Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Jews Were The 1950s Asians

 “A Matter Requiring the Utmost Discretion” 


An extensive investigation uncovered two key findings. First, we discovered evidence of actions taken to suppress the number of Jewish students admitted to Stanford during the early 1950s. Second, we found that members of the Stanford administration regularly misled parents and friends of applicants, alumni, outside investigators, and trustees who raised concerns about those actions throughout the 1950s and 1960s. 

Early in 1953, Stanford’s Director of Admissions, Rixford Snyder, raised concerns about the number of Jewish students at Stanford to Frederic Glover, the assistant to Stanford President Wallace Sterling. Glover conveyed his account of the conversation and of Snyder’s desire “to disregard our stated policy of paying no attention to the race or religion of applicants” in a memo to Sterling. Glover supported Snyder’s intentions. In the memo, Glover specified that Snyder was concerned about two Southern California high schools that he knew to have significant numbers of Jewish students: Beverly Hills High School and Fairfax High School. 

We do not know whether Snyder also took action against any other schools or students who identified themselves as Jewish on their applications, regardless of their high school. But we found a sharp drop in enrollments from these two schools in the class that started Stanford in the fall of 1953. No other schools experienced such a sharp reduction in students enrolling at Stanford at that time.

I cannot claim any surprise.  Jews went from a hated minority to WASP-adjacent during this period, sending unfair swarms of smart and capable kids to college, doubtless to the detriment of WASPs and the small number of black, Hispanic, and Asian kids who were applying to Stanford in the 1950s.

No society can afford to exclude its best and brightest from elite institutions for ethnic and racial prejudices.  This was true then and true now. 

1 comment:

  1. Quite a few years ago, I was doing some IT work for a chap named Epstein, and we did some of the work out of his house, so I met his wife. We were chatting, and she remarked that her high-school age children were being run ragged by competition from south Asian kids. I replied, "So now you know how the anglos felt when the Jews showed up."