Race-Blind Admissions An Act of Erasure

Race in Admissions, Affirmative Action, Practice of Affirmative Action

Make no mistake. It’s not only Harvard University on trial in federal court this week. The practice of Affirmative Action is on trial.

The Students For Fair Admissions v. Harvard University case is expected to conclude on Friday, which is good because we don’t know how much more we can write about this trial. We’re just kidding. We’re glad a spotlight is being shined on Harvard’s discriminatory practices in admissions against Asian American applicants, practices all highly selective colleges are guilty of. The public spotlight can serve as a powerful antiseptic to discriminatory policies at each of these institutions. It’s just that we’re growing tired of detailing the daily revelations about Harvard’s admissions practices at the trial because, well, we’ve been detailing these practices not only at Harvard but at every highly selective school for many years. The ‘trade secrets’ being revealed at the trial are not in fact ‘trade secrets’ as the regular readers of our college admissions blog know all too well.

Harvard Students and Alums Defend Harvard

But alas our task is to inform our readers about matters of college admission. So how could we not detail how current and former Harvard University students defended the practice of Affirmative Action in this third week of the trial in federal court? Indeed the courtroom was packed on Monday with students in light blue t-shirts that read ‘#DefendDiversity.’ In all, eight students testified in Harvard’s defense — and in defense of Affirmative Action.

As Neetu Chandak reports for “The Daily Caller” in a piece entitled “”Race Blind Admissions Is An Act Of Erasure’: Harvard Students Testify In Third Week Of Trial,” “Alumnus Itzel Libertad Vasquez-Rodriguez did not want the number of minorities to fall because ‘it would be catastrophic to a person like me,’ The Chronicle of Higher Education reported. She recounted feeling uncomfortable for walking into buildings named for white men and for seeing many white people on campus. ‘All of my life’s ambitions revolve around communities of color and my ethno-racial identity,’ Vasquez-Rodriguez said at the witness stand, WGBH reported…2016 graduate and previous Harvard Black Student Association President Sarah Cole felt that getting rid of affirmative action would not make her seen, according to The Chronicle. ‘Race-blind admissions is an act of erasure,’ Cole said, The Chronicle reported. ‘To try to not see my race is to try to not see me.'”

Well said, Sarah Cole! We echo your feeling, that race-blind admissions is absolutely an act of erasure. Do our readers agree? Disagree? Let us know your thoughts by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you!

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1 Comment

  • Julie Liu says:

    IMO, the trial is one big nothingburger. However, since the DOJ has taken “interest” in the case, I believe their goal is to see the case move to the Supreme Court which would likely rule in favor of the plaintiff thereby abolishing Affirmative Action–an unstated goal of the current White House administration.

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