The Department of Justice (DOJ) offered a public show of support last week for Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) in its lawsuit against Harvard for what SFFA calls anti-Asian discrimination.
A filing in the ongoing Massachusetts case is the Trump administration’s most significant entry into the debate over affirmative action and sets up a fight on the diversity policy that could have wide implications for higher education.
In the filing on Aug. 30, known as a statement of interest, the DOJ said Harvard’s race-based admissions process significantly disadvantages Asian American applicants compared to applicants of other racial groups. The DOJ also alleged that Harvard has failed to prove that it does not unlawfully discriminate against Asian Americans. DOJ officials said the government has a legal interest in the case because Harvard accepts millions of dollars each year in federal funding.
Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE) hailed the DOJ’s filing as a responsible government move to provide equal protection of the laws to Asian American children. Last November, the DOJ started to investigate Harvard’s admissions practices as a direct result of the AACE-led civil rights complaint against Harvard in May 2015.
“The DOJ’s timely weigh-in on SFFA’s lawsuit demonstrates the federal government’s willingness to redress Harvard’s civil rights violations in the form of racial discrimination against Asian Americans, under the pretense of campus diversity. The DOJ has showcased true leadership and stewardship in justice and equity for all Americans,” said AACE in a statement.
According to a 2016 Gallup Poll, two-third of Americans oppose race-based college admissions. AACE president, Mr. Yukong Zhao, said, “History is on our side! More and more Asian Americans have woken up and will no longer tolerate such blatant discrimination.”
We wholeheartedly agree. We urge all colleges that adopt Harvard admissions model to stop their discriminatory practices. Rather than unlawful racial balancing, we can achieve racial diversity on college campuses through making improvements in K-12 education in minority communities.