Spurred by a complaint lodged by conservative anti-affirmative action Asian American groups, the Department of Justice launched an investigation into Harvard’s admissions practices earlier this year and is now threatening to sue the university if they do not turn over admissions records containing the potentially sensitive private information of students and applicants by December 1st.
Yesterday, guest writer Felix Huang (@Brkn_Yllw_Lns) wrote an incredible essay for this blog suggesting that in talking to Chinese American opponents of affirmative action, we must reframe the conversation away from self-interest and towards collective morality.
This seems a timely observation since something else also happened yesterday: the Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE) — which describes itself as “the proven leader in fighting for Asian-American children’s equal education rights” — announced that it has filed a third complaint against Ivy League universities alleging that the schools’ use of holistic review during college admissions discriminates against Asian American applicants.
Describing the complaint lodged with the Office of Civil Rights at the US Department of Education at the beginning of August, AACE alleged that Cornell University and Columbia University had discriminated against applicant Hubert Zhao when they did not offer him an acceptance to their schools this past spring. The complaint speculates that Zhao was either the victim of racial discrimination, or of political retaliation; Hubert also happens to be the son of AACE president, YuKong Zhao.
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.
In the wake of last weekend’s emailed death threats that appeared to target Harvard’s AAPI female population, several of Harvard’s AAPI women are now speaking out. In a powerful statement published in Manifesta Magazine, a Harvard-based feminist magazine, the AAPI women of Harvard decry the racism and misogyny of the weekend’s email threats as well as the university’s response.
Late last Friday, over three hundred Harvard students — most of them AAPI women — received a bizarre, profanity-laden email threatening that the email recipients would be shot on-campus on Saturday at 11 o’clock. The emails identified the sender as Stephanie Nguyen, and arrived first from a hotmail.de account registered to an Eduardo Nguyen; a second batch of emails containing identical text as the first email were sent minutes later from a Gmail account registered to a user named Huy Dinh.
Harvard University police heightened on-campus security, and FBI were called in to investigate; officials later announced that they did not consider the email a “credible threat” and believe that it originated overseas.
New details are now emerging that are rendering this case as bizarre as it is chilling.