Asian Americans Must Reject Being Used as a Wedge by Those Who Oppose Affirmative Action

aaaj-notyourwedge

Last Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for over an hour with regards to Fisher II, the second hearing of the anti-affirmative action case that centers around the plight of Abigail Fisher, a White woman who applied for admission to the University of Texas in 2008, and was rejected. (Incidentally, I am a co-signer of an amicus brief submitted to the Court in Fisher II in support of race-conscious affirmative action.)

The University of Texas employs a so-called “Top Ten Percent Plan”, wherein the school automatically admits students from each of the state’s high schools who score within the top ten percent of their graduating class. The remainder of available slots are filled through a holistic review process that includes race as one of several characteristics used to assess applicants. Fisher — whose high school grades were insufficient to yield her automatic acceptance to the University of Texas — contends that she was rejected under holistic review because she is White and therefore that the University of Texas violated her 14th Amendment rights. However, independent review of her application and the characteristics of other applicants in 2008 demonstrate that Fisher’s application package was weak in comparison to others in her year, and that her rejection likely had nothing to do with the colour of her skin.

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Reappropriate Joins AANHPI Organizations in Filing as SCOTUS Amici for Affirmative Action | #Edu4All

aaaj-notyourwedge

Three national Asian American, Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander civil rights organizations filed separate amicus briefs today in support of affirmative action; the briefs were filed in relation to the upcoming Fisher v. University of Texas case scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court on December 9th.

In addition to briefs filed by the Asian American Legal Defense Fund (AALDEF) and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the brief filed by Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ) was signed by over 160 national AANHPI groups and individuals, including by this blog. Other signatories hail from all parts of the AANHPI diaspora, in terms of ethnicity, gender and group focus.

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Office of Civil Rights: No Evidence of Anti-Asian Discrimination in Princeton Admissions

Nassau Hall, oldest building on Princeton campus, 1754, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA
Nassau Hall, oldest building on Princeton campus, 1754, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA

The US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has concluded an investigation into admissions practices at Princeton University. The Office reports that it has found no evidence  that the school discriminates against Asian American applicants.

The investigation was initiated by a complaint filed in 2006 by an Asian American applicant who contends that he was rejected from the school on the basis of his race. Jian Li asserted in 2006 that Princeton holds Asian American applicants “to a higher standard” than other applicants.

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Affirmative Action in China and the US: Introduction | #ReappropriateReads

Just some light poolside reading...
Just some light poolside reading…

About six months ago, I was reading Frank Wu’s Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White, and I commented to Snoopy that it was interesting to read the book as an adult versus when I first picked it up as a college student. This led to a conversation about the growth of AAPI scholarship and literature, so little of which enters into mainstream discourse.

Snoopy made an interesting suggestion. He recalled when acclaimed columnist Ta-Nehisi Coates encouraged his readers to join him in a shared reading of Michelle Alexander’s “New Jim Crow”. Every week, Coates read one chapter and wrote a short reflection. In the series (tongue-in-cheek dubbed “Books for the Horde”), readers were invited to read the book with him and engage in debate and criticism of the book in the comments.

This proved to be a fantastic way to engage readers in central ideas of racial and restorative justice. Snoopy suggested that maybe Reappropriate could do something like that, too.

Sounded like a lot of work to me.

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Dept. of Education Dismisses Complaint Filed Against Harvard By anti-Affirmative Action Asian American Groups

harvard

In a completely unsurprising turn of events, the Department of Education yesterday dismissed an administrative complaint filed in May against Harvard University by 60+ Asian American anti-affirmative action activists. The complaint alleged that Harvard University discriminates against Asian American applicants in their race-conscious affirmative action admissions policies but little information was provided to bolster these claims.

The Department of Education announced yesterday that the complaint was rejected because it was too similar in content to a pending federal lawsuit, which had been filed late last year by conservative anti-affirmative action lobbyist Edward Blum.

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