Perhaps even more than the complaint by Jian Li that he was rejected for admission by Princeton because of his race, the article published last Wednesday has put front and center the question of whether elite universities treat Asian-American students fairly in admissions and whether those students who are admitted face bias.
‚ÄúHi Princeton! Remember me?‚Äù the parody began. ‚ÄúI so good at math and science. Perfect 2400 SAT score. Ring bells? Just in cases, let me refresh your memories. I the super smart Asian. Princeton the super dumb college, not accept me.‚Äù Later, it said: ‚ÄúWhat is wrong with you no color people? Yellow people make the world go round. We cook greasy food, wash your clothes and let you copy our homework.‚Äù
Students, faculty and college administrators have condemned the article. The newspaper, The Daily Princetonian, printed an editors‚Äô note expressing regret for upsetting readers and saying that a diverse group, ‚Äúincluding several Asians on our senior editorial staff,‚Äù had written the column.
‚ÄúWe embraced racist language in order to strangle it,‚Äù the note said. ‚ÄúAt its worst, the column was a bad joke; at its best, it provoked serious thought about issues of race, fairness and diversity.‚Äù
I realize this is a serious issue. But you would think after the Abercrombie fiasco, these people would have learned. And just because there was Asian students behind the editorial, its OK to parade stereotypes like that? It’s the eternal debate – is the N-word is OK as long as you’re black, or is the N-word not OK at all?
The other thing I noticed in this article that cracked me up was the notion that California is a foreign country or possibly an entirely different continent:
Bryan N. Bunch, a sophomore from Atlanta, said: ‚ÄúI know there are many stereotypes about Princeton. Elitist, racist, insular are but a few. Maybe in the past they were,‚Äù he added. ‚ÄúBut today Princeton is genuinely an incredibly diverse place. I have friends from Korea, Africa, California and nearly everywhere in between.‚Äù
It must be an East Coast thing.