For Immediate Release
August 29, 2017
The Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE) was shocked to learn that on August 18, 2017, Senator Dianne Feinstein and four other members of the Democratic Senate and Representatives (Senator Patty Murray, Representative Hakeem Jefferies, Representative John Conyers and Representative Robert Scott) issued a letter to the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, so as to obstruct the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) proposed investigation of the complaint filed by the AACE against Harvard University in 2015. The AACE strongly condemns this politically motivated and ugly act, which was orchestrated by Senator Feinstein and others and so perfectly illustrates their ignorance of relevant laws, underlying facts and disregard of the Constitution of the United States of America (the “Constitution”).
It is imperative to point out that the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution forbids the use of race to discriminate against American citizens, and Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act bans racial discrimination in federally-assisted programs. Furthermore, since 1978 The United States Supreme Court has made several rulings which have significantly limited the use of race in college admissions in order to minimize further erosion to the equal protection principle of the Constitution. In this regard, The United States Supreme Court has banned the following:
1. The use of racial quotas in 1978 (Regents of the University of California v. Bakke) as reiterated in 2003 (Grutter v. Bollinger, 2003, p. 22);
2. The use of higher standards to unduly burden Asians or any other racial groups (Grutter v. Bollinger, 2003, p. 29) ; and
3. The use of racial stereotypes (Grutter v. Bollinger, 2003, p24).
However, further research, and testimony from former admission officers and Asian American applicants indicate that over the last twenty (20) years Harvard University and other Ivy League colleges have utterly failed to comply with the aforementioned Constitutional provisions or The United States Supreme Court rulings referenced above. Instead, these Ivy League schools continue to use de facto racial quotas, higher admission standards and racial stereotypes to discriminate against Asian American children. As a result, the AACE, representing sixty-four (64) Asian American organizations, filed a civil-rights complaint against Harvard University with the Departments of Justice and Education in 2015. Said complaint was filed in order to eliminate such blatant violations of the constitutional rights of Asian American children.
Contrary to what Feinstein and her co-authors falsely claimed, the proposed investigation of Harvard is precisely the right action that should be taken by the DOJ to enforce the protections provided under the Civil Rights Act to Asian American children. Any politician who has a reasonable understanding of the relevant laws, underlying facts and minimum regard of the Constitution should support the investigation instead of creating barriers to it.
Mr. YuKong Zhao, the President of AACE, denounces the letter by Senator Feinstein and her co-authors and states as follows: “If Senator Feinstein and her co-authors truly care about civil rights for all American children they should have urged the Obama Administration to investigate Harvard when we filed the complaint in 2015. By playing identity politics and intervening in the DOJ’s proposed investigation they have let our country and the Asian American community down. These acts prove that they do not care about the constitutional rights of Asian Americans and want to carry on the race-based admission policies that treat Asian American children as second-class citizens. I strongly urge Senator Feinstein and her co-authors to withdraw their letter and to apologize to the Asian American community for their mistakes. As representatives of all citizens of their states, they owe the Asian American community a sincere apology!”
Asian American Coalition for Education
Mr. Raymond Wong, firstname.lastname@example.org, (646) 853-0928;
Professor, Chunyan Li, email@example.com, (973) 641-9011.
About the AACE:
The Asian American Coalition for Education (“AACE”) is a non-political, non-profit, national organization devoted to promoting equal rights for Asian-Americans in education and education-related activities. It is a grass-roots organization established by Asian-American parents. In May 2015, the founders of AACE united more than 60 Asian-American organizations to file a complaint with the Department of Justice and the Department of Education regarding Harvard University’s discriminatory treatment of Asian American applicants. It was one of the largest joint actions ever taken by Asian American organizations in pursuit of equal education rights.