Some of the comments we have seen on the Internet and in other media have suggested that by publishing this article, Maclean’s views Canadian universities as “Too Asian,” or that we hold a negative view of Asian students.
Nothing could be further from the truth. As our story relates, the phrase “Too Asian?” is a direct quote from the title of a panel discussion at the 2006 meeting of the National Association for College Admission Counseling where experts examined the growing tendency among U.S. university admission officers to view Asian applicants as a homogenous group. The evidence suggests some of the most prestigious schools in the U.S. have abandoned merit as the basis for admission for more racially significant—and racist—criteria.
We find the trend toward race-based admission policies in some American schools deplorable, as do many of our readers. Our article notes that Canadian universities select students regardless of race or creed. That, in our view, is the best and only acceptable approach: merit should be the sole criteria for entrance to higher education in Canada, and universities should always give preference to our best and brightest regardless of cultural background. This position was stated clearly in the article: “Canadian institutions operate as pure meritocracies when it comes to admissions, and admirably so,” reporters Findlay and Köhler wrote.
In the new editorial, what is happening in American schools is “deplorable” and meritocracy is an unequivocally good thing (“best and only acceptable approach”). In the original article, Canadians were encouraged to look to the United States for a more open debate on how on the issue of the racial composition of universities. More importantly, the original article does not celebrate meritocracy as an unequivocal good. Rather, it states that meritocracy is causing a “dilemma”, that with the increasing enrolment of Asian-Canadian kids in “universities risk becoming too skewed one way.”
[M]eritocracy is also something fuckwad conservative racists use to justify injustices and differential treatment of folks who are marginalized and oppressed.
How can I say that about meritocracy? How can I spout off like that, having just said that saying something doesn’t make it true?
Well, I can say it because a cursory look at the most basic statistics by demographics reveal that Canada is a deeply white-supremacist and male-supremacist culture. The higher earners are whiter and whiter, demographically, and the lower earners are darker, browner and blacker and more likely to be immigrants. As income earners, men out-rank women across every class category and across every racial group.
The explanation is NOT that the white folks are richer and better off because they worked hard and yadda yadda.
Here is the last (excellent) babble thread on the subject, and, in the interests of full disclosure, here is a defence (sort of) of the Macleans article unfortunately published by rabble. (Of course, rabble also published some excellent critiques of Maclean's piece of piss, like Sarah Ghabrial's here and Soma Chatterjee, Louise Tam and Adriana Berlingieri's collaborative response here.)
There are public forums going up in unversities across Canada. Their message? Up yours, Macleans.