by Patrick J. Buchanan – November 27, 1998
Buried in the editorial page of the Nov. 16 Wall Street Journal was a remarkable essay, which exposes the true, and hidden, story of who is really “underrepresented” in our elite schools, and who are the real victims of ethnic bigotry in America.
The author is Ron Unz, a Harvardian 20 years ago, now a California political activist and entrepreneur, who led the successful state initiative to abolish bilingual education.
According to Unz, today at Harvard College, Hispanic and black enrollment has reached 7 percent and 8 percent, respectively, slightly less than the 10 percent and 12 percent of the U.S. population that is Hispanic and black. This has been a cause of protests at Harvard, as Hispanics and African-Americans insist on more proportional representation.
But Unz does not stop there. He goes on to report that nearly 20 percent of the Harvard College student body is Asian-American, and 25 percent to 33 percent is Jewish, though Asian-Americans make up only 3 percent of the U.S. population and Jewish-Americans even less than 3 percent. Thus, 50 percent of Harvard’s student body is drawn from about 5 percent of the U.S. population!
When one adds foreign students, students from our tiny WASP elite and children of graduates, what emerges is a Harvard student body where non-Jewish whites — 75 percent of the U.S. population — get just 25 percent of the slots. Talk about underrepresentation! Now we know who really gets the shaft at Harvard — white Christians.
The same situation, says Unz, exists at other elite schools like Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Berkeley and Stanford, where Chelsea Clinton goes. As Hispanics, Asians, African-American and Jewish-Americans also vote overwhelming Democratic, the picture that emerges is not a pretty one. A liberal elite is salving its social conscience by robbing America’s white middle class of its birthright, and handing it over to minorities, who just happen to vote Democratic.
Harvard does not keep enrollment statistics by religion, but it is clear Evangelical Christians, Catholics, Mormons and Muslims are the victims of a bigotry so embedded Harvard cannot see it right in front of its eyes. As for the ethnic identity of Harvard’s rejects, it must include many kids of Scots-Irish, Irish, Welsh, German, Italian, Greek, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Slavic, Scandinavian, Russian, Croatian, Serbian, Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian descent.– and dozens of other small ethnic groups.
Growing up Catholic in America, one knew the Ivy League was hostile terrain; few Ivy League recruiters were ever sent out to offer scholarships to deserving boys from Catholic high schools. But I had no idea how far the Ivy League had gone in denying its first-class tickets to the upper crust of society and the best professions to kids whose ancestors happened to come from Europe.
Since affirmative action was instituted, conservatives have battled for the idea that character, ability and excellence should be the criteria for advancement, not gender, race or ethnicity. Boy and girls, men and women, should be admitted to schools or promoted in jobs based on what they have accomplished, not on which country or continent their kinfolk came from.
But we are now stymied. Bill Clinton has said he will veto any bill that abolishes racial, ethnic or gender preferences; and the GOP Congress is too terrified even to try to pass such legislation.
Where does this leave Middle America? Not to put too fine a point on it, the white Christian middle class is being dispossessed. If elite colleges and grad schools enroll 75 percent of their students from the small Democratic minorities while white Christians and Catholics, who make up 75 percent of the population, are relegated to 25 percent of the seats, there is no doubt who is going to run America in the 21st century.
And with immigration — 1.5 million legal and illegal aliens entering yearly — increasing the share of the citizenry that is black and Hispanic, this means an endless ratcheting up of black and Hispanic demands for proportional representation. And, as Unz has pointed out, these demands are invariably met at the expense of white Christians. Is there a way out? Perhaps.
Perhaps ethnic Catholics and Christians can stop resisting proportional representation — and demand their fair share of the slots at Harvard, etc., based on their share of the U.S. population. How can Harvard say no to the Irish if it says yes to Hispanics?
If Harvard balks, denounce it as bigoted and demand a cut-off of federal funds. If proportional representation is the name of the game, Christian and European-Americans should get into the game, and demand their fair share of every pie: 75 percent, and no less.