On Saturday’s The Cross Connection, Tiffany Cross highlighted the ruse behind two cases before the Supreme Court that are poised to destroy affirmative action in college admissions. “It has become a familiar cry of the right that Asian-Americans are being disadvantaged but surveys show most in the API community are actually in favor of affirmative action programs,” she said. She posted a chart showing both the support and the lack of opposition. The greatest opposition, which was among the Chinese, was only 25%.
Then there’s the anti-diversity guy behind the effort, Edward Blum. He has been salivating for the Trump-appointed conservatives on the Supreme Court to throw out affirmative action and claiming it’s all about fairness for Asian Americans. But, as Cross pointed out, Blum was also the guy behind the Supreme Court case that gutted the Voting Rights Act. In 2017, The New York Times called him “a one-man legal factory with a growing record of finding plaintiffs who match his causes.” Even then that included “more than two dozen lawsuits challenging affirmative action practices and voting rights laws across the country.” He has obviously been hoping for the opportunity to get the matter back to the Supreme Court after he lost, in 2016.
Blum operates under the mantle of a group with the innocuous and misleading name, “Students for Fair Admissions,” Cross explained. But “he is really just positioning Asian American people against other people of color,” she said.
Guest John C. Yang, of the Asian Americans Advancing Justice organization, said that after Blum lost last time, he “was going around saying, ‘I need to find Asian plaintiffs.’” The goal was not to serve the Asian-American community but to use them.
“70% of our community support affirmative action,” Yang continued. “So this notion that somehow we’re going to suffer, the Asian-American community is going to be harmed by these race conscious programs is just a fallacy, it’s just a fiction.”
If you’re like me, a white person who doesn’t just support affirmative action as a benefit to people of color but feels that it benefitted my own education experiences, you’ll be especially chagrined to know that Cross’ other guest, Dr. Ivory Toldson, a professor at Howard University and the NAACP director of education innovation and research, said that the Black population at Harvard will likely be cut in half if (and more likely, when) the Supreme Court guts affirmative action. Yet the Black and Latino students are “highly qualified,” Toldson said, and they have statistically identical graduation rates as Asians and whites. He called Blum’s cases “quite appalling.”
Meanwhile, there are admissions policies that unfairly benefit white students that the Blum cohorts don’t seem to mind. “Why target other communities of color and not legacy admissions for students who are often un- or under-qualified, like Jared Kushner, for instance?” Cross asked, pointedly.
Yang agreed and added that athletic scholarships are another admissions issue. “Why are we focusing on race-conscience policies?” he asked, instead of looking at the process holistically?
We all know why.