Updated list of #AAPI groups & writing in support of affirmative action | #IAmNotYourWedge

November 20, 2014

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With Monday’s news of two lawsuits filed by a conservative anti-affirmative action activist Edward Blum hoping to challenge affirmative action policies by framing the debate around purported anti-Asian bias in selective universities’ admissions policies, the AAPI community has been once again thrust into the spotlight in the national affirmative action debate. Opponents of affirmative action suggest that these latest legal efforts are on behalf of the AAPI community. They suggest that most AAPIs are against race-conscious affirmative action, yet several studies reveal that more than 65% of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders support affirmative action, both in professional and academic settings.

It’s important that we accurately represent the political opinions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders by rendering our support for affirmative action visible.

Earlier this year, I aggregated a list of AAPI groups and writing in support of affirmative action in relation to the SCA5 debate in California. I have replicated and modified that list in this post, and will update it over the next several months with additional writing from around the internet.

Please feel free to link to this post as a resource regarding the attitudes of AAPI on affirmative action in the upcoming national debate on this issue. The abundance of this writing demonstrate clearly that while affirmative action is a polarizing topic within the AAPI community, there is strong and vocal support for race-conscious affirmative action in our community that deserves visibility.

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Rep. Ami Bera wins re-election, sets new record for #AAPI in Congress

November 20, 2014
Representative Ami Bera lost his re-election campaign last night.
Despite trailing his opponent after polls cast on Election Day were tallied, Representative Ami Bera won his re-election campaign after thousands of provisional ballots were hand-counted in the two weeks following Election Eve.

Yep, my Midterm Elections wrap-up post was wrong on Bera’s race. Bera, who was running for re-election while holding what some analysts called one of the most vulnerable seats for Democrats nationwide, ended November 4th trailing his Republican challenger Doug Ose by a razor-thin margin of about 3000 votes.

However, in the two weeks since Election eve, thousands of provisional ballots were hand-counted, and as those votes were added to the tally, the margin between the two candidates narrowed and eventually Bera took the lead. By yesterday, Bera’s vote count surpassed Ose by 1432 votes, a difference that the Associated Press concluded was too wide for Ose to overcome with the remaining 4300 provisional ballots still uncounted. With that news, Doug Ose issued a written statement to the Bera campaign conceding the race.

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#IAmNotYourWedge: Lawsuits against Harvard & UNC assert anti-Asian discrimination in admissions

November 19, 2014
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Edward Blum, the mastermind behind Monday’s newest anti-affirmative action lawsuits, claims his latest campaign was not intended to target and exploit Asian Americans. His Harvard-focused website begs to differ.

On Monday, a newly formed group called Students for Fair Admissions which was created by Edward Blum — a Republican on a one-man mission to end affirmative action in university admissions, and the man behind the Fisher case – filed two new lawsuits against two of the nation’s elite universities. The lawsuits come after over a year of Edward Blum canvassing for “just the right Asian”: rejected applicants to Harvard, Univeristy of North Carolina – Chapel Hill (UNC) and University of Wisconsin-Madison. Blum was looking for Asian Americans willing to become the new Abigail Fisher: someone willing to be exploited as the next public face of the affirmative action debate. The screen-caps in this post are from those microsites and make clear Blum’s racialized intent in making that new face an Asian American one.

Blum’s lawsuits, filed on behalf of an Asian and a White plaintiff respectively, assert that Harvard and the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill employ discriminatory admissions practices in their affirmative action policies; in contrast to the Fisher case, these two suits argue that affirmative action policies constitute discrimination against both Asian American and White applicants.

The suit against Harvard University involves an Asian American applicant who presumably filled out the form above. The suit describes the applicant as having scored highly in GPA and standardized test scores, but was denied admission to Harvard. The suit then alleges that the reason for the student’s failure to receive admittance was because Harvard treats race as “a defining feature of [an] application”, which is not permitted under Supreme Court rulings.

Yet, the evidence for this assertion appears scant.

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Suspect arrested and charged with murder in Sunday’s NYC subway shoving death

November 19, 2014
Kevin Darden, 34, was arrested yesterday and charged with murder in the Sunday morning killing of 61-year-old Wai Kuen Kwok.
Kevin Darden, 34, was arrested yesterday and charged with murder in the Sunday morning killing of 61-year-old Wai Kuen Kwok.

A man suspected of pushing 61-year-old Wai Kuen Kwok onto the subway tracks to his death in the Bronx on Sunday has been identified, arrested, and charged with murder. Just hours after a second surveillance footage video of the suspect shot from inside a Bronx area bodega was released to the public, 34-year-old Kevin Darden was arrested near his mother’s home in the Bronx.

Witnesses say a man matching the description of the suspect was seen leaving the 167th street subway station minutes after Kwok’s death to board a Bx35 bus. Police subsequently identified Darden as a person of interest based on his connection to a November 6th shoving incident at the West 4th subway station where another man, also Asian, was pushed to the subway platform; based on the similarities of the crime and the suspects’ physical descriptions, police privately began a search for Darden under suspicion that he might also be responsible for Sunday’s murder.

In the earlier incident, the victim says he was shoved from behind by Darden, who said, “you shouldn’t walk in front of me… I’m warning you.” Prior to Sunday morning, no probable cause existed to arrest Darden for the November 6th incident.

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Julien Blanc is really, really sorry… that we didn’t get the joke | #TakeDownJulienBlanc

November 17, 2014

On CNN’s New Day, host Chris Cuomo interviewed the most hated man in the world, Julien Blanc.

Cuomo’s barely contained disgust at Blanc and pick-up artistry is, itself, kind of an amazing thing to behold; at one point, he actually calls pick-up artistry “some pathetic man’s group” (which is just telling it like it is, to be honest). Halfway through the interview, Cuomo appears to just give up and start flipping through his notes — as if he can’t even stand to look at Blanc anymore.

Meanwhile, Blanc offers one of his first public apologies since #TakeDownJulienBlanc took the world by storm. He’s “really, really sorry for everything that happened”, apparently — except that, Blanc still thinks it was all “a poor attempt at humour”.

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