Now it's legacy admissions' turn

In the wake of the Supreme Court's landmark ruling on affirmative action, a group representing black students has filed a new lawsuit targeting legacy admissions.

According to the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON (AP) — A civil rights group is challenging legacy admissions at Harvard University, saying the practice discriminates against students of color by giving an unfair boost to the mostly white children of alumni.

The practice of giving priority to the children of alumni has faced growing pushback in the wake of last week’s Supreme Court’s decision ending affirmative action in higher education. The NAACP added its weight behind the effort on Monday, asking more than 1,500 colleges and universities to even the playing field in admissions, including by ending legacy admissions.

The civil rights complaint was filed Monday by Lawyers for Civil Rights, a nonprofit based in Boston, on behalf of Black and Latino community groups in New England, alleging that Harvard’s admissions system violates the Civil Rights Act.

That's interesting stuff, given that 70% of legacy admits at Harvard are white, and 30% are not white.  Looking at the Obama kids on that one.

To read the lawsuit, it would suggest that were Harvard to dump its legacy admissions, many more black students of merit might be admitted. 

But actually, it might just be white and Asian-American students of merit who are admitted, provided the admissions process stays colorblind.

White students from non-legacy families have an insignificant chance of getting into Harvard owing to most of the "white" slots, such as the system has been, being filled by legacy students, who number 43% of all admissions.

Here's the gross part: 75% of those legacy admits would not have gotten in at all were it not for Harvard's policy of legacy admissions, which, if anything, is a much worse form of affirmative action than skin-color bean-counting.  Basically, a meritless elite has been hogging up 43% of the slots that should go to kids of all colors of merit, and about 31% of those admits wouldn't be able to get in otherwise.

While it may be questionable that black students are being shut out of Harvard by legacy admissions, given the state of public schools attended by black children in urban areas, it's possible that some are, and it's certainly a fact that all races are.

It doesn't seem likely that the lawsuit will lose, given the ruling against affirmative action.  With that the case, if racism charges are what it takes to make this policy disappear, good for the group filing the case.

Image: Daderot via Wikimedia Commons, CC1.0 public domain.

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