Tag Archives: Affirmative Action

The unintended consequences of racial preferences

image from American Civil Rights Institute

… what if many of the minorities used in this process[Affirmative Action] are injured by it? 

In six devastating words, the Heriot-Kirsanow-Gaziano brief distills the case against the “diversity” rationale for racial preferences: “Minority students are not public utilities.”

Now, it seems, that Affirmative Action action hurts the very minorities that it was created to assist. And not just Asian Americans, who have been hurt by racial quotas at top colleges and universities that served as an invisible “upper quota” keeping qualified applicants OUT based on race alone. So it seemed the beef with Affirmative Action was limited to Asian Americans and only with regard to college admissions. And we were unwilling to fight the good fight. But not anymore. Will the rules change if African-Americans are affected negatively by Affirmative Action? There’s change in the air … and it’s just a matter of time until this outdated policy gets rewritten for the new millennium.

And for the record, the policy should be based on socio-economics and not on race. Race is outdated, people. Let’s get with the program.

Here are some quotes from the article:

  • The Supreme Court faces a discomfiting decision. If it chooses, as it should, to hear a case concerning racial preferences in admissions at the University of Texas, the court will confront evidence of its complicity in harming the supposed beneficiaries of preferences the court has enabled and encouraged.
  • … institutions of higher education have a First Amendment right — academic freedom — to use race as one “plus” factor when shaping student bodies to achieve viewpoint diversity. Thus began the “educational benefits” exception to the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws.
  • Liberals would never stoop to stereotyping, but they say minorities necessarily make distinctive — stereotypical? — contributions to viewpoint diversity, conferring benefits on campus culture forever.
  • In 2003, when the court ruled on two cases arising from University of Michigan undergraduate and law school racial-preference policies, the court contributed more confusion than clarity. It struck down the undergraduate policies as too mechanistic in emphasizing race but upheld the law school’s pursuit of educational benefits from a “critical mass” of certain approved minorities.
  • Sander and Taylor report: “Research suggests a similar pattern nationally; scholars have found that the use of large racial preferences by elite colleges has the effect of reducing diversity at second-tier schools.”
  • Another study showed that even if eliminating racial preferences in law schools would mean 21 percent fewer black matriculants, there would still be no reduction in the number of blacks who graduate and pass the bar exam.
  • There are fewer minorities entering high-prestige careers than there would be if preferences were not placing many talented minority students in inappropriate, and discouraging, academic situations: “Many would be honor students elsewhere. But they are subtly being made to feel as if they are less talented than they really are.”
  •  … diversity bureaucracies on campuses will continue to use minority students as mere means to other people’s ends, injuring minorities by treating them as ingredients that supposedly enrich the academic experience of others.

The full article bu By George F. Will, published November 30, 2011, is here.

 

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Asian Americans for Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action, Asian, Asians, Asian Americans,There are two sides to every point of view and this is the side of Asian Americans who are in favor of Affirmative Action. Which side are you on? This article is from The Nation. The full article is here. Bullet points below.

Asian Americans for Affirmative Action

The Nation on January 8, 2007 – 5:09 PM ET
  • Sunday’s NYT Education supplement ran a cover story by Timothy Egan about Asian Americans and affirmative action. Focusing on UC Berkeley — where Asians have grown to 41% of the student body since Proposition 209 banned racial preferences in 1997 — Egan observes that the end of affirmative action and the implementation of a “pure meritocracy” in admissions spells hugely disproportionate numbers of Asians at elite colleges and drastic shortages of Hispanics and African Americans. Berkeley, he concludes somewhat ominously, is the future of higher education.
  • Asian Americans comprise roughly 5% of the US population but represent anywhere from 13-40% of undergraduates at many top schools: 27% at MIT, 24% at Stanford, 17% at UT Austin, 13% at Columbia, 37% in the UC system as a whole and so forth. In contrast, only 3.6% of Berkeley’s freshman class are African American and only 11% are Hispanic — way below state population levels.
  • Egan’s right about the numbers, but he misses the mark on many other measures. First, he underplays the differences between “brain drain” Asian Americans and more recent, less affluent, less educated Asian immigrants.
  • Egan cites a 2005 study by Thomas J. Espenshade and Chang Y. Chung that finds that, without affirmative action, Asians (and not whites) would fill the vast majority (80%) of spots reserved for African Americans and Hispanics at elite universities.
  • …despite the possibility that Asian Americans may be the group most “disadvantaged” by affirmative action, they consistently, vigorously and overwhelmingly support it at the polls.
  •  Why do we continue to support a policy that apparently “harms” us? One answer is that it doesn’t, at least not always and not equally. Connerly and his minions — who have anti-affirmative action initiatives brewing in Arizona, Colorado, Missouri and Nebraska — have focused their message almost exclusively on admissions, and not on public employment and state contracts, even though affirmative action applies to those arenas as well, arenas in which Asian Americans are often underrepresented.
  • But racial group interest aside, I have a hunch that Asian Americans support affirmative action because the legacy of discrimination against Asians — from the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to Japanese internment to the crucifixion of Wen Ho Lee to post-9/11 roundups of brown folk — is seared into our collective memory.
  • The last question I’ll raise is: What’s up with white people? If abolishing affirmative action would gain whites little in the admissions game (and then mostly to the ruling class of whites) and if Asian Americans reap most of the benefits of what Egan calls a “pure meritocracy,” then why is it that only white people as a group vote to end affirmative action?
  • If Berkeley is indeed the future of America, then neither maintaining nor abolishing affirmative action will preserve this American future as a white refuge. But keeping (and restoring) affirmative action will provide, however imperfectly, space for not just the yellow, but also for the brown, the red and the black.
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Affirmative Action Policies Strand Asian Americans

Dr. Ed Chin, reverse discrimination, affirmative action, asian americansWhat is your stand on Affirmative Action? Have Asian Americans “outgrown” this supposedly social equalizer? Is this policy outdated? Does this hurt us more than help us? The Supreme Court is set to rule on it so things may change. Dr. Ed Chin, a voice for why Affirmative Action hurts Asian American when applying to colleges makes the case that it hurts us by creating exclusionary quotas. I agree with him. What do you think?

 

Letter: Affirmative action policies strand Asian-Americans

By Dr. Ed Chin   |   June 15, 2000

The biggest injustice in admissions to the elite colleges today is being placed on Asian Americans, not on whites and not on Jews, and most certainly not on non-Asian minorities (i.e., blacks, Latinos and American Indians) who benefit from their race or ethnic background alone. The previous injustice against Jews historically has been, by and large, eliminated by the abolition of their exclusionary quotas after World War II to the elite colleges. They now represent 10 (at Princeton) to 35 (at Penn) percent of each of the eight Ivy League colleges’ and of the other elite colleges’ student populations. Jews represent 2.5 percent of the total United States population.

The whites are the majority who make the policies and the Asian Americans are the ones who pay the biggest price by being excluded by upper limit quotas for past injustices instituted on all minorities by whites.

Asian Americans were also victims of past racist exclusionary policies created by whites and Asian Americans have not asked for redress to this past injustice. Yet, Asian Americans must pay the penalty and bear the “pain” disproportionately as compared to whites for past policies which they have no part in creating, and they are punished simply because some have succeeded in bettering themselves without the advantages of special programs in spite of tremendous odds against them.The only quotas that exist today are the exclusionary (upper limits or caps) quotas for Asian Americans and the inclusionary (preferential treatment based on race or ethnic background alone) quotas for non-Asian minorities.

This exclusionary quota is similar to the one imposed on Jews pre-WWII which was eliminated by these elite colleges and the Ivy League. So, why should this exclusionary quota exist for Asian Americans in our present day and time? This is the result of reverse discrimination.

Of course, whites must bear some of the “pain” to make room for the non-Asian minorities in the zero-sum game of admissions, but not in any way close to the extent that Asian Americans must bear because of the higher admission standards, as compared to the whites’ admission standards, that they have to meet in order to gain entrance to theseschools. Asian Americans are not on a level playing field with whites because of these double standards and they “have to be better” than any other group, including the white majority, to redress past injustices for which they were not responsible and, in many cases, of which they were victims.

This is ironic, totally unfair and, in my opinion, contrary to the laws of this country. This goes against the basic tenets of our Constitution.

We need admissions data from these schools on all the criteria and standards that they use, both academic and non-academic, to judge the admissions process’ fairness. These institutions have been reluctant to open their files to present this information voluntarily until they are faced with legal action from an individual or a class action suit charging them with reverse discrimination-particularly against Asian Americans. This course of action must be seriously considered now, since no one in power, i.e. politicians or university administrators, has addressed this injustice.

Affirmative action based on race alone creates more problems and inequities among the races and ethnic groups than it solves and resolves. If affirmative action policies are to be continued, they should be based on socioeconomic class, not on race alone. These types of policies would transcend all races and groups. Those who would benefit the most would be the non-Asian minorities, but not exclusively, because they are the most represented in the lower economic classes and are truly disadvantaged. Anyone, of any race or group, in the higher economic classes would not and should not gain an advantage.

Dr. Ed Chin

Shorthills, N.J.

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Will Affirmative Action Stand? Supreme Court to Rule.

Supreme Court, Affirmative Action, JadeLuckClub, Jade Luck Club, Thank you to my Mom Friend Nathalie for sending and resending me this link when the first few failed to open. Finally, it seems, the Supreme Court is going to review affirmative action programs in a dance balancing a presidential election year with a politically hot issue. Will limiting o eliminating affirmative action programs benefit Asian Americans who apply to college? Probably not, but it’s a step in the right direction.

For more posts on Why You Shouldn’t Identify as Asian When Applying to College, please go here.

Here is the full article by  By MARK SHERMAN of the Associated Press.

The main points are here:

  • The Supreme Court is setting an election-season review of racial preference in college admissions, agreeing Tuesday to consider new limits on the contentious issue of affirmative action programs.
  • A challenge from a white student who was denied admission to the University of Texas flagship campus will be the high court’s first look at affirmative action in higher education since its 2003 decision endorsing the use of race as a factor.
  • A broad ruling in favor of the student, Abigail Fisher, could threaten affirmative action programs at many of the nation’s public and private universities, said Vanderbilt University law professor Brian Fitzpatrick.
  • Justice Samuel Alito appears more hostile to affirmative action than his predecessor, Sandra Day O’Connor. For another, Justice Elena Kagan, who might be expected to vote with the court’s liberal-leaning justices in support of it, is not taking part in the case.
  • The Texas Legislature adopted the Top Ten Percent law after a federal appeals court ruling essentially barred the use of race in admissions. Texas said its updated policy does not use quotas, which the high court has previously rejected. Instead, it said it takes a Supreme Court-endorsed broader approach to enrollment, with an eye toward increasing the diversity of the student body.
  • Before adding race back into the mix, Texas’ student body was 21 percent African-American and Hispanic, according to court papers.

    By 2007, the year before Fisher filed her lawsuit, African-Americans and Hispanics accounted for more than a quarter of the entering freshman class.

    Fisher’s challenge says the Top Ten Percent law was working to increase diversity and that minority enrollment was higher than it had been under the earlier race-conscious system.

  • The case is Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, 11-345.

 

 

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Harvard/Princeton Targeted in U.S. Asian-American Discrimination Probe (Bloomberg)

Harvard Asian American discrimination Princeton JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club

“The prevailing college admission policy artificially places highly qualified Asian-American applicants to compete against each other rather than against the general pool of all applicants, instilling such a fear that many Asian-Americans hide their own racial identity” on applications, the committee stated in December.” from Bloomberg

 

Finally, someone is willing to file a complaint with the Department of Education on the lopsided Affirmative Action policy for college and universities that now pits all Asian Americans against each other despite the fact that Asian Americans come from with vastly different socio-economic backgrounds. This is the latest article in a whole string of articles since this issue has been brewing for several decades. For all the articles on how Asian Americans face discrimination when applying to top colleges and universities, please go here.

Highlights from the Bloomberg article are below. The full article is here.

  •  The department’s Office for Civil Rights is investigating a complaint it received in August that Harvard rejected an Asian- American candidate for the current freshman class based on race or national origin, a department spokesman said.
  • The new complaints, along with a case appealed last September to the U.S. Supreme Court challenging preferences for blacks and Hispanics in college admissions, may stir up the longstanding debate about whether elite universities discriminate against Asian-Americans, the nation’s fastest- growing and most affluent racial category.
  • Asian-American applicants have to outperform their counterparts from other backgrounds on the SAT to gain entry to elite universities, recent studies show.
  • “Clearly, both whites and Asian-Americans are discriminated against vis a vis African-Americans and Latinos,” said Roger Clegg, the center’s president. “At some of the more selective schools, Asians are also discriminated against vis a vis whites.”
  • Because many Asian-Americans come from families that arrived in the U.S. relatively recently, they are less likely than whites to qualify for preference as alumni children, Clegg said. “Stereotyping takes place too” of Asian-Americans, he said.
  • If all other credentials are equal, Asian-Americans need to score 140 points more than whites, 270 points higher than Hispanics, and 450 points above African-Americans out of a maximum 1600 on the math and reading SAT to have the same chance of admission to a private college, according to “No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal,” a 2009 book co-written by Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade.
  • There are 14.7 million Americans of Asian descent only, plus 2.6 million who are multiracial including Asian, according to the 2010 U.S. census. The combined 17.3 million comprises 5.6 percent of the population, up 46 percent from 2000. Median household income for single-race Asian-Americans exceeds $65,000, compared with a national average of $50,000. Half of those 25 and older hold college degrees, almost double the national average.
  • It also documented that Harvard admitted Asian-Americans at a lower rate than white applicants even though the Asian- Americans had slightly stronger SAT scores and grades. Nevertheless, the agency concluded in 1990 that Harvard didn’t violate civil rights laws because preferences for alumni children and recruited athletes, rather than racial discrimination, accounted for the gap.
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Asian Americans and Affirmative Action from Brown University: Peeling Away the Layers of Complexity

Brown University JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club Asian American Diversity Affirmative Action Discrimination Admissions

“Contrary to the myth of the “model minority,” Asian Americans do not constitute a monolithic ethnic group…

 For example, the overall poverty rate for Asian Americans in 1990 was one percent above the average of the total U.S. population;

this statistical mirage obscures the reality of many ethnic groups that fall under the Asian American title. “

This is from The Brown Spectator, a student publication from Brown University. For all other posts on Why You Shouldn’t Identify as Asian When Applying to College, please go here.

Some key points:

  • At opposite ends, 66.5 percent of Chinese Americans were enrolled in a college, whereas only 26.3 percent of Laotian Americans were as well. In fact, Chinese, Japanese, Asian Indian, and Korean Americans were more than twice as likely to be enrolled in college as Hmong, Guamanian, Samoan, Hawaiian, and Laotian Americans.
  • In fact, it has been the allegations of possible quotas or limitations in Asian American admission and enrollment to prestigious public and private institutions that has fueled this educational controversy. Beginning in the early 1980s Asian Americans were recognized in the press for their surprisingly large presence in college populations. Their rise in many of the country’s most prestigious and selective universities drew attention of much of America. U.S. News and World Report described Asians to be “flocking to the top colleges,” noting that “they make up about 10 percent of Harvard’s freshman class and 20 percent of all students at the Julliard School.
  • Suddenly, Asian Americans found themselves being compared to the Jews in the 1920s and 1930s when Jewish students were vilified as “damn curve raisers” because of their outstanding performance and were thus restricted by quotas on their admissions to undergraduate universities.
  • In 1983, Brown was the first school to receive and respond to formal complaints about of discrimination against Asian Americans. Brown director of admissions Jim Rogers declared, however, that the “vast majority of Asian Americans applying here, 70-75 percent, are premedical students. The question is not one of race, it’s academic balance.”
  • Conservatives in particular have employed the example of Asian Americans to focus criticism on affirmative action. For example, in the 1980s Reagan administration official Reynolds blamed affirmative action for the discrimination against Asian Americans. Referencing GPA and SAT scores, Reynolds argued, “there has been substantial statistical evidence that Asian American candidates face higher hurdles than academically less qualified candidates of other races, whether these candidates be minorities (black, Hispanic, Native American) or white.” Reynolds saw both discrimination and diversity as “two sides of the same bad coin, affirmative action.” In his 1988 article in the New Republic, James Gibney reiterated this argument, “if Asians are underrepresented based on their grades and test scores, it is largely because of affirmative action for other minority groups. And if blacks and Hispanics are underrepresented based on their fraction of the population, it is increasingly because of the statistical overachievement of Asians. Both complaints can’t be just, and the blame can no longer be placed solely on favoritism towards whites.”

——————-

Asian Americans and Affirmative Action

By Connie Wu on November 10, 2003

The Brown Spectator has joined with other college political publications to form the Alliance of Collegiate Editors (ACE), hoping to generate cross-campus dialogue on political issues. The first topic we will discuss is class-based affirmative action. This is the third entry; for the first entry, see Sam Barr’s post at HPR; for the second entry, see John Gee’s post at PPR.

The civil rights movement espoused an ideal that all Americans should embrace: the creation of a color-blind society in which persons are judged by their merits as individuals, not by their membership in a particular racial group. Thirty years later, the legacy of the civil rights movement is bitterly contested and America remains a color-conscious society. Contemporary affirmative action policies—on the parts of government and private institutions—are central to understanding the “great American dilemma” as it endures into the 21st century. Although affirmative action proponents endeavor to implement the vision of the civil rights movement, their policies have polarized Americans according to racial divisions, creating the phenomenon of the “angry white male.” This black and white dichotomy tends to dominate the debate over affirmative action. An examination of the Asian American dimension will offer new insights into such an enduring issue. Understanding the complicated relationship between Asian Americans and affirmative action requires an analysis of Asian Americans as a distinct racial group. Contrary to the myth of the “model minority,” Asian Americans do not constitute a monolithic ethnic group.

Educational and economic statistics reveal a dramatic degree of polarization within among Asian American groups. For example, the overall poverty rate for Asian Americans in 1990 was one percent above the average of the total U.S. population; this statistical mirage obscures the reality of many ethnic groups that fall under the Asian American title. For in comparison to the total U.S. population, Pacific Islanders were 4 percent above the average poverty rate, Vietnamese were 12.6 percent above the average, Laotians were 21.6 percent above the average, Cambodians were 29.5 percent above the average, and Hmongs were 50.5 percent above the average. These Southeastern Asian groups often have higher poverty rates because they usually arrive on American soil as refugees.

Moreover, in a report for the American Council on Education, Shirley Hune and Kenyon Chan found that 55.1 percent (almost double of other groups of color) of Asian Americans ages 18-24 were enrolled in college during 1990; however, this statistic did not reflect the complexity of their enrollment rates. At opposite ends, 66.5 percent of Chinese Americans were enrolled in a college, whereas only 26.3 percent of Laotian Americans were as well. In fact, Chinese, Japanese, Asian Indian, and Korean Americans were more than twice as likely to be enrolled in college as Hmong, Guamanian, Samoan, Hawaiian, and Laotian Americans.

This evidence exposes the lack of homogeneity among the ethnicities that comprise Asian Americans. Clearly, Asian Americans occupy both ends of the political and social spectrum according to different origin, language, culture, religion, and other factors such as educational attainment and personal income. This internal heterogeneity produces a variety of reactions to the issue of affirmative action.

The affirmative action debate for Asians in higher education is especially different from the black-white paradigm. In fact, it has been the allegations of possible quotas or limitations in Asian American admission and enrollment to prestigious public and private institutions that has fueled this educational controversy. Beginning in the early 1980s Asian Americans were recognized in the press for their surprisingly large presence in college populations. Their rise in many of the country’s most prestigious and selective universities drew attention of much of America. U.S. News and World Report described Asians to be “flocking to the top colleges,” noting that “they make up about 10 percent of Harvard’s freshman class and 20 percent of all students at the Julliard School. In California, where Asians are 5.5 percent of the population, they total 23.5 percent of all Berkeley undergraduates.” Newsweek even asked rhetorically in an article, “Is it true what they say about Asian American students, or is it mythology? They say that Asian Americans are brilliant. They say that Asian Americans behave as a model minority, that they dominate mathematics, engineering, and science courses—that they are grinds who are so dedicated to getting ahead that they never have any fun.”

By the mid 1980s, allegations spread across the nation that policies were being adopted to curtail the number of Asian Americans being admitted to institutions of higher learning through the imposition of quotas. Suddenly, Asian Americans found themselves being compared to the Jews in the 1920s and 1930s when Jewish students were vilified as “damn curve raisers” because of their outstanding performance and were thus restricted by quotas on their admissions to undergraduate universities. So began the attack on liberalism’s cornerstone affirmative action policy.

In 1983, Brown was the first school to receive and respond to formal complaints about of discrimination against Asian Americans. Brown director of admissions Jim Rogers declared, however, that the “vast majority of Asian Americans applying here, 70-75 percent, are premedical students. The question is not one of race, it’s academic balance.” Insiders at Brown, including Asian American students and staff, argued that based on various comments made by admissions officers, it was clear to them that decisions were often racially motivated. Thus, the Brown Asian American Students Association (AASA) made a case of racial discrimination before Brown’s governing board—the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees delegated the task of investigating the claims to the Committee on Minority Affairs (COMA) to examine AASA complaints. The COMA investigation found that the disparity in admission rates between whites and Asians were an “extremely serious” problem, as were the attitudes of some officials in the admissions office. According to then Assistant Dean Bob Lee, interviews of admissions officers substantiated many of the claims about racial discrimination brought forth by the AASA. Director Rogers was said to have joked that they could reduce the admitted class by deleting the first 10 Kims off the top of the list. An independent review board study by the Committee on Admission and Financial Aid confirmed COMA’s findings of racial discrimination. Brown was only one of a few prestigious schools that admitted bias against Asian Americans and promised reform in their admission policies.

Perhaps the most important landmark case for Asian Americans, however, was that of the University of California Berkeley. Between 1987 and 1988, Berkeley’s treatment of Asian American admission policies generated a national controversy. Assistant Vice Chancellor Travers and President Gardner staunchly defended Berkeley’s admissions policies and their effect on Asian Americans, especially when they added the criteria of an ambiguously subjective category called “supplemental criteria.” Accusations against Berkeley claimed that the supplemental criteria category was being manipulated to keep down the number of Asian American admissions. Travers and Gardner claimed that Asian Americans were “overrepresented” based on number that matriculated to Berkeley in comparison to the graduating high school population. Their overrepresentation, they argued, undermined the diversity on campus. Admissions officers throughout the country defended affirmative action by depicting admissions as a zero-sum game. They were alarmed by the declining black enrollment statistics, which had been triggered by a scale back in affirmative action after the 1978 Bakke case.

These cases dramatize the dilemmas raised by the pursuit of diversity. Conservatives in particular have employed the example of Asian Americans to focus criticism on affirmative action. For example, in the 1980s Reagan administration official Reynolds blamed affirmative action for the discrimination against Asian Americans. Referencing GPA and SAT scores, Reynolds argued, “there has been substantial statistical evidence that Asian American candidates face higher hurdles than academically less qualified candidates of other races, whether these candidates be minorities (black, Hispanic, Native American) or white.” Reynolds saw both discrimination and diversity as “two sides of the same bad coin, affirmative action.” In his 1988 article in the New Republic, James Gibney reiterated this argument, “if Asians are underrepresented based on their grades and test scores, it is largely because of affirmative action for other minority groups. And if blacks and Hispanics are underrepresented based on their fraction of the population, it is increasingly because of the statistical overachievement of Asians. Both complaints can’t be just, and the blame can no longer be placed solely on favoritism towards whites.”

Conservatives have found an especially sympathetic ear for campaigns against affirmative action among Asian Americans in California. Kenneth Lee’s article “Angry Yellow Men” conveys the sentiments of Asian in California. During Bob Dole’s presidential campaign, he delivered his only anti-affirmative action speech to a 2000 member receptive audience of Vietnamese Americans in Little Saigon, California. In fact, Dole’s reception typifies many Californian Asian sentiments. The fact that the receptive audience was a Vietnamese one, statistically poorer and less educated, reveals the power of the manner in which affirmative action is propagated to ethnic audiences. In 1993, the California Policy Seminar conducted a poll that found that 2/3 of Asians oppose affirmative action. Moreover, the National Conference of Christians and Jews determined that Asians in California identified more with whites than with any other racial groups. It is no wonder, then, that in 1996, 40 percent of Asians voted for Proposition 209, a California measure outlawing preferences based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in public employment, education, or contracting. Not all Asian Americans, however, face the dilemma of Asians in California. In fact, a large coalition of 28 Asian American groups filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the University of Michigan’s affirmative action policy.

This third perspective reveals that affirmative action spawns division not only between racial groups, but also among ethnic groups. As America becomes an increasingly multiracial country, the example of Asian Americans testifies to the unique conflicts created by race-based public policies that are implemented in multiracial contexts.

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Do Legacy Preferences Count More Than Race When Applying to Elite Colleges?

legacy college applicants huge advantage over sought after minorities JadeLuckClub jade luck clubWell, if you think that checking the box for Asian will help you get into elite private college,  you need to know about the SAT “tax” for Asians because we’re “over-represented” at top colleges. If you need to read up on this, click here. If you are Asian (or not) but a legacy, how does this factor into the admissions formula? Read on to find out… This is from The Chronicle on Higher Education. The full post is here.

Key quotes:

  • A new study by Harvard University researcher Michael Hurwitz finds that legacy preferences are larger than previously thought.
  • …“primary legacy” candidates (sons and daughters, as opposed to siblings, nephews, nieces, or grandchildren) see a whopping 45.1 percentage point increase in the chances of admission. What this means, as Ashburn explains, is that if a non-legacy applicant with a certain set of credentials has a 15 percent chance of admissions, a primary legacy applicant with identical credentials would have a 60 percent chance of getting in.
  • … being an under-represented minority increased one’s chances by 27.7 percentage points.
  • …  colleges gave no preference to low-income students.
  • To be clear, comparing Hurwitz’s findings on legacies with Bowen’s findings on race is imperfect, given the different methodologies. But further research is certainly warranted to find out whether the 45-percentage-point boost provided primary legacies is, in fact, larger than the boost provided to racial minorities.
  • Research finds, in short, that legacy preferences are more significant than previously believed, yet their fundamental rationale (raising money) is flawed.

Do Legacy Preferences Count More Than Race?

January 6, 2011, 4:08 pm

By Richard Kahlenberg

 

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Affirmative Action Case Splits Asian Americans: Are You For or Against?

Affirmative Action Asian Americans API AAPI JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club Asian American Community legal case Bakke

Asian American lawyers have taken a strong stand on university affirmative action

in the case to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court this week — and on opposite sides of the issue.

This is an old article (from 2003) but the issue of Affirmative Action as working for or against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders has not gone away nor sorted itself out. What do you think of Affirmative Action? Please vote and share your thoughts.

Here are some quotes from the article:

  • ” .. .some critics of affirmative action say Asian American students may be put at a disadvantage if universities give preference to applicants who are black or Latino.
  • …the high court’s record regarding Asians is spotty too.
  • When legal scholars cite the high court’s worst equal-protection rulings of the 20th century, they often point to Korematsu vs. U.S., the 1944 decision that upheld the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.”
  • In the 1970s, when the Supreme Court first took up the issue of college affirmative action, Asian American lawyers strongly supported admission policies that gave an advantage to minority students. At that time, Asian students qualified for this preference.
  • By the early 1980s, the soaring admission rates for Asian Americans prompted university officials to drop them from the minority category.
  • [Asian critics of affirmative action] Their brief to the Supreme Court describes diversity rules in the San Francisco public schools that limited the proportion of Chinese Americans to 45% of a school’s enrollment.
  • But proponents of affirmative action stress that they are not in favor of quotas or ceilings.
  • … opinion surveys show that most Asian Americans support affirmative action.”

For all posts on Affirmative Action and AAPIs, please click here.

Affirmative Action Case Splits Asian Americans

THE NATION

University’s policy, set for debate in high court, is seen as needed and as limiting, lawyers say.

March 30, 2003|David G. Savage | Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Asian American lawyers have taken a strong stand on university affirmative action in the case to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court this week — and on opposite sides of the issue.

The San Francisco-based Asian American Legal Foundation agrees with the white plaintiffs and urges the court to end race-based admission policies.

“The Constitution protects individuals, and individuals should not be judged on their race,” says Alan Tse, a San Francisco lawyer.

But the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium, a coalition of 25 Asian civil rights groups, sides with the University of Michigan and urges the court to preserve affirmative action.

“This is about fairness and equal opportunity. Asian Americans benefit from diversity. They are not hurt by it,” says Julie Su, a lawyer for the Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles.

The division of opinion reflects, in part, the history and status of Asian Americans.

They are a racial minority group that has suffered from racism and blatant discrimination.

However, some critics of affirmative action say Asian American students may be put at a disadvantage if universities give preference to applicants who are black or Latino.

“My sense is that most Asians are supportive of affirmative action generally, especially in employment and business. But the situation is a bit muddier for higher education,” said Bill Lann Lee, a San Francisco attorney who led the Justice Department’s civil rights division in the Clinton administration.

While most civil rights law focused on discrimination against blacks, the Supreme Court’s earliest civil rights rulings dealt just as often with exclusionary laws against Chinese people in California.

The Constitution was amended after the Civil War to stop Southern states from mistreating the newly freed slaves and to require the “equal protection of the laws.” This amendment, the 14th, passed with high hopes but was steadily weakened by the Supreme Court and did little to help blacks.

However, federal judges in California — and the Supreme Court itself — invoked the new equality standard in the 1880s to strike down laws that excluded Chinese people from government jobs, from fishing in state waters and from operating laundries in San Francisco.

But the high court’s record regarding Asians is spotty too.

When legal scholars cite the high court’s worst equal-protection rulings of the 20th century, they often point to Korematsu vs. U.S., the 1944 decision that upheld the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

In the 1970s, when the Supreme Court first took up the issue of college affirmative action, Asian American lawyers strongly supported admission policies that gave an advantage to minority students. At that time, Asian students qualified for this preference.

Allan Bakke, a rejected white applicant, had sued UC Davis Medical School, claiming discrimination.

In response, the university conceded that it set aside 16 of its 100 slots for members of a “minority group,” which it defined as “blacks,” “Chicanos,” “Asians” and “American Indians.”

In 1978, the court struck down this “quota” as unconstitutional, but also said a university may consider a student’s race in order to create diversity.

By the early 1980s, the soaring admission rates for Asian Americans prompted university officials to drop them from the minority category.

“These programs ended when they were no longer needed. And there was no longer a need for Asians to be included,” said Lee, the former civil rights chief.

But Asian critics of affirmative action say they fear that a Supreme Court ruling would allow colleges and universities to put ceilings on the number of Asian American students.

Their brief to the Supreme Court describes diversity rules in the San Francisco public schools that limited the proportion of Chinese Americans to 45% of a school’s enrollment.

The rules also limited the number of Chinese students who could gain admission to the city’s elite Lowell High School.

When some Chinese American students were turned away from their neighborhood elementary schools, parents sued in federal court, and the school district agreed to abandon the policy.

“We fought the San Francisco schools for five years over this, and the only protection we had was the constitutional principle against race-based laws,” Tse said.

If the Supreme Court says the University of Michigan is entitled to raise or lower the number of minority students, the ruling could allow public schools to do the same, he said.

But proponents of affirmative action stress that they are not in favor of quotas or ceilings.

“They are trying to bring up examples of strict numerical limits, but that’s not what we are talking about. Affirmation action is about opportunities,” said Su, the Los Angeles lawyer. “I think it’s unfortunate they have tried to pit Asian Americans against other communities of color.”

She said opinion surveys show that most Asian Americans support affirmative action.

In 1996, 76% of Asian American voters in California said in an election exit poll that they voted against Proposition 209, the ballot measure that barred the state from giving “preferential treatment” to any person because of race or ethnicity.

University of California officials say the change in admission policies has had little, if any, effect on the number of Asian American students.

In 1997, before Proposition 209 went into effect, Asian American students accounted for 33.2% of the students admitted to the nine UC campuses. In 2002, they accounted for 33.8% of those admitted.

Asian Americans are the second-largest minority group in California, behind Latinos. In the 2000 census, Asians made up 11% of the state’s population, while Latinos were 32% and blacks 6.7%.

Nationwide, Latinos accounted for 12.5% of the population, blacks 12.3% and Asians 3.6%.

Divided opinion on affirmative action is not limited to Asian Americans. A similar debate has taken place among Jewish organizations.

The American Jewish Committee, which opposed the use of quotas in the Bakke case, filed a brief this year supporting the University of Michigan.

“Flexible goals aimed at increasing the numbers of minority students at a given university are not the same as unconstitutional quotas,” the group says.

However, the Anti-Defamation League filed a brief on the other side.

“While strongly sympathetic to the goal of increasing the numbers of minority students in our nation’s selective universities, the ADL continues to adhere to the principle that school admissions programs must be race neutral,” it says.

The high court is scheduled to hear arguments in the Michigan case Tuesday.

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White House Urges Colleges To Get Creative in Improving Racial Diversity at Their Campuses

Obama Administration new guidelines for college admissions JadeLuckClub Jade Luck ClubThe Obama administration has released new guidelines on race and college admissions that turn Bush era policies on its head. Colleges and universities are now getting the green light to use ethnicity to select students for admission and won’t need to fear repercussions in court. What does this mean for Asian Americans? I’m really not sure. It’s a good thing, to me at least, that African-American, Latino-American, and Native Americans will be given more opportunities for admission. If this is coupled with socio-economic status — that is to say, recruiting those who are low income — then you are preaching to the choir.

But, given that there is zero sum gain in the admissions game; more chances for some mean less chances for others, so at what cost will these extra slots come from? One thing is clear: this doesn’t mean that there is a green light to increase the Asian American population at top colleges and universities. And, worse, the opposite might even be true.

p.s. For all the articles on Why You Shouldn’t Check Asian When Applying to Top Colleges and Universities, please go here.

 

U.S. Urges Creativity by Colleges to Gain Diversity

By , Published: December 2, 2011

The Obama administration on Friday urged colleges and universities to get creative in improving racial diversity at their campuses, throwing out a Bush-era interpretation of recent Supreme Court rulings that limited affirmative action in admissions.

The new guidelines issued by the Departments of Justice and Education replaced a 2008 document that essentially warned colleges and universities against considering race at all. Instead, the guidelines focus on the wiggle room in the court decisions involving the University of Michigan, suggesting that institutions use other criteria — students’ socioeconomic profiles, residential instability, the hardships they have overcome — that are often proxies for race. Schools could even grant preferences to students from certain schools selected for, among other things, their racial composition, the new document says.

Post-secondary institutions can voluntarily consider race to further the compelling interest of achieving diversity,” reads the 10-page guide sent to thousands of college admissions officials on Friday afternoon. In some cases, it says, “race can be outcome determinative.”

The administration issued a parallel 14-page outline on Friday for the nation’s 17,000 public school districts, explaining what government lawyers consider to be acceptable ways that educators can seek to reduce racial segregation, which has been increasing nationwide.

The two documents, issued as the presidential campaign heats up and as the Supreme Court considers whether to hear a new affirmative action case, were designed to give educators a clear administration interpretation of three high court cases that, since 2003, have limited the use of race in admissions, zoning and other school policies.

The contrast with the Bush guidelines interpreting the same three cases is stark. Where the Bush administration’s letter in 2008 states, “Quotas are impermissible,” the 2011 version says “an institution may permissibly aim to achieve a critical mass of underrepresented students.” Even in addressing the same principles, the framework is practically reversed.

Bush guidelines: “Before using race, there must be a serious good faith consideration of workable race-neutral alternatives.”

Obama guidelines: “Institutions are not required to implement race-neutral approaches if, in their judgment, the approaches would be unworkable.”

Colleges seeking to increase diversity while not running afoul of Supreme Court guidelines, the new document says, “could select schools (including community colleges) based on their demographics (e.g., their racial or socioeconomic composition), and grant an admission preference” to graduates of those schools. They could also “select high schools for partnership” based, among other things, on “racial composition of the school’s student body” and former partnerships with historically black colleges and universities”; consider race as they select students for mentoring programs; and sponsor retention or support programs that highlight, for example, “the accomplishments of Latino business leaders.”

Ada Meloy, general counsel for the American Council on Education, which represents 1,800 universities and colleges, predicted that educators would immediately begin to pursue ways to draw more racial minorities, as the new guidelines would ease fears of legal challenge.

“University administrators have been confused about how they could follow the court’s rulings and still achieve the benefits of diversity,” Ms. Meloy said. “So they will welcome this practical, step-by-step set of directions.”

For kindergarten through 12th grade, the guidelines tell school districts that they can shape policies on locating schools, drawing attendance boundaries and governing student transfers to achieve a better racial mix. For example, a school district with two elementary schools with distinctly different demographics could consider making one school serve kindergarten through second grade and the other grades 3 to 5 in order to force a better mix.

“Diverse learning environments promote development of analytical skills, dismantle stereotypes and prepare students to succeed in an increasingly interconnected world,”Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a statement. “The guidance announced today will aid educational institutions in their efforts to provide true equality of opportunity.”

Lee C. Bollinger, an advocate of affirmative action, was the named defendant, as president of the University of Michigan, in the two 2003 Supreme Court cases that laid down new markers on the permissible use of race in admissions. He described the new guidelines as “perfect.”

“It’s a very fair interpretation of what the court decided,” said Mr. Bollinger, a First Amendment scholar who is now president of Columbia University, “which is primarily that race can be one of many factors, and as long as your policies truly embody that approach, you’ll be fine, and can strive for diversity in all its benefits.”

In Grutter v. Bollinger, the court ruled that universities can take race into account as one factor in a broad consideration of students’ traits and qualifications. On the same day, in Gratz v. Bollinger, the high court said Michigan’s undergraduate college had unlawfully made race “a decisive factor for virtually every minimally qualified underrepresented minority applicant.” In a separate case involving the Seattle and Louisville, Ky., districts, the court said in 2007 that it was unlawful to consider the race of individual students directly in assigning them to public schools.

The Supreme Court will soon decide whether to hear a new case, in which a white student has sued the University of Texas, arguing that she was denied admission because of her race. Some legal experts have predicted that the court’s conservative majority could further restrict the use of race in admissions at public universities.

This week, the Department of Education released a report documenting how schools serving low-income students get less state and local money for teacher salaries than schools serving higher-income students.

The administration is making strong policy statements on low-income children and students of color, outlining remedies,” said Bob Wise, a former Democratic governor of West Virginia who heads an education nonprofit organization aimed at improving high school graduation rates. “They seem to be putting some markers down as the election begins,” he said, adding that the new set of guidelines “tries to keep within the letter of the Supreme Court opinions, while probably pushing the spirit.”

 

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Asian Americans and Admissions at Brown University

Brown University Ivy League Discrimination against Asians Asian Americans JadeLuckClub http://JadeLuckClub.comThis is from the horse’s mouth. Ivy League college Brown University and their admissions policies with regard to Asian Americans. If you want to read more on why you shouldn’t identify as Asian American when applying to elite private colleges or grad schools, please go here.

Here are some key quotes:

Only two groups of people believe discrimination is a nuanced issue: racists and college admissions officers. But this characterization is unfair to racists—admissions officers are far worse.To compare, one group openly believes Asian-Americans are inferior. The other, more sinister group, proclaims their allegiance to the highest American ideals while systematically depriving Asians of future avenues for success.

…athletes applying to elite colleges gain 200 points on the (old) SAT, Hispanics gain 185 points, legacy candidates gain 160 points, and blacks have a staggering 230 point advantage.

An important 2004 study by Princeton researchers, Thomas Espenshade and Chang Chung, found that applying to America’s best universities as an Asian-American is equivalent to taking off 50 points from your SAT score.

Because they can’t touch the whites, a “merit tax” is levied on qualified Asian-Americans in order to benefit other, less qualified, minorities. 

 …the study’s finding that affirmative action has little impact on white admission rates comes as a surprise.

 

Asian-Americans in Admissions

By Jason Carr on July 7, 2009

Only two groups of people believe discrimination is a nuanced issue: racists and college admissions officers. But this characterization is unfair to racists—admissions officers are far worse. To compare, one group openly believes Asian-Americans are inferior. The other, more sinister group, proclaims their allegiance to the highest American ideals while systematically depriving Asians of future avenues for success.

Asians are doing too well for their own good, at least in the view of the gatekeepers of the Ivory Tower. Hard working, family oriented students whose ancestors hail from the East have been snapping up coveted spots at the country’s most elite universities at an increasing rate for the past two decades. According to Daniel Golden, author of The Price of Admission, “Asian-Americans constitute only about 4.5% of the U.S. population, they typically account for anywhere from 10% to 30% of students at many of the nation’s elite colleges.” Yet even these impressive numbers represent a deliberate attempt by the colleges to buttress their ivy-covered walls against an Asian Invasion. An important 2004 study by Princeton researchers, Thomas Espenshade and Chang Chung, found that applying to America’s best universities as an Asian-American is equivalent to taking off 50 points from your SAT score.

Why punish success? The guaranteed answer to be heard from admissions directors when asked this difficult question is either a “no comment” or an ambiguous regurgitation of the institution’s supposed anti-discrimination policy. The truth, that Asian-Americans are being used as fodder in an admissions process dogmatically focused on achieving its racist campus image goals, is too embarrassing for these bleeding-heart colleges to admit. The study mentioned above proved that athletes applying to elite colleges gain 200 points on the (old) SAT, Hispanics gain 185 points, legacy candidates gain 160 points, and blacks have a staggering 230 point advantage. The main problem for universities (and especially the Ivies) is that legacies and athletes, both desired admits for their financial benefits, are disproportionately white. Yet, these same universities would also like to make sure that proportionate numbers of blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians are in their classrooms. Because they can’t touch the whites, a “merit tax” is levied on qualified Asian-Americans in order to benefit other, less qualified, minorities. In the most terrifying perversion of “racial justice” seen yet, one minority is being plundered for the sake of another, but the true historical discrimination culprits, whites, remain untouched. Until you realize these underlying motivations, the study’s finding that affirmative action has little impact on white admission rates comes as a surprise.

When admissions officers aren’t making empty statements about their concern for diversity, they have a few other explanations to provide for the lower Asian admit rate. According to one former Brown admission officer:

One of the traits of incoming Asian-American applicant pools is uniformity. There’s a striking similarity from applicant to applicant in terms of the choices they make for extra-curricular activities, for example, or course loads, but most importantly, for intended majors.

There are countless reports of admission officers saying that Asians, due to their incredible academic dedication, are not able to contribute to university life in other ways. It appears that Asians are not trying hard enough to diversify their interests.” After all, according to Brown Dean of Admission James S. Miller, the University works to achieve, “selection by a personal estimate of character on the part of the Admission authorities, based on the probable value to the college and to the community of his admission.”

But the above quote is actually from 1926, and the speaker wasn’t James S. Miller. Rather, the individual who uttered these words was A. Lawrence Lowell, President of Harvard University, that rabidly anti-Semitic institution of yore. As Jerome Karabel, author of The Chosen reveals, Lowell limited the size of the freshman class and imposed new admission criteria of “leadership,” “public spirit,” and “fair play” in order to correct the “Jewish problem” to which Columbia had already succumbed. Jews, stereotyped as overly studious and socially uninterested, were thought not to exhibit any of these qualities (sound familiar?). Yale was even more up front in its battle against the Hebrews: they instituted legacy preferences in 1925 to favor the WASP students they were comfortable with. The Jews were limited so long as legacy preferences and the ambiguous admission criteria stayed, and other elite universities followed in lockstep.

It is a damnable irony that, after the eventual lifting of Jewish quotas, the same admissions preferences used to discriminate against them would be employed against the next most successful group, Asian-Americans. The new “Asian problem” is an especially tricky one for colleges, for they cannot be neatly filed into the “white” category. Colleges are being forced to employ their greatest skills in order to keep the Asians down: stereotyping, discrimination, and rejection.

While it appears that admissions directors believe Asians have a genetic predisposition to studiousness and unsociability, I have a more informed explanation. If Asian students know that they are already being discriminated against, at home and on their college applications, isn’t it rational for them to work that much harder to achieve success in a world biased against them? Asian parents drive their children to spend long hours studying because they know what they are up against. The results of this may be a small lack of social skills, but this is not a result of the student’s race, just his circumstances.

And what of this supposed uniformity in majors and extracurricular activities? Asian-Americans are often recent immigrants, and have a wide distribution of income. Immigrants seek the best ways to prove themselves in a new land; this naturally leads to intense interest in mathematics, physics, biology, and other sciences because these disciplines produce real, quantifiable results that members of an oppressed minority can point to as conclusive evidence of their success. Asian-Americans have excelled in more than just the sciences, however. They are over-represented (despite discrimination) at the nation’s top law and business schools — places that are often the destination of college liberal arts majors.

A case study in alleged uniformity across the Asian applicant pool is provided with UC Berkeley before and after racial preferences were lifted. Berkeley experienced a dramatic increase in the number of Asian-American students in its classrooms – at the moment they constitute 47 percent of the student body – soon after Proposition 209 outlawed affirmative action in California. As it is highly doubtful that Berkeley, the best public university in the United States, filled 47 percent of its class with (according to their racist stereotype) biology majors who play the piano, it can be inferred that many in this group have a passionate interest in history, classics, and other such disciplines, as well as wide extracurricular attainments. The Berkeley case illustrates that the only uniformity that can be seen in Asian-American applicants to colleges is academic excellence across all fields.

The great unspoken crime of Asian-American discrimination in college admissions is not just the obvious numerical limits on the group: American universities are joining a long line of individuals, companies, and governments who have deemed Asians subhuman for centuries. From the construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad to Japanese internment camps, America’s Asian relations have not been honorable. Curtailing racist attitudes and stereotypical labeling of Asian-American applicants to college can only be the first step in a long process of atonement. Let us hope that the officers in our esteemed universities do not allow their greed to interfere with their duty as human beings.

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