Is it Worth it for the Damage it May Cause?: The Asian-Americans v.s Harvard Case

By Jala Everett

Recently Harvard has been in the spotlight in the media, the headline being that they are being sued by Asian-Americans for racial discrimination against them in their admissions process.

Naturally your next question now probably is: is it true? Are other minorities being favored over Asian-Americans in the admissions office at Harvard?

The answer is no. According to Propublica, Asian Americans made up 23 percent of the incoming class of 2022 of Harvard this past year while African-Americans made up about 15 percent and Latinos 12 percent, making Asian-Americans the most accepted minority at Harvard.

Your next question probably is so what is this case about?

With the headline about said lawsuit, what usually follows are the people behind the lawsuit calling for a ban on affirmative action in the United States. For those of you unfamiliar with what affirmative action is, it is a government program designed to address the historic injustices specific minorities have undergone in the past, and provide the members of those communities with equal opportunity in obtaining employment and education now. Affirmative action is important because it takes away an employer’s or a school’s right to not hire or admit someone simply based off of their race, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

Though the faces of this lawsuit are Asian-American students, the actual organization suing is the Student for Fair Admissions group. This is a group that believes that a person’s race should not help nor harm them in the admissions process, which isn’t okay because that means it does not factor in inequalities members of different communities face today. Their belief is that affirmative action must be banned as it enables colleges and universities to discriminate against white people in the admissions process. The President of the organization is Edward Blum, a conservative strategist known for his crusade against affirmative action in the past.

Edward Blum is helping to put this case in the spotlight as part of his own agenda to end affirmative action. In my opinion I believe that Edward Blum is using Asian-American plaintiffs to further advance his agenda. I don’t think he cares about their case whatsoever, instead interested in pushing his own racist agenda. He’s doing this because the last time he was in charge of PR for a case like this was with Abigail Fisher vs. University of Texas. The premise of this Supreme Court case is that affirmative action discriminates against white people. Abigail stated that she was discriminated against in the admissions process for being white. Her claim was that blacks and Latinos with less qualifications than her were favored over her because they were a minority. What Abigail lacked in this case were the facts that went into this admissions decision. In reality, only 47 people with lower grades than her were accepted, with only 5 being Black and Latino and 42 of them being white, while 168 black or latino people with grades better or just as good as Abigail were not accepted. If anything Abigail’s case should have been for the black and latino people who applied to the University of Texas and were rejected; at least then she’d have just evidence to support her argument. Since these facts nullified Abigail’s argument the verdict resulted in her defeat in this case. This led to Blum’s search for a new poster child for his agenda. Blum’s new solution are Asian-Americans. He is using Asian-American students to gather a larger constituency behind his fight against affirmative action expanding from just white people.

Asian-Americans are a minority in the United States who face injustices everyday based off of their skin color, but this case doesn’t represent one of them. So to me I feel as though this case is in no way valid and just extremely dangerous. If the court rules that Harvard is guilty that could mean a step towards the abolishment of affirmative action, which would affect thousands of people across the United States, taking away their right to equal occupational and educational opportunities based on their skin color. So to answer my question NO I do not think it’s worth it because the amount of people the outlawing of affirmative action would affect is way too large for a case that isn’t backed up with any just evidence.

Works Cited

https://www.aclu.org/blog/racial-justice/affirmative-action/meet-edward-blum-man-who-wants-kill-affirmative-action-higher

https://studentsforfairadmissions.org/updates/

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/14/politics/harvard-affirmative-action-asian-americans/index.html

https://www.propublica.org/article/a-colorblind-constitution-what-abigail-fishers-affirmative-action-case-is-r