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American History 2.0

The mainstream media had a heyday last week when Rep. Mo Brooks’ (R-AL) went on the radio with Laura Ingraham and declared that the Democratic Party is waging a “war on whites.” Brooks’ follow-up, “if you look at federal law, there’s only one skin color you can lawfully discriminate against. That’s Caucasions – whites…” added fuel to the fire.

Brooks’ comments are no doubt reprehensible. But, what is of real consequence to us is not that Brooks is a racist, there’s no surprise in learning elected representatives are racial conservatives, it is  that he is appealing to a …

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What “Racial Equity” Does and Doesn’t Mean

An article I wrote responding to UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh’s Washington Post editorial, “How the Asians Became White ” ended up creating a bit of a flap. There was a flood of angry comment, most of which was deleted.

Note to readers: comments that begin with “you f**king Nazi,” or that refer to me as a “genocidal maniac” don’t ever make the queue because, well, comparing racial equity in employment to the Holocaust is not something I support. Genocide, as well, is not something to be trivialized. If you want to do something to stop genocide, I suggest …

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Those Asian American anti-Affirmative Action Ads

That’s a screen shot of the most popular video circulating on the internet on Monday of this week. The video is pretty cool, but ultimately not a big deal, just some footage of a cat protecting a little kid from a dog attack. Sweet. I want a cat like that, don’t you? But if you look on to the left of the video link, you will notice something that might just be about to become a really big deal.

When you’re done cringing, you might want to read Wanted: Disgruntled Asian-Americans to Attack Affirmative Action, by Julianne Hing, published …

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No Right Turn: The Surprising Truth About Asian Americans and Affirmative Action

In an April 15 Los Angeles Times editorial entitled “An Asian American Turn to the Right?” Lanhee J. Chen, the former policy director of Mitt Romney’s failed 2012 presidential campaign and Hoover Institution Research Fellow, claims that Asian Americans played a critical role in defeating SCA5, a proposal to allow race to be considered among many other factors in college admissions in California.

SCA5 was proposed in order to remedy the precipitous drop in minority college admissions following the passage of Proposition 209, a 1996 ballot measure that banned affirmative action in California. The defeat of SCA5 is …

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Why We Should Fight Hard to Uphold Affirmative Action

The Supreme Court of the U.S. delivered a temporary death knell to racial equality in the state of Michigan today by upholding Michigan’s ban on affirmative action policies. In doing so, the Court clarified that the Constitution merely permits, but does not require, the use of the kind of race-conscious programs barred by the Michigan Constitution, and that individual states can choose to ban affirmative action programs. The decision comes on the heels of efforts by the California legislature to revive affirmative action.

I support affirmative action. Contrary to mainstream media claims, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are

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California Affirmative Action: Fact and Fiction

A lot of virtual ink has been spilled on this site about Affirmative Action, including this recent post. The subject is again fostering a lot of debate as the California State Senate considers SCA5 an amendment to the California Constitution that would allow the State’s post-secondary educational institutions to consider an applicant’s race in making admissions decisions. California outlawed the use of race based criteria in admissions via Proposition 209 which effectively banned affirmative action in California when it was approved by ballot initiative and enacted in 1996. As a result of the passage of proposition 209, minority enrollment …

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In Defense of Affirmative Action

In Slate today, author and journalist, Tanner Colby, wrote the second in a series of articles concerning what he calls The Massive Liberal Failure on Race. In it, he expounds on the failure of affirmative action to correct the problem of structural racism in the U.S., especially as it affects black people. Because of these failures, he suggests liberals eliminate affirmative action in favor of something else.

The article begins with some historical context, and then goes on to list affirmative action’s weaknesses, including these:

1) affirmative action was conceived of as a bribe offered by the Nixon administration …

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Racial Justice After Fisher and Shelby

In the wake of last week’s Supreme Court rulings in the Fisher affirmative action case and the Shelby County Voting Rights Act case, the post-mortems are in.

Race-based affirmative action in higher education is on its deathbed. Anti-discrimination protections for many voters are imperiled.

For the Court’s majority, two of the proudest achievements of the long Civil Rights Movement have become burdensome and outmoded, like a payphone on a troubled street corner. Even in liberal policy circles, the shibboleth of “class over race” (as if they were mutually exclusive) seems quickly becoming the new common sense.

At their …

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And the Supreme Court Punted…

In the continuing drama surrounding the case of Fisher v. University of Texas, the suit challenging Texas’s race conscious college admissions policy, the Supreme Court punted. In a 7-1 decision, SCOTUS decided against the University of Texas, but also put off deciding on the constitutionality of affirmative action. Instead, SCOTUS decided the lower court failed to apply strict scrutiny to the Texas program and asked it to try again.

So affirmative action in higher ed is safe for the moment, but the fight isn’t over.

The Fisher case is important. I know many have argued that the case looks weak …

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The Stigma of Affirmative Action

Stigma: (stgm)
1. A mark or token of infamy, disgrace, or reproach
2. A small mark; a scar or birthmark.

While in Atlanta recently I went on a walk through Piedmont Park with a friend who works in higher ed and a colleague of his, an academic. We were three men of color, two African Americans and me, and all racial justice advocates. Unsurprising then that we would eventually get around to the subject of affirmative action.

I am an affirmative action baby. The combination of affirmative action, life experience, and a high written test score made up the point …