A national coalition of Asian American advocacy groups called on the Biden administration to drop a lawsuit alleging discriminatory practices at Yale University as part of taking a stand against anti-Asian hate crimes.
Two weeks after the Biden administration took over the White House, the Department of Justice (DOJ) dropped a Trump-era lawsuit that claimed the Ivy League Connecticut-based university unfairly used affirmative action-like policies in their admittance procedures for Asian-American and White students.
“It’s so important to not excuse systemic racism, like racial preferences in college admittance or hiring, and marking Asian Americans as ‘less likable’ in certain college admission metrics,” said Mark Ang, the president of the California non-profit group, Asian Industry B2B, which develops pro-business activities and initiatives and is part of the coalition.
At a press conference Tuesday, Ang said, he believes that much of the anti-Asian violence is rooted in attitudes towards affirmative action programs. “When you say ‘let’s take merit out of the equation and let’s judge people by the color of their skin,’ that’s when you start seeing the increased violence,” he added.
Affirmation action — a practice in which institutions or businesses seek to broaden their representation by judging applicants in-part, based on their race or gender – is banned in 10 states across the U.S., including Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Texas and Washington.
Yale spokesperson, Karen Peart, told Fox News, “Yale’s admissions practices do not discriminate against Asian Americans or any other racial or ethnic group.”
Noting decisions from the nation’s highest court, Peart added that the “Supreme Court has laid down clear rules for the consideration of race and ethnicity in admissions, and Yale follows those rules scrupulously.”
Peart noted that Yale’s admissions of Asian American students has risen from roughly 14% to nearly 26% over the last two decades.
“Yale considers every applicant as a whole person; race and ethnicity alone never determine admission; and Yale never imposes numerical quotas or targets,” Peart added.
The coalition has called on the Biden administration to further address hate crime by enhancing how police precincts interact and encourage increased communication with Asian communities.
“We used to suffer in silence,” Ang said Tuesday, explaining that while violence against Asian Americans has increased during the coronavirus pandemic, it is nothing new.
The group is also calling for all hate crimes to be condemned by the administration, no matter the race of the perpetrator – a move that would also improve tracking of hate crimes committed against Asian Americans.