Harvard or the other elite Ivy League schools. Indeed, I suspect that much of our citizenry probably regards the composition of those student bodies as totally irrelevant, far less significant than the identities of our top professional athletes or pop music stars. Yet as I have repeatedly emphasized, those educational institutions tend to provide the next generation of America’s ruling elites, and this applies to the world of politics as well as many other sectors.

Consider, for example, the leading figures in our current Biden Administration, who are playing a crucial role in determining the future of our own country and the rest of the world. The list of Cabinet departments has wildly proliferated since Washington’s day, but suppose we confine our attention to the half-dozen most important, led by the individuals who control national security and the economy, and then also add the names of the President, Vice President, and Chief of Staff. Although “Diversity” may have become the sacred motto of the Democratic Party, the background of the handful of individuals running our country appears strikingly non-diverse, especially if we exclude the two political figureheads at the very top.

  • President Joe Biden (Jewish in-laws)
  • Vice-President Kamala Harris (Jewish spouse)
  • Chief of Staff Ron Klain (Jewish, Harvard)
  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken (Jewish, Harvard)
  • Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen (Jewish, Yale)
  • Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III (Black)
  • Attorney General Merrick Garland (Jewish, Harvard)
  • Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines (Jewish)
  • Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas (Jewish)

In 2013 Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Moscow’s Jewish Center and noted in his remarks that 80-85% of the first Bolshevik government was Jewish. Although that statement was probably somewhat exaggerated, it does seem a very reasonable characterization of today’s American government, despite Jews constituting less than 2% of our population.

When a nation’s top leadership is drawn from such a narrowly insular, almost incestuous circle, in which standards of strict meritocracy have long since been replaced by shared ideological beliefs and perhaps even widespread implicit ethnic nepotism, enormous problems may develop. Our current inflation rate is now the highest in forty years, and a few days ago, prestigious Foreign Affairs, mouthpiece of the American political establishment, carried a major article discussing the looming possibility of a simultaneous war against both Russia and China and how we could successfully triumph in such a difficult conflict. Since my infancy, no American president has seriously contemplated a war with either Russia or China, but our current national leadership seems quite eager to embroil us in a global war with both of them at the same time.

My original article had closed with a strongly cautionary note:

Following the 1991 collapse and disintegration of the Soviet Union, some observers noted with unease that the United States was left as about the only remaining large and fully-functional multi-ethnic society, and the subsequent collapse and disintegration of ethnically diverse Yugoslavia merely strengthened these concerns. China is sometimes portrayed by the ignorant American media as having large and restive minority populations, but it is 92 percent Han Chinese, and if we exclude a few outlying or thinly populated provinces—the equivalents of Alaska, Hawaii, and New Mexico—closer to 95 percent Han, with all its top leadership drawn from that same background and therefore possessing a natural alignment of interests. Without doubt, America’s great success despite its multiplicity of ethnic nationalities is almost unique in modern human history. But such success should not be taken for granted.

Many of the Jewish writers who focus on the history of elite university admissions, including Karabel, Steinberg, and Lemann, have critiqued and rebuked the America of the first half of the Twentieth Century for having been governed by a narrow WASP ascendency, which overwhelmingly dominated and controlled the commanding heights of business, finance, education, and politics; and some of their criticisms are not unreasonable. But we should bear in mind that this dominant group of White Anglo-Saxon Protestants—largely descended from among the earliest American settlers and which had gradually absorbed and assimilated substantial elements of Celtic, Dutch, German, and French background—was generally aligned in culture, religion, ideology, and ancestry with perhaps 60 percent of America’s total population at the time, and therefore hardly represented an alien presence.[119] By contrast, a similarly overwhelming domination by a tiny segment of America’s current population, one which is completely misaligned in all these respects, seems far less inherently stable, especially when the institutional roots of such domination have continually increased despite the collapse of the supposedly meritocratic justification. This does not seem like a recipe for a healthy and successful society, nor one which will even long survive in anything like its current form.

Power corrupts and an extreme concentration of power even more so, especially when that concentration of power is endlessly praised and glorified by the major media and the prominent intellectuals which together constitute such an important element of that power. But as time goes by and more and more Americans notice that they are poorer and more indebted than they have ever been before, the blandishments of such propaganda machinery will eventually lose effectiveness, much as did the similar propaganda organs of the decaying Soviet state. Kahlenberg quotes Pat Moynihan as noting that the stagnant American earnings between 1970 and 1985 represented “the longest stretch of ‘flat’ income in the history of the European settlement of North America.”[120] The only difference today is that this period of economic stagnation has now extended nearly three times as long, and has also been combined with numerous social, moral, and foreign policy disasters.

Over the last few decades America’s ruling elites have been produced largely as a consequence of the particular selection methods adopted by our top national universities in the late 1960s. Leaving aside the question of whether these methods have been fair or have instead been based on corruption and ethnic favoritism, the elites they have produced have clearly done a very poor job of leading our country, and we must change the methods used to select them.

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