Over 360 Asian and Other American Organizations Filed Amicus Brief, Jointly Urge the Supreme Court to Ban Anti-Asian Discrimination in College Admissions

By | May 9, 2022

For Immediate Release

May 9, 2022

Livingston, New Jersey: On May 9, 2022, representing 368 organizations (including 305 nonprofit associations and educational entities), the Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE), in collaboration with the Asian American Legal Foundation (AALF), filed an Amicus Brief with the United States Supreme Court, urging the Supreme Court to ban anti-Asian discrimination in college admissions. It shows our continuous, strong support of Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA)’s lawsuits against Harvard University (Harvard) and University of North Carolina (UNC).

In the wake of anti-Asian violence and discrimination in the admissions of various high-schools and colleges across the nation, American community has formed a united front to fight against systemic racial discrimination in college admissions by Harvard, UNC and many other selective colleges nationwide. Our alliance includes over 360 Chinese, Korean, Indian and other Asian American organizations and represents the largest joint-action taken by Asian American community in our fight for our equal education rights in the modern history.

In the brief, we argue that the race-conscious admissions programs at Harvard and the UNC is carried out in the name of diversity, but the result is the same—discrimination against individuals who are of non-favored races.

The discrimination is severe. At UNC, an in-state male Asian American candidate whose statistical chances of admission are 25% based on grades and other metrics would have a 63% chance of admission if treated as Hispanic and a 88% chance of admission if treated as black. Harvard maintains its racial balances by taking the discrimination an insulting step further, using the highly subjective “Personal” rating—an important component of an applicant’s overall admissions score—to establish a hierarchy of races, with blacks at the top, followed by Hispanics, followed by whites, and with Asian Americans at the very bottom.

The severe anti-Asian discrimination (de facto racial quotas, higher admission standards and racial stereotypes) in college admissions adopted by most selective colleges in America has led to unbearable study load, depression and other psychological among Asian American students. Moreover, in order to justify for race-conscious admissions policies, liberal politicians and media openly label Asian Americans as “over-represented” in American colleges. Some even accuse Asian American benefit from “white supremacy.” The stereotyping of “Asians” as somehow deficient in ordinary human qualities, coupled with the accusation that they are also “overrepresented,” undoubtedly plays a prominent role in the hostility, unprecedented in modern times, toward Asian Americans.

The race-conscious admission policies not only cause severe harm to Asian American communities, but also failed to help the blacks and Hispanics. It is at best a “Band-Aid” that conceals rather than addresses the real root causes behind a lack of diversity on many college campuses—the abysmal state of K-12 education in too many minority communities. Race-preferential college admissions actually benefits more students from well-off and new immigrant families of favored 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.”

As a result, The race-conscious admission policies have lost support from the American society. According to 2019 Pew Research Center survey, most Americans (73%) say colleges and universities should not consider race or ethnicity when making decisions about student admissions, including 78% whites, 65% of Hispanic 62% of blacks and 59% of Asians.

As a result, we conclude: “The blatant discrimination by Harvard and UNC should be stopped…

It is time to reexamine the holding of Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003), which allowed universities to consider race under the guise of creating “critical masses” of underrepresented minorities. As the instant cases show, the holdings of Grutter and its progeny have not stood the test of time but have instead led to a cynical watering down of the strict scrutiny analysis used to determine whether distinctions based on race are lawful, making a mockery of the equal protection guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Unless ended, the present trend of imposing unneeded and harmful racial distinctions will not stop with college admissions but will permeate all aspects of American society, with grave consequences for our future.

Some 70 years ago, in Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), this Court recognized the inherent injury to individuals when schools treat students differently because of their race, and found that such discrimination was unlawful, whatever the stated justifications. That same reasoning should apply here today.

This Court should find in favor of Petitioner.”

AACE president, Mr. Yukong Mike Zhao said: “Since the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, Asian Americans have been victimized by race-based policies. Today, in the 21st century, unfortunately, we are still politicians’ scapegoat for failures in lifting K-12 education in too many black and Hispanic communities. The race-conscious admission policies not only cause severe harm to many Asian American children, including unbearable study load, depression and other psychological diseases, but also failed to improve K-12 education of Blacks and Hispanics because it does not address its root causes. It’s time for the U.S. Supreme Court to step up to protect our constitutional rights. If you do it, you will be on the right side of history. 73% of Americans do not want see race as factor in college admissions!”

The link to the amicus brief: https://asianamericanforeducation.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/AACE_AALF_Supreme_Court_Amici_Brief_202205.pdf

Asian American Coalition for Education 
Asian American Legal Foundation

AACE: Ms. Swann Lee, telephone: 617-651-1328, email: swanleeca@gmail.com.
AAFL: Mr. Lee Cheng, telephone: (626) 255-5861, email:leechcheng@gmail.com

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.

About AALF, Asian American Legal Foundation (AALF)
Asian American Legal Foundation (AALF) is a non-profit organization based in San Francisco, was founded in 1994 to protect and promote the civil rights of Asian Americans. AALF focuses its work on situations where Asian Americans are discriminated against for a purportedly benign purpose and where high profile groups and individuals deny that discrimination even exists. Members of AALF were instrumental in the struggle to end discrimination against Chinese American students in the San Francisco, California public school system, and since 1994, AALF has ensured that the voice of the Asian American community has been represented in amicus filings in every major civil rights case before the United States Supreme Court and the California Supreme Court.