I wanted to share a letter that I received recently from George Shen, a business consultant in the Greater Boston area and the father of three boys. Shen, a first-generation American who is concerned about how Asian Americans are treated in the admission process by elite schools, has formed a Facebook page entitled Asian Americans Against Affirmative Action.
If you are interested in the subject of affirmative action in colleges, I’d recommend that you visit Shen’s Facebook page.
This is a topic that you will be hearing a lot about this year because the U.S. Supreme Court will releasing its opinion in the coming moths on the legitimacy of affirmative action in colleges and universities. The case involves a spurned white applicant and the University of Texas, Austin.
I think it’s quite likely that the Supreme Court, which has a 5-4 conservative bias, will strike down affirmative action. I happen to believe that the concern over affirmative action is way overblown. The percentage of students who benefit from affirmative action at the college level is miniscule. The students who benefit the most from common admission policies are rich students through legacy admits (I wish the court would rule against that practice) and through this hidden and common practice that is illustrated by this article in The New York Times.
If affirmative action is declared illegal, I think it is imperative that schools switch to a class-based admission policy. Students at the lower economic rungs of society should receive preferences from the elite schools, which are essentially the only ones that practice affirmative action. Switching to a class-based affirmative action will eliminate rich students of color who gain entry to schools through this method, which I’ve always thought was unfair.
I haven’t written much about this topic on my blog, but I do devote a couple of chapters to this issue in my book, The College Solution. If you have any thoughts on this explosive topic, please share below!
Open Letter – A Call to End Racial Preference in College and University Admissions
Here is what George Shen wrote:
I am writing to you regarding the serious violation of equal protection, injustice, and discrimination inflicted by racial preference policies, in particular affirmative action in college admissions, which almost every college-bound Asian American student is confronted with today. They need your help.
America is poised to become a majority-minority nation. In fact, several states have crossed that line. Based on the current demographic shift shown in Census data, by 2043 or sooner, it’s projected the whole country will become a majority-minority nation. Furthermore, the changing national demographics helped President Obama win two elections. Nobody could argue that President Obama’s 2008 win is an anomaly. Today, not only do minorities hold key positions in all 3 branches of the Federal government but also many of them are successful leaders in business, sports, academia, and news media. The critical mass is reached.
As minorities gain in population and political power nationally, racial preferences given to particular groups are likely to come under fire and scrutiny from public opinions and the judicial courts, if not already. Increasingly, racial preference affirmative action is an inadequate tool against inequality and in fact is now causing more injustice and inequality problems than it is intended to solve. Can you imagine a race-based preference for Asian athletes in the NBA or the NFL? (See article “What If the NBA Had Quotas”)
Universities and Racial Preferences
It is unfortunate that many American universities and colleges, including prestigious private and public institutions that educate our future leaders, are doing exactly that – secretly and illegally practicing social engineering using racial preference, quota, or race-based point system in their admission process. The evidence of these widespread practices and the discrimination against Asian American students is overwhelming and has been extensively documented.
Historical college admission data and comparative statistical analyses clearly show that discrimination against Asian American students is systematic and institutionalized in most Ivy League universities, including Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, as well as many public universities, including Univ. of Texas, Univ. of Michigan, Univ. of Oklahoma, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, Univ. of Nebraska, Univ. of Arizona, Arizona State Univ., Miami Univ., and Ohio State Univ. As a result, numerous la
lawsuits and complaints were filed against many of these universities by students of several races in the past decades.
College and university admission process is complex and multifaceted. And nobody doubts there are many criteria to assess a student’s aptitude, capabilities, and characters across many dimensions, such as academic merits, socioeconomic status, community service, personal drive and aspiration, citizenship, etc. But, in this day and age, we should not believe that race is one. A student’s race has nothing to do with his or her qualifications. Race conscious affirmative action is nothing but a form of racial discrimination and self-righteous social engineering.
A Faceboook Community
Inspired by a powerful research paper (See article “The Myth of American Meritocracy”), and at the same time, disappointed by the silence of many rights groups and the lack of voice in Asian American community concerning the hardship and discrimination faced by many Asian American students, I started a virtual community on Facebook – Asian Americans Against Affirmative Action (AAAAA).
AAAAA intends to promote racial equality and social justice through equal access, personal responsibilities, and colorblind or race-neutral policies. AAAAA is against race-based admission policy which is now widely adopted in many higher institutions.
The AAAAA Facebook page has a wealth of information on the topic of affirmative action including an exhaustive collection of historic events, important court cases, interviews of intellectuals, reviews, debates, articles by subject matter experts, books by prominent scholars, reports, commentaries, op-eds, and many links to blogs, videos. I hope you find it resourceful and informative.
If you don’t want to live a society where our children are afraid of telling their race or ethnicity to colleges, if you don’t want to live in a society where racial preference is given to one group or groups over others, if you don’t want to live in a society where our nation’s most prestigious universities consciously social-engineer our future, then race-based affirmative action must be defeated and outlawed by the highest court and by every state.
In fact, 7 states – Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Washington – have banned racial preferences in college admissions.
We invite people of all races, not just Asian Americans, to join the fight for racial equality and justice. Together, we can raise the public awareness, influence policy makers, and work towards abolishing the race-based affirmative action policy once and for all.