Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Quotas, quotas, quotas 

In his column on the 60 Minutes segment on the Abercrombie and Fitch catalog, Jonah Goldberg asks why liberals get outraged at certain kinds of discrimination against Asians but not others:

As for real irony, my favorite part of the program was the outrage of one Mr. Anthony Ocampo — a student at Stanford University — who wasn't hired by A&F because the store in question already had "too many Filipinos."

"I was speechless," Mr. Ocampo explained. "I was, you know, I didn't really know what to say, I'd never had any — I'd never seen racism that explicit prior to that."

Now, I really don't blame Mr. Ocampo for being peeved. But one wonders whether he considers all of the faculty and administrators at Stanford who desperately want that same policy reinstalled at their school to be racists too? After all, not being able to fold sweaters at slightly better than minimum wage because you're ethnically Asian may be bad, but being denied admittance to Stanford because you're ethnically Asian strikes me as worse. Alas, this seemed not to occur to anyone at 60 Minutes.
In both cases, Asians are getting the shaft because there's already too many of them. So what's the difference? Well, in the case of college admissions, Asians would be taking the places of blacks and Hispanics. In the case of A&F hiring, Asians would be taking the place of whites. According to the Liberal Hierarchy of the Aggrieved, blacks and Hispanics take priority over Asians, so it's perfectly okay to discriminate against Asians if it means making the quota for blacks and Hispanics on college admissions. But Asians take priority over whites, so liberals get outraged when they are turned away so that whites can take their place at A&F.
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