From Jay Nordlinger’s mailbag

This morning Jay Nordlinger’s National Review Online column Impromptus has several excellent messages from readers who have confronted the requirement that we sort ourselves by race. Here’s my favorite, but they’re all good:
“Dear Mr. Nordlinger: Greetings from a fellow Michigander! The University of Michigan recently rejected me. I had applied to their masters program in economics. It’s hard for me to believe that race had nothing to do with it. As far as grades, GRE scores, and the like were concerned, I had a top-rate application.
“After filling out my application, I looked over it in a manner I’d imagine an admissions officer would. Two things stood out as possible drawbacks. I’m white (and Jewish), for one, and my bachelor’s degree is from a small conservative college (private). There was nothing I could do about where I went to school, but I lingered for a while over the ‘race’ portion of the application. I truly did not want to fill it out. I thought about leaving it blank but ended up filling it in, disgusted with myself for doing so. I truly feel is it is something people should not be allowed to ask. I am resolved never to answer that question again (in the manner they expect).
“From now on, I’m checking Other, and in the line that asks me to specify, I’m putting ‘American.’ And I couldn’t be prouder of my new ‘race,’ and all we’ve accomplished in our history.”
Jay replies: “Congratulations on your new race, sir!”


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