Is there Asian American discrimination at Harvard — in the university’s admissions practices? You bet. But let’s not single out Harvard — discrimination against Asian American applicants is rampant across the college landscape. And yet all of this could soon change. The United States Justice Department, under the leadership of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has indicated it intends to pursue complaints that allege Harvard University discriminates against Asian American applicants. At Ivy Coach, we’ve been standing on a soapbox for many years asserting that indeed Asian American applicants do face discrimination in highly selective college admissions — not just at Harvard but at every highly selective college — and it’s high time this practice ends.
But we’ve also asserted that the strategy deployed by groups like the Asian American Coalition for Education to attempt to bring to an end this discrimination is all wrong. We don’t believe that movement on pivotal civil rights issues of our time begin in the courts in America. It’s where great civil rights victories are achieved — absolutely — but our American history teaches us that effective civil rights movements begin in bars like New York’s The Stonewall Inn, on the streets of Selma, in places like Seneca Falls. That being said, groups like the Asian American Coalition for Education have to be celebrating this week that the current administration of the Department of Justice seems to empathize with their cause as the department seeks to potentially end not only Asian American discrimination in college admissions but the practice of Affirmative Action in its entirety.
As a “CNN” piece entitled “Harvard fight could redirect 40 years of affirmative action” by Joan Biskupic points out, “Now it appears the Trump administration could throw its weight into the case or, even more potently, launch its own lawsuit against university policies. Either move could support a broader effort, seen in the Harvard lawsuit, to reverse a 1978 Supreme Court decision that allowed colleges to consider an applicant’s race as one of many factors in admissions, but forbade quotas. The action would play to a conservative base that has long abhorred practices that offer a boost to racial minorities, potentially at the expense of whites. So far, the Supreme Court has rejected challenges, but just barely…New DOJ involvement could ratchet up the pressure on universities like Harvard that place a premium on racial and ethnic diversity and ramp up the stakes for some Asian-American students.”
Only time will tell if an assist from the U.S. Department of Justice will help bring to an end the practice of discrimination against Asian Americans in college admissions — and potentially even the longstanding, broader practice of Affirmative Action that contributes to the discrimination against Asian American applicants. But, while we’re discussing it, how do our readers think this will end? Let us know your thoughts by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you.