Over 270 Asian-American Organizations Jointly File an Amicus Brief Opposing Harvard’s Discriminatory Admissions Practices

By | January 8, 2019

For Immediate Release
January 8, 2019

Livingston, New Jersey: On January 8, 2019, representing 269 Asian-American organizations (including 230 nonprofit associations and educational entities), Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE), in collaboration with Asian American Legal Foundation (AALF), filed an updated Amicus Brief with the United States District Court in Boston to oppose Harvard University’s discriminatory admissions practices and to continue to show support to the plaintiff (Students for Fair Admissions, SFFA) in its lawsuit against Harvard.

Once again, our unprecedented joint action conveys Asian-American communities’ overwhelming demands for equal protection of the laws and for an end to Harvard’s unlawful discrimination. By presenting irrefutable evidence of egregious discrimination against Asian-American applicants at trial, the SFFA legal team did an excellent job at trial last in October and November to demonstrate Harvard’s uses of de facto racial quotas, racial stereotypes, and higher standards, all of which have been banned by a succession of U.S. Supreme Court rulings.

Asian-American communities are especially outraged by Harvard’s secretive practices of assigning uniformly low Personal Ratings to Asian-American applicants across academic deciles and raising the admissions bar higher for these applicants. In the past, Asian Americans were singled out as faceless and inferior members of “yellow hordes” lacking the values and human attributes of other Americans. Presently, Harvard uses the same odious stereotypes to justify its anti-Asian discrimination. Such discrimination also bears an eerie historical parallel to the institutional anti-Semitism adopted by Harvard, Yale, and Princeton during the first half of the 20th century to maintain a Jewish quota.

Harvard’s consistently low “Personal” ratings of Asian American children are baseless and insulting. In our 2015 complaint against Harvard, AACE has provided ample data and facts detailing many Asian Americans’ inspiring accomplishments in entrepreneurship, technology innovations, arts, and sciences. Nonetheless, illegal racial quotas and the stigma of undesirable personalities force many Asian-American children to conceal their proud cultural heritage and ethnic identities when applying to America’s selective colleges. Widespread anti-Asian discrimination in college admissions has caused grave injuries and imposed serious burdens on Asian-American communities, families, and students. As such, a deplorable example of social injustice is taking place in contemporary America! Harvard’s covert program of discrimination has no place in America and should be brought to an end.

As pinpointed in the Brief, Harvard’s use of race in college admissions is misguided and ineffective. It is at best a “Band-Aid” that conceals rather than addresses the real root cause behind a lack of diversity on many college campuses—the abysmal state of K-12 education in too many minority communities. The use of racial preferences in college admissions actually benefits more students from well-off and new immigrant families of racial minorities than those growing up in America’s disadvantaged communities. As a result of such failing policies, according to a New York Times article published on August 24, 2017, “Even with Affirmative Action, blacks and Hispanics are more underrepresented at top universities than 35 years ago.”

AACE president, Mr. Yukong Zhao said: “Harvard’s race-based admissions model has resulted in overwhelming study burdens, high rates of depression and even suicides among Asian-American children. It is a modern-day social injustice done to Asian Americans by powerful institutions and the political establishment. It clearly undermines the spirit of the American Dream, which promises that each American citizen should have equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination and initiative. Today, by jointly filing this amicus brief, more than 270 Asian-American organizations are sending a strong message to Harvard and other likeminded colleges: Asian-American communities are united behind our children’s constitutional rights. Your discriminatory admissions practices need to stop!”

The link to the updated amicus brief: https://asianamericanforeducation.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/SFFA-Amicus-Brief-20190108.pdf

Asian American Coalition for Education

Swann Lee, telephone: (617) 906-6380, email: swanleeca@gmail.com.
Wenyuan Wu, telephone: (786) 393-8028, email: admin@asianamericanforeducation.org.

About the AACE: www.asianamericanforeducation.org
Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE) is a non-political, nonprofit, grassroots national organization, the proven leader in fighting for Asian-American children’s equal educational rights. On May 15, 2015, the founders of AACE united 64 Asian-American organizations and jointly filed a civil rights complaint with the Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to request that they conduct investigations into Harvard University’s discriminatory admissions practices against Asian-American applicants. As the largest joint action taken by Asian-American communities over the last few decades, this complaint is now being investigated by the Justice Department. Over the years, we have advanced the cause of equal education rights for the Asian-American community. In July 2018, the federal government adopted our policy recommendations by rescinding Obama era guidance that promoted racial balancing and acquiesced to racial discrimination in college admissions.