On Instapundit Glenn Reynolds quotes a New York Times article calling for the end of race-blind auditions for orchestras: “If ensembles are to reflect the communities they serve,” the article asserts, “the audition process should take into account race, gender and other factors.”
To which Reynolds responds:
No one ever argues that sports teams, or university faculties, should “reflect the communities they serve.” For example, should the University of Tennessee faculty be 60+% Republican, like the state of Tennessee? Even in blue states, such a rule would produce a massive influx of Republicans onto state university faculties. And that would be equitable, right?
Perhaps the best thing that can be said about the increasingly shrill and pervasive demand for “equity,” i.e., proportional representation, is that its advocates don’t really believe in it. As I argue in an article about to appear in the summer issue of Academic Questions, the journal of the National Association of Scholars:
Contrary to widespread misunderstanding, the most “underrepresented” racial or ethnic students among entering Berkeley freshmen in 2020 were whites, at 47 percent of what Kendi and the antiracists regard as equity or parity, i.e., a number equal to their proportion of the California population. By contrast, Hispanics are at 54 percent, blacks 57 percent, and the “overrepre- sented” Asians are at a whopping 268 percent.
To make their numbers reflect their 6.5 percent proportion of California’s population, the number of black entering freshmen would have to be increased from their current 229 to 398, an increase of 74 percent. The number of Hispanics, 1,310, would have to increase to 2,413, or by 84 percent. Whites would have to increase from 1,053 to 2,235, a 112 percent increase. The most dramatic effect of imposing proportional representation on the University of California would be a draconian reduction in the number of Asian freshmen: from 2,551 to 949, a decrease of 63 percent.
In short, as I’ve argued on my blog here and here, for the University of California to “look like California,” the number of Asians would have to be cut in half, and the number of whites increased proportionally much more than blacks or Hispanics.