One would think that if the group suing Harvard University for discriminating against Asian Americans claims victory, it would make it easier for Asian American applicants to earn admission to highly selective universities like Harvard. And we’re not suggesting this would not be the case. While no legal victory will, in our view, outright end Asian American discrimination in admissions, a victory could make admissions officers at schools like Harvard more aware of the inherent biases — indeed the stereotypes — they’re relying on when weighing applicants’ cases for admission. But would it surprise our readers if we were to suggest that the person most responsible for leading the charge against Asian American discrimination in admissions, a man we and others have deemed the one-man band with no legal degree fighting the good legal fight, may very well be using Asian Americans as a means to an end in a grand plan of increasing white representation on elite American college campuses?
Are Asian Americans Being Used as Pawns to Increase Whiteness of Elite Colleges?
While it’s just our two cents, if you read our profile of Edward Blum, that one-man band whose raison d’être seems to be ending the practice, you’ll know that it was Blum who unsuccessfully led the charge against the practice of Affirmative Action in the Abigail Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin case before the Supreme Court. This is not his first go at it. It’s likely that Blum simply thought he could make a stronger argument to our nation’s highest court by specifically limiting the argument to Asian American applicants. Fisher was a Caucasian applicant to the University of Texas at Austin. If at first one doesn’t succeed, as they say…try, try again.
And we’re not the only ones who believe this about Blum and his latest case. Just a few days ago, there was a well-argued opinion piece in “The New York Times” by Natasha Warikoo and Nadirah Farah Foley entitled “How Elite Schools Stay So White” in which they write, “Instead of alleging bias against whites, [Blum] and the plaintiffs use supposed anti-Asian bias as a way to undermine affirmative action for blacks and Latinos. In doing so, however, they sidestep a more glaring inequality in admissions: Harvard applicants who are recruited athletes or children of alumni enjoy significant advantages, and these candidates are disproportionately white and well-off. However, neither the university nor Mr. Blum’s legal team address this point.”
They go on, “If Mr. Blum were really concerned with fairness, he would instead question the metrics for admissions decisions that often benefit white applicants: not only athletic recruiting and legacy preferences, but also less visible but still unbalanced considerations like geographic diversity, which favors whites because minorities in the United States are concentrated on the coasts. Indeed, if race alone is removed as a factor in admissions, as Mr. Blum wants, the group that will gain the most might not be Asian-Americans, but whites.”
From atop our soapbox in college admissions, we at Ivy Coach have been calling for an end to the practice of legacy admission in particular for many years since legacy applicants are overwhelmingly white — and they tend to come from privilege since their parents or grandparents attended a prestigious university. Ironically, as more and more time passes, the legacy pool will become less and less white. In the years ahead, more and more Asian American (and Latino, African American, Native American, etc.) students will be part of the legacy applicant pool since the children of these alumni are quickly becoming of college age in significant numbers.
But what do our readers think? Would a victory for the Asian American group challenging Affirmative Action (along with Edward Blum) benefit white applicants even more so than Asian American applicants to America’s elite universities? Let us know your thoughts on the matter by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you.
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