Friday, 7 October 2005

The birth of racial quotas

Racial quotas didn't just appear recently. As Malcolm Gladwell explains in the New Yorker, they've been with us for years -- at Harvard University for instance the movement started back in the twenties when Jews began to take over the campus, and Harvard's Wasps began to fear being outnumbered, poor lambs:
The enrollment of Jews began to rise dramatically. By 1922, they made up more than a fifth of Harvard’s freshman class. The administration and alumni were up in arms. Jews were thought to be sickly and grasping, grade-grubbing and insular. They displaced the sons of wealthy Wasp alumni, which did not bode well for fund-raising. A. Lawrence Lowell, Harvard’s president in the nineteen-twenties, stated flatly that too many Jews would destroy the school: “The summer hotel that is ruined by admitting Jews meets its fate . . . because they drive away the Gentiles, and then after the Gentiles have left, they leave also.”
Harvard fought back, not with quotas initially, but by requesting 'character references' and the details of an applicant's private life. Princeton and other unis followed... Read on here.
[Hat tip Stephen Hicks]
Categories: ,


  1. And now it appeArs there are racial quotas in a Labour cabinet. Bloody lucky we aren't going to get that Chinese crook as well.

  2. Having diversity in political parties is nothing new, I don't think Labour is any more or less diverse than any other party (unless we're talking about the likes of The Maori Party or The National Front).

    There have been racial quotas in parliament for years however; the maori seats


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.