Tom Shuford, News-Topic, December 1, 2019
With the 2020 election nearing I’ve gotten digital subscriptions to a few distant papers that print my short letters. A few weeks ago an Asheville Citizen-Times letter-writer made a complaint about the student loan burden that caught my attention: “This is in sharp contrast with . . . China, where literally everything is done to enable qualified and talented students to contribute to their full capacity to the well-being of their country. Admission criteria guarantee that only qualified students are admitted to a given specialization” (11-2-19). Below is an expanded version of my reply (11-8-19):
China is 92 percent Han Chinese. It’s determined to stay that way. It’s also a police state run by the Chinese Communist Party. Strict admissions are politically easy. In contrast, America is making itself evermore diverse. That’s largely because of the 1965 Hart-Celler Immigration Act. It’s generous “family reunification” provisions are remaking America via legal “chain migration” of extended families — mostly from Latin America, increasingly from Asia and Africa.
This nation-transforming effect is mostly accidental. Congressional leaders in 1965, such as lead Senate sponsor Ted Kennedy, and the president who signed Hart-Celler, Lyndon Johnson, gave no hint they knew what they were doing.
But here’s the kicker for 2019 and beyond: increasing diversity means increasing inequality. At Google Images search for “Fourth Grade NAEP math Results.” This displays National Assessment of Educational Progress” advanced scores by race 1996 through 2017.
Achievement gaps among groups manifest early and widen over time. By late adolescence, universities confront this challenge by surrendering: They lower standards and adopt all manner of “diversity and equity” mandates/accommodations/
The long term risks to society and students are profound: instilling a victim mentality and a victim/oppressor world view and abandoning the astonishing cultural inheritance of the West — because of its origins in white males.
Going forward, rival China faces none of these crippling challenges. Supreme irony: The authoritarian powerhouse that is China today is a creation of America’s absurd ruling class, including its universities — lop-sided “free” trade deals, vast transfers of intellectual property, technology and jobs and, for good measure, STEM training of several hundred thousand Chinese nationals annually in American universities.
Bonus for America’s students: part of soaring student debt are costs of universities’ burgeoning diversity and equity bureaucracies and identity studies departments.
— Tom Shuford, Lenoir
1) NEW WORLD ENCYCLOPEDIA: “HAN CHINESE”
KEY QUOTE: “Han Chinese (Simplified Chinese: or; Traditional Chinese: or; pinyin: hànzú or hànrén) are an ethnic group indigenous to China and the largest single ethnic group in the world. Han Chinese constitute about 92 percent of the population of the People’s Republic of China and about 19 percent of the entire global human population.”
2) FOURTH-GRADE NAEP MATH RESULTS BY RACE: Adapted from Plucker, Hardesty, and Burroughs (2013). Note. NAEP = National Assessment of Educational Progress.
3) CHINESE STUDENTS CURRENTLY ENROLLED IN U. S. UNIVERSITIES:
“Chinese nationals make up the largest group of international students in the US. They account for roughly 30% of all foreign students. There were about 340,000 of them in July 2018″ (“The impact of Chinese students in the US, charted and mapped,” Quartz Magazine, By Youyou Zhou, October 2, 2018)