The most diverse American Rhodes Scholarship winners ever!

Last week, the Rhodes Trust, which administers the Rhodes Scholarships for Americans enabling them to study at Oxford University in England on a full scholarship, announced their 32 American scholarship recipients beginning with the 2019 academic year.  While the winners are most impressive, the first thing one learns about them is not their outstanding academic records and extracurricular accomplishments (ostensibly the reason they were chosen), but the D-word: diverse. 

That's right, they are diverse.  Yeah, yeah – all humans are diverse, but not in that oh, so politically correct, affirmative action, identity-identifying, Rhodes Scholarship winner way, if you know what I mean.  Living in America for the past few decades,  you do know what I mean.  The tone of the announcement is set by the opening sentences.

This year's American Rhodes Scholars – independently elected by 16 committees around the country meeting simultaneously – once again reflect the extraordinary diversity that characterizes the United States.  Almost half of the winners are immigrants themselves or first generation Americans.  One is an undocumented American whose immigration status is covered under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  This is the first year in which DACA recipients were eligible for the Scholarship.  The class overall is majority minority, as it was last year, and the 21 women are the greatest number ever elected in an American Rhodes class.  These Scholars plan to study a wide range of fields across the social sciences, biological and medical sciences, physical sciences and mathematics, and the humanities. They are certain to enrich our future.

Further preening, the announcement  continues:

This class includes the first Rhodes Scholar ever elected from Chapman University in Orange, California, the first winner since 1955 from the University of Kentucky, the first winner since 1981 from Boise State University, and the first winner since 1993 from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Wow!  Apparently there is more to Kentucky than, say, bourbon; more to backwater Boise State University in Idaho, for goodness's sake, than potatoes; more universities in California than the state's U.C. System and Stanford; and those new residents of Colorado have certainly improved the intelligence of the state.  Or something.  Who knew? 

The illegal alien undocumented DACA  immigrant – as opposed to a legal, documented immigrant – is (emphasis added)...

Jin Kyu Park, Flushing ... completing his B.A. at Harvard in Molecular and Cellular Biology with a minor in Ethnicity, Migration, and Rights.  Jin was born in South Korea and is the first DACA recipient to be selected as a Rhodes Scholar.  He is the Founder and Director of HigherDreams, Inc., a non-profit organization that he started in 2014 to develop resources for undocumented students applying to college.  He is also the director of the Harvard Philips Brooks House Association Chinatown Citizenship Program which provides naturalization assistance to the Boston community.  He has written opinion pieces on immigration for the New York Times and the Harvard Crimson and has appeared on MSNBC to discuss DACA legislation.  He is the Managing Editor of the Harvard Undergraduate Research Journal and a research assistant at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT where he helps elucidate the mechanisms of T-cell exhaustion.  Ultimately, Jin seeks to build a career as an advocate for immigrant communities, and to provoke our governments to take immigrants' rights and health seriously.  Jin plans to do masters degrees in Migration Studies and Global Health Science and Epidemiology.

Mr. Park must indeed be impressive, as Harvard allowed him to attend its school despite its Asian quota.  Or something.  Oh, right – they too believe in diversity, so they can't have too many Asians or Jews.  Again, or something.  But Harvard's bigotry doesn't seem to bother Mr. Park, as he apparently has no interest, to paraphrase, in "provok[ing] our universities to take all peoples' rights seriously."

Another impressive winner is Kristina M. Correa, who "is committed to Latino empowerment in the sciences," which, unlike, say, white empowerment in the sciences, or French or Asian or Jewish or even, gag!, Caucasian empowerment in the sciences, is not racist if you speak politically correctese.

The Rhodes Scholarship winners, despite or because of their diversity, are truly impressive young people, and I hope they will do well at Oxford.  And in the future.  And I'm sure the non-diverse rejected applicants, most of whom were also impressive, will do well at universities in the USA, which, I've been told, are also excellent. 

A previous Rhodes Scholarship winner and American university graduate, Bill Clinton, a white youth from Arkansas raised by a single mother, seemed to benefit from his time at Oxford.  There, in addition to learning to smoke marijuana without inhaling, avoiding the draft, and maybe raping a woman (this was long before the #MeToo movement, diversity, and everything else, so it was OK) did go on to become governor of Arkansas, president of the United States, and husband of a woman who also ran for president. 

So diversity be damned – best wishes to all!

Thomas Lifson adds: This looks like a raised middle finger aimed at President Trump.