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Harvard University is being sued by the conservative-leaning nonprofit organization, Students for Fair Admissions, after a study revealed that the university routinely gave Asian American applicants – who include Indian Americans – the lowest score of any racial group on subjective traits such as “positive personality,” “likeability” and “kindness.” Above is a photo of Austin Hall at Harvard. (Wikimedia commons photo)

Representing hundreds of partner organizations and millions of Asian Americans who take pride in the virtuous pursuit of learning and education, the Asian American Coalition for Education vehemently denounces Harvard for its systematic and blatant discrimination against Asian Americans. Unequivocal evidence of Harvard’s Asian-American penalty was disclosed by Student for Fair Admissions in its filing during its ongoing suit against Harvard.

SFFA’s court filing incorporates broad-based documentations including: expert analysis of Harvard’s admissions data from 2010 to 2015, Harvard’s internal investigation, and witness testimonies. SFFA’s expert, Prof. Peter Arcidiacono, is a renowned economist with expertise researching affirmative action. His model shows that an Asian American applicant with a 25% chance of admission would see his odds rising to 35% if he were white, 75% if he were Hispanic, and 95% if he were African American. Asian American children have to pass the highest standard, illegally stipulated by Harvard using race as basis.

According to the filing, Harvard uses “ethnic stats” and other tools to manipulate the process so that it achieves essentially the same racial balance year over year. If, at the end of the admissions process, Harvard has admitted more (or less) of any racial group than it did the year before, then it reshapes the class to remedy the problem. This is illegal practice of racial quotas.

The flat admission rates of Asian American applicants, in spite of their exceeding competitiveness on all objective measures, are attributed to the college’s notorious low personality trait ratings on these students as uninteresting and indistinguishable. Harvard’s internal investigation, by its own Office of Institutional Research, reaches the same conclusion that the school is biased against Asian Americans.

Mounting evidence reveals that Harvard unlawfully applies de facto racial quotas, racial stereotypes and higher admission standards to unduly harm Asian American applicants. By doing so, Harvard violates the U.S. Supreme Court Rulings of 1978 and 2003. Worse still, Harvard has engaged in a gross cover-up of its 2013 OIR investigation. Its proven discriminatory practices and refusal to change constitute a modern-day “Chinese Exclusion Act.” Its unlawful racial balancing, as evidenced in the SFFA filing, is rooted in a bigoted belief that there are too many Asian American students warranting a ceiling in admission.

When AACE filed civil-rights complaints against Harvard in 2015, Harvard’s legal counsel proclaimed that the college does not discriminate against Asian American applicants. Ironically, the school refused AACE’s challenge that it should disclose its admission records by claiming them as “trade secrets.” It took legal actions from SFFA to force Harvard to concede to this reasonable demand. Thanks to the SFFA team, the ugly truth of Harvard’s discrimination has finally surfaced.

This is a wake-up call to American society on political powerful groups’ institutionalized racial discrimination against Asian Americans, one of the smallest minority groups in the U.S. These unlawful acts are often committed under the politically correct name of diversity, undertaken by reputable institutions like Harvard, simply because Asian Americans are not politically powerful and rarely vocal about the injustices they endure.

Yukong Zhao, president of AACE, said: “Asian American communities are outraged by such appalling and blatant racial discrimination committed by Harvard. What SFFA discovered is just a tip of the iceberg. Many selective U.S. colleges apply admission model similar to Harvard’s and unlawfully discriminate against Asian American students. It is illegal and immoral. And it must stop! AACE demands that all American colleges strictly observe the U.S Supreme Court rulings and stop unlawful discrimination against Asian American children!”

Meanwhile, AACE presses for further policy reform to roll back the racial balancing policy of the Obama era that fails to provide equal protection of the laws to Asian American children. While applauding the Department of Justice’s investigation of Harvard, AACE believes that the Trump administration can do more to help Asian Americans. Zhao added: “With mounting evidence of discrimination revealed, now it is the time for the Department of Education to issue policy guidelines to require American colleges to halt any unlawful use of racial quotas, racial stereotypes and higher standards in their admission processes.”

Swann Lee

Asian American Coalition for Education

Via E-mail

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