Questions from Social Media
Facebook Page Question:
I read some of your posts, and I understand you have voiced strongly for blacks and other "minority groups". How about the Asian, they are the real underrepresented group in our society. What do you think of the Ivy League Asian discrimination issue? You are running for the school board; so, do you think Asian should be accepted in all Ivy League colleges based on merit? “Most elite universities have maintained a triple standard in college admissions, setting the bar highest for Asians, next for whites and lowest for blacks and Hispanics.” They also use various stereotypes to discriminate against Asian-American applicants. -Daniel Golden, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Wall Street Journal
Hi xxx! Thanks so much for reaching out and what a great question! I agree that the animosity, racism, and discrimination towards the Asian/Asian American/AAPI community is a real issue. The increase of attacks on the Asian/AAPI community is disgusting and abhorrent. There has been a long history of violence towards our community and little to no attention to the events until more recently. But even now there isn't enough focus on how our community is targeted and why. This does need to change.
When the tragedy in Atlanta occurred last year I was very vocal about stopping Asian hate. When individuals were (and still are) referring to COVID as the "China flu", "Kung flu", and "Chinese virus" I spoke out against the use of these racial slurs. The use of these slurs spurred anti-Asian hate and many of us felt the effects of it.
Your question regarding my opinion on whether Asians should be accepted into Ivy League schools based on merit made me think of the "model minority" myth. This myth was propagated by the system to create a divide between the Asian and Black community which unfortunately still exists today. The "model minority" myth is harmful and interferes with what we should be doing, joining together to dismantle inequities and oppressive practices.
As for answering your question directly, I think this issue is multilayered. First we need to look at Asian culture. There is this well-known stereotype that all Asian parents want their kids to become doctors or lawyers. Why? Simply, doctors and lawyers make a lot of money. And money = success. A lot of this is seen within the immigrant population because of upward mobility. They wanted to provide for their children what they were not able to attain. This is not true for all families but many. Many made huge sacrifices to provide their children the opportunity to achieve the "American Dream". But this culture of success isn't just seen here in the United States, it's also practiced in home countries. There is this "pursuit of prestige" because prestige brings bragging rights. If a child attains a career in one of the "prestigious" fields then the family feels a sense of importance.
The other piece, which wasn't directly named, was affirmative action. This speaks to your question regarding acceptance based on merit regardless of race/ethnicity. Overall I support affirmative action. Why? Because it allows those from underrepresented communities an opportunity to change the status quo. A question that comes to mind is, even if affirmative action was dismantled, how can we be sure that decisions would be made based on merit versus reverting back to what led to the implementation of affirmative action; favoring the wealthy majority. Affirmative action promotes diversity and inclusion whereas the previous practice did not. If affirmative action was overturned, what evidence do we have that Asian applicants would be accepted in higher numbers? That admissions would stay moral and ethical in their decisions? From my perspective, we don't. Adding in what I spoke about in the previous paragraph regarding Asian culture and this pursuit of prestige, I am confident that Asians would be discriminated against even more out of fear. Why? Because of the cultural practice of pursuing success. And the fact that, on average, Asian men and women make more than white men and women (https://www.dol.gov/.../median-annual-sex-race-hispanic...). However, there are many different cultures under the umbrella of Asian and there's an earning disparity ranging from $37k (Burmese) to $100k (Indian). This element isn't considered.
To summarize, I think dismantling affirmative action would be disastrous to all marginalized and underrepresented communities. Every learner deserves the opportunity to receive a quality education and if affirmative action didn’t defend this right, admissions would be monumentally biased. I do believe that the discrimination against Asians should be investigated and if it shows that these Ivy schools are engaging in discriminatory practices, then it needs to be dealt with.