Apple, other tech firms back Harvard in legal battle over race in admissions

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2020
Apple is one of more than a dozen companies backing Harvard University in a fierce legal battle concerning race in college admissions.




In 2014, Edward Blum, a staunch opponent of affirmative action, levied a lawsuit against Harvard arguing that the school was breaking the law by engaging in "racial balancing." A court ruled against Blum's original complaint, which alleged that Harvard was favoring African American and Latino applicants, in 2019. Blum, as a result, has filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston.

On May 21, Apple, along with companies like Intel, Twitter and Amgen, backed Harvard by signing onto a friend of the court brief, reports Bloomberg. In the brief, the companies took no official stance on Harvard's policy, but maintained that they depend on diverse student bodies among colleges in their search for "the next superb employee."

In lieu of "workable race-neutral alternatives," the companies wrote, affirmative action was still the best possible option.

"As the Supreme Court recognized nearly twenty years ago, the skills needed in today's increasingly global marketplace can only be developed through exposure to widely diverse people,'" the brief reads, citing a landmark 2003 decision by the Supreme Court.

Blum, for his part, said it's "bewildering to witness, yet again, how out-of-step these companies are with the vast majority of Americans."

Apple regularly releases figures on the diversity of its workforce. Apple CEO Tim Cook has also used his personal platform to advocate for diversity.

Like many other tech companies, Apple's top ranks are occupied by white males. Corporate diversity and inclusion initiatives appear to be slowly changing Apple's workforce composition, the company's latest diversity report shows.

"Talent is everywhere," the companies wrote in the brief. "It is not located exclusively in any one particular corner of humanity."

If the complaint is defeated yet again, Blum is almost certain to seek a review by the U.S. Supreme Court.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 59
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    The Supreme Court has already ruled against these unconstitutional attempts at “balancing” things by reverse-discrimination.
    cat52mobirdapple ][anantksundaramred oakbluefire1JanNLmarklarkwilliamlondon
  • Reply 2 of 59
    cmauscmaus Posts: 49member
    Well, thank you Mr. Blum then!
    cat52williamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 59
    So Harvard is getting in trouble for keeping Asians out, and also getting in trouble for making it easier for other minority groups to get in? Lol. Apple’s previous diversity head got it right when she said that diversity of thought is more important than diversity of superficial physics features. The reasonable, and practical, way to deal with this is to help make people better candidates, rather than just making it easier to get in. Smart people understand this. Apple understands this, which is why they pledged $40M to HBCUs. It’s also why the president in 2018 pledged a record $360M to HBCUs. Apple is so practical and careful in most everything it does, so it’s disappointing to see them throw their hat into the ring on issues that cause more divisiveness. 
    cat52SpamSandwichanantksundaramred oakbluefire1JanNLmarklarktoysandmemuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 4 of 59
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,249member
    Would be interested to know the makeup of AI readers. 80% white, male?

    Has AI ever done a reader poll?
    cornchiptrashman69toysandmempw_amherstGeorgeBMacdysamoriachemengin1
  • Reply 5 of 59
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    hentaiboy said:
    Would be interested to know the makeup of AI readers. 80% white, male?

    Has AI ever done a reader poll?
    Why does that matter to you? You either come here because you like it or you don’t.
    anantksundaramcat52bluefire1patchythepirateJanNLmarklarknewBelieverwilliamlondon
  • Reply 6 of 59
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    The Supreme Court has already ruled against these unconstitutional attempts at “balancing” things by reverse-discrimination.
     Beyond that Apple should realize that two wrongs don’t make a right.   
    cat52cornchippatchythepiratemarklark
  • Reply 7 of 59
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    I'm not Asian, but I feel bad for them. Getting punished for being too good is anti-American and evil, in my humble opinion.
    anantksundaramcat52cornchipred oakmarklarktoysandmenewBelieverchemengin1
  • Reply 8 of 59
    apple ][ said:
    I'm not Asian, but I feel bad for them. Getting punished for being too good is anti-American and evil, in my humble opinion.
    Them? 
  • Reply 9 of 59
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,337member
    Will Tim (and much of his senior management) offer to step aside — should they — for underrepresented minority candidates? In fact, will — should — they petition Apple’s board to do so?

    If not, why not?
    cat52cornchipwilliamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 59
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,337member
    apple ][ said:
    I'm not Asian, but I feel bad for them. Getting punished for being too good is anti-American and evil, in my humble opinion.
    Them? 
    How would you have phrased it? And, why?

    (FWIW, I am “Asian”). 
    cat52cornchipnewBelieverchemengin1beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 11 of 59
    ouraganouragan Posts: 437member
    In 2014, Edward Blum, a staunch opponent of affirmative action, levied a lawsuit against Harvard arguing that the school was breaking the law by engaging in "racial balancing."

    A court ruled against Blum's original complaint, which alleged that Harvard was favoring African American and Latino applicants, in 2019. Blum, as a result, has filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston. If the complaint is defeated yet again, Blum is almost certain to seek a review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    The problem with Edward Blum's position is his own sense of entitlement and how his perception of reality is unreal. But, maybe, he is only seeking publicity or a validation of his own views.

    As everyone knows, most people never attend Harvard University. And many who are definitely intelligent do not shine as students in their youth. But, as with everything, time and life separate success and happiness from failure and false ideas.

    Personally speaking, I see nothing wrong with Harvard accepting 15 % or even 20 % of students who would not qualify based only on their grades or the wealth of their parents. I am a proud graduate from a university where everyone had a chance to get admitted, but had to prove their true value on Christmas and final exams in April. Over time, I became more serious and a better student. Eventually, I was even the best student of the class. Ambition is what set me apart, not a sense of entitlement.
  • Reply 12 of 59
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,903member
    I presume this fellow has pretty damning evidence that backs his claim?
  • Reply 13 of 59
    Will Tim (and much of his senior management) offer to step aside — should they — for underrepresented minority candidates? In fact, will — should — they petition Apple’s board to do so?

    If not, why not?
    Tim Cook is and under represented minority. 
  • Reply 14 of 59
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 1,217member
    I want to thank the Moderator for refraining from not allowing comments about this article.
    edited June 2020 patchythepirateanantksundarammarklarktoysandme
  • Reply 15 of 59
    Diversity for the sake of being diverse misses the point.  It’s a check box for PR.  I’ve got no qualms with anybody, I see no races, rather there is one race, the human race.  Shooting for diversity and ruling out certain candidates just to achieve certain numbers is discriminatory.  Hire people who can do the job or learn on the job, plain and simple.  Accept the students who are driven to learn and want a good education.

    The one exemption I’d give to this is religious organizations... it doesn’t make sense to hire someone who doesn’t align with their beliefs.
    cat52marklarknewBeliever
  • Reply 16 of 59
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,337member
    Will Tim (and much of his senior management) offer to step aside — should they — for underrepresented minority candidates? In fact, will — should — they petition Apple’s board to do so?

    If not, why not?
    Tim Cook is and under represented minority. 
    Read up on what the Harvard admissions lawsuit by SFA is all about, before making flippant (and frankly, irrelevant) comments.

    Also, independently of that, you have no data to back up your assertion. If you do, please provide it, with a cite/source.
    chemengin1
  • Reply 17 of 59
    Will Tim (and much of his senior management) offer to step aside — should they — for underrepresented minority candidates? In fact, will — should — they petition Apple’s board to do so?

    If not, why not?
    Tim Cook is and under represented minority. 
    Read up on what the Harvard admissions lawsuit by SFA is all about, before making flippant (and frankly, irrelevant) comments.

    Also, independently of that, you have no data to back up your assertion. If you do, please provide it, with a cite/source.
    I am well aware of lawsuit. How is my comment irrelevant, you are the person that brought up that Tim Cook should offer to step and make room for an underrepresented minority. I was responding directly to what you said, that hardly irrelevant. It also wasn’t flippant. It was a statement of fact.  You were trying to take a cheap shot at Tim Cook and it belly flopped.

    Anyway, Tim Cook is a gay man which makes him an underrepresented minority. I thought that fact was pretty well know but if you need a source, here is where he came out:
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-10-30/tim-cook-speaks-up
    edited June 2020
  • Reply 18 of 59
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,485administrator
    bluefire1 said:
    I want to thank the Moderator for refraining from not allowing comments about this article.
    It has not gone without moderation.

    After a bad winter and spring, we are again attempting to move the line to a more relaxed stance on what gets blocked from the start. This will require forum-goer cooperation.
    edited June 2020 bluefire1beeble42
  • Reply 19 of 59
    The Supreme Court has already ruled against these unconstitutional attempts at “balancing” things by reverse-discrimination.
    I assume this is in reference to Fisher v University of Texas 1 and Fisher v University of Texas 2. In 1 the SCOTUS vacated the lower court ruling as they didn’t feel strict enough scrutiny was applied to the University of Texas policy. Which is to say that race conscious admissions were legal but need to be scrutinized to ensure that they don’t violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. In Fisher v UT the SCOTUS ruled that the University of Texas admissions policy didn’t in fact violate the U.S Constitution. So the claim by SpamSandwich is inaccurate. 

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/24/us/politics/supreme-court-affirmative-action-university-of-texas.html
    edited June 2020
  • Reply 20 of 59
    Diversity for the sake of being diverse misses the point.  It’s a check box for PR.  I’ve got no qualms with anybody, I see no races, rather there is one race, the human race.  Shooting for diversity and ruling out certain candidates just to achieve certain numbers is discriminatory.  Hire people who can do the job or learn on the job, plain and simple.  Accept the students who are driven to learn and want a good education.

    The one exemption I’d give to this is religious organizations... it doesn’t make sense to hire someone who doesn’t align with their beliefs.
    What you are describing “achieving certain numbers” is not what universities are doing when they apply race to admissions. Simply having quotes and filling them is unconstitutional. I think your comment underscores one of the challenges in talking about diversity there is a fundamental misunderstanding of what it is all about. 

    Saying you see no race is well meaning for sure but fundamentally problematic. I am going to speak to the Unites States as that is where I live. Growing up Black, Latinx, Asian, white ... are all very different experiences that help shape a person’s identity. Saying you don’t see someone’s race is essentially removing part of their identity. It more or less assumes your experience is “normal” and applying it to others. 
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