Ross Douthat blames racist views of some rural whites on the admissions practices of eight elite colleges.

In his opinion piece in yesterday’s New York Times, Ross Douthat blames the racist and anti-immigrant views of some rural whites on the admissions policies of eight elite colleges.

In a masterpiece of specious reasoning and selective fact reporting, Harvard-educated Douthat declares that Pat Buchanan was right when he said that the American elite discriminate against white Christians.  Adding “rural” and “poor” to white Christians, Douthat then blames this discrimination for fomenting the attitudes of many rural whites.  With such scorn from the elite, it’s no wonder that the disenfranchised whites believe, as Douthat writes, “that Barack Obama is a foreign-born Marxist hand-picked by a shadowy liberal cabal, that a Wall Street-Washington axis wants to flood the country with third world immigrants…”

The linchpin of his argument is a conservative blogger’s analysis of a book-length study two Princeton sociologists did last year of the admissions systems of eight elite (read: Ivy) colleges.  According to the blogger, downscale, rural and working class whites needed higher SAT scores and grades to get into these exclusive colleges than minorities.

I could probably write a long chapter in a book on the errors in reasoning and outright deceptions that Douthat employs in this one Op/Ed piece.  Here’s a few “quick hits”:

  • Eight schools do not the ruling elite make.  Douthat uses these eight schools to represent the entire ruling class, much as some sports reporters once liked to use Roger Clemens and Rafael Palmiero to represent all major league baseball players.
  • Douthat keeps harping on the need for elite institutions to admit more rural students set to become farmers (to keep them from becoming gun-toting paranoids, he seems to suggest), but don’t these kids go to agricultural colleges?  Before pointing the finger Ross, check out the website or viewbook!  There are no agricultural departments at the eight elite schools of the survey.  Douthat should take a look at the “public Ivies” and see how many rural kids are going to their elite and rigorous ag schools like UC-Davis, Wisconsin and Washington (and others).
  • Douthat conveniently forgets to mention the studies that show that legacies get a bigger break than either African-Americans or athletes do in college admissions, that is that legacies have on average the lowest grades and SAT scores of any studied group.  A legacy, don’t forget, is someone who gets admitted because mom and dad and maybe granddad and greatgramps went to the college in question and have been giving it a lot of money for a long time.  Why doesn’t Douthat rail about the many places taken from deserving poor whites and given to legacies at Harvard and Princeton (and others) each year?

Why would the failure of elite schools to admit enough of the cream of the crop of the rural and working class white nation turn the larger population of all poor and rural whites against minorities and immigrants?  Elite educational institutions have always educated and been a special interest of the ruling wealthy elites, who have always been and remain to this day overwhelmingly white.  I think poor whites and rural whites know these facts.  Follow me carefully here: I didn’t accuse poor whites of racist views, Douthat did and excused them as well because not enough of them get into elite colleges.  The reasoning doesn’t stand up, since not getting into elite colleges for whatever reason, should turn poor whites against rich whites and not poor blacks.  That is, of course, until Douthat and his brethren get in the way and help these people connect their outrage to minorities and immigrants.

opedge
8 comments on “Ross Douthat blames racist views of some rural whites on the admissions practices of eight elite colleges.
  1. Calta says:

    Hi, this is a very interesting blog page and ive enjoyed reading many of the articles and posts contained on the website, keep up the good work and hope to read some more interesting content in the future.

  2. Jocuri says:

    I’d like to say that you always offer valid information and I have been an fascinated reader of your site for quite some time. I wanted to say thankyou really 🙂 for all the good work you do!

  3. kendra wilkinson says:

    I typically don’t leave observations on blogs but you have some good information material.

  4. Tiffany says:

    what a brilliant guide, although there’s couple ideas which I would possibly not completely go along, still your thoughts are really most definitely extraordinary.

  5. Gregory Despain says:

    Delighted i discovered , this excellent website, will be sure to bookmark it so i can drop by frequently.

  6. HGC says:

    That is very interesting. It gave me a few ideas and I’ll be writing them on my blog soon. I’m bookmarking your website and I’ll be back again. Thank you again!

  7. HCG says:

    That is pretty helpful. It presented me a number of ideas and I’ll be posting them on my web site shortly. I’m bookmarking your website and I’ll be back. Thanks again!

  8. Modesto Beuerle says:

    Just read your post. I kind of support your views though there are two to three points which I don’t think I would agree with what you have said. The best part of it is the way you have written the stuffs. The language was easy to follow and your style was appealing. English is my second language and you have done a good job avoiding jargons and difficult phrases. Keep on writing more posts. PS: I have already subscribed to your blog’s RSS feed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

AlphaOmega Captcha Classica  –  Enter Security Code
     
 

*

four × five =