On Dec. 9, Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE) sent Netflix a letter solemnly condemning its broadcasting of a Patriot Act segment titled “Affirmative Action” for its blatant intimidation of civil rights activism in Asian American communities and acquiescence for widespread anti-Asian discrimination by our nation’s selective colleges. Hosted by Hasan Minhaj under the disguise of “comedy,” this October Patriot Act episode showcases vicious personal attacks on AACE leaders and mischaracterization of the honorable cause AACE pursues.
AACE’s pursuit of equal education rights is in line with both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and dominant public support for merit-based college admissions. Defending this just cause for all American students regardless of their races, our leaders possess exceptional characters and admirable virtues. Among those attacked by Mr. Minhaj, Ms. Swan Lee is an outstanding writer and devoted mother; Dr. Ajay Kothari, an aerospace scientist, has made outstanding contributions to American ingenuity; Mr. Yukong Zhao, the cofounder and president of AACE, has been compassionately helping struggling families in America by promoting Confucian wisdom in education, money management and crime prevention.
However, while given the platform to present an objective discussion of college admissions, Mr. Minhaj failed to examine the true root cause of the lack of racial diversity in America’s selective colleges—failing K-12 education in too many black and Hispanic communities and hold politicians accountable. Instead, he launched one-sided, hyper-partisan attacks on the personal characters and immigrant backgrounds of AACE directors. This show reveals Mr. Minhaj’s true colors as a hypocritical political activist who engages in race-based identity politics, under the disguise of an “investigation journalist.”
By broadcasting and promoting Mr. Minhaj’s “Affirmative Action” program, Netflix is taking a de facto stance supporting his intimidation of Asian American civil rights leaders and condoning Harvard’s egregious discrimination against Asian Americans. We are extremely disappointed that Netflix, an icon in the entertainment industry, has gone so low to become a platform of suppressing Asian-American communities’ fight for our children’s civil rights.
In his letter to Ms. Rachel Whetstone, Chief Communications Officer of Netflix, the vice president of AACE, Dr. Jack Ouyang wrote: “AACE is truly outraged by Mr. Minhaj’s inflammatory categorization of Asian-American civil rights advocates as ‘the worst kind of Americans,’ implying these selfless civil rights leaders are as bad as criminals, gangsters, human traffickers, drug smugglers and murderers… If Netflix wants to retain your standing among the American public and in Asian-American communities, you owe Ms. Swan Lee, Dr. Ajay Kothari and Mr. Yukong Zhao a sincere apology. In addition, I urge you take immediate actions to stop broadcasting Mr. Minhaj’s ‘Affirmative Action’ program and ensure that you will not present any programs that distort and intimidate Asian-American civil rights activism in the future!”