Rejected for Being Asian: Students Sue Harvard, UNC Over Race-Based Admissions


Wikimedia Comons

Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are facing lawsuits over their race-based admissions schemes, which hold Asian and white students to higher standards because of their skin color.

The lawsuits were filed Monday by a group of interested parties, including two unnamed college students who were rejected from Harvard and UNC. According to Inside Higher Ed, the Harvard applicant is of Asian ethnicity: He had a perfect ACT score, two 800s on SAT II subject exams, and was valedictorian of his high school. He didn't get in.

Remarkably, Harvard has managed to keep its Asian student population constant over the years, while universities that don't consider race as an admission factor have seen more and more Asians gain admittance. According to Inside Higher Ed:

What Harvard calls a holistic approach to admissions (in which applicants are reviewed individually, with a range of criteria considered) is actually a disguise for racial balancing in a system where Asian Americans are held to higher standards for admission, according to the lawsuit. As evidence, the lawsuit says that the racial demographics of Harvard's admitted class, first-year enrollment and total student body have remained stable over the last several years. …

"In light of Harvard's discriminatory admissions policies, [Asian Americans] are competing only against each other, and all other racial and ethnic groups are insulated from competing against high-achieving Asian Americans," the lawsuit reads.

The Supreme Court has previously upheld racial considerations in university admissions, but the recent Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin decision in 2013 further limited the permissible uses of affirmative action. Plaintiffs believe UNC's admissions system would fail the Fisher rationale. It's also conceivable that the Court would rule affirmative action entirely unconstitutional if presented the right kind of case.

Who can defend abject racial discrimination against Asians? Harvard's administrators and some of its faculty can. One professor even had the gall to suggest that discriminating against Asians is good for Asians. According to Fox News:

"Asian-American students benefit greatly from attending the racially and socio-economically diverse campuses that affirmative action helps create," Julie Park, assistant professor of education at the University of Maryland and author of the book "When Diversity Drops," told FoxNews.com.

I should think Asian-Americans would be better served by a non-discrimination policy. All student applicants should have the same right to a colorblind evaluation of their academic merits. With any hope, the sinister justifications offered by Park and others are becoming less compelling to the voting public, as well as the courts that will adjudicate lawsuits like this one.