Discrimination in the Colleges Dies Hard:
Progress Report on an American Sore Spot
Most American Jews continue to react to discrimination in the universities with a sense of outraged hurt and despair—a reaction that some observers find excessive. Objectively, the American Jewish community is, as of 1950, more prosperous and more secure than in decades past. Yet the very thought of the quota system in the colleges seems to shake the community to its very roots. It is as if this situation symbolized a kind of rejection at the hands of America.
Need one really wonder at this—when one considers what higher education means to all Americans, and perhaps especially to American Jews? The early Jewish immigrants used to refer to America as the “golden land.” The core of hope in this phrase still survived even after the phrase itself had taken on an irony bred by the poverty and struggle of the slum. There was always the prospect that “the children” would be able to “get ahead” by “getting an education.” Between the slum and the golden vista there stretched the educational ladder.
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