The Uncomfortable Truth About Affirmative Action and Asian-Americans

By August 16

The New Yorker, 8/10/17

Since the nineties, the share of Asians in Harvard’s freshman class has remained stable, while the percentage of Asians in the U.S. population has more than doubled. A lawsuit was filed in Massachusetts in 2014 that claimed Harvard University’s undergraduate-admissions practices unlawfully discriminate against Asians. One officer said “certain of its Asian students weren’t admitted”, because “so many” of them “looked just like” each other on paper.

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Categorized in: Race and Civil Rights

Preaching the Gospel of Diversity, but Not Following It

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The New York Times, 12/17/16

Out of the 20-plus reporters who covered the presidential campaign for The New York Times, there were no Latinos or Asians and merely 2 were black. In the Sports department, there is only one Asian man, two Hispanics and no African-Americans among its 21 reporters. Also in the Styles section, every single writer is white.

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Categorized in: Race and Civil Rights

Airbnb host hit with a $5,000 fine for canceling on this Asian guest over her race

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Business Insider, 7/14/2017

In February, Airbnb host Tim Barker canceled on Dyne Suh, who drove through a snowstorm to get to his cabin in Big Bear, California. Baker said, “I wouldn’t rent to you if you were the last person on earth. One word says it all. Asian.”

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Categorized in: Race and Civil Rights

Asian Americans and the Future of Affirmative Action

By June 28

The Atlantic, 6/28/16

In his new book, Earning Admission: Real Strategies for Getting Into Highly Selective Colleges, the strategist Greg Kaplan urges Asians not to identify as such on their applications. “Your child should decline to state her background if she identifies with a group that is overrepresented on campus even if her name suggests affiliation,” he advises parents, also referencing Jews. Such tips are increasingly common in the college-advising world; it’s not unusual for consultants, according to The Boston Globe, to urge students to “deemphasize the Asianness” in their resumes or avoid writing application essays about their immigrant parents “coming from Vietnam with $2 in a rickety boat and swimming away from sharks.”

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Categorized in: Race and Civil Rights

AAPI Actors

Asian-American Actors Are Fighting for Visibility. They Will Not Be Ignored.

By May 25

New York Times, 5/25/16

When Constance Wu landed the part of Jessica Huang, the Chinese-American matriarch on the ABC sitcom “Fresh Off the Boat,” she didn’t realize just how significant the role would turn out to be. As she developed her part, Ms. Wu heard the same dismal fact repeated over and over again: It had been 20 years since a show featuring a predominantly Asian-American cast had aired on television. ABC’s previous offering, the 1994 Margaret Cho vehicle “All-American Girl,” was canceled after one season.

“I wasn’t really conscious of it until I booked the role,” Ms. Wu said. “I was focused on the task at hand, which was paying my rent.”

The show, which was just renewed for a third season, has granted Ms. Wu a steady job and a new perspective. “It changed me,” Ms. Wu said. After doing a lot of research, she shifted her focus “from self-interest to Asian-American interests.”

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Categorized in: Race and Civil Rights

Obama to Asian-American Community: “You Are part of the Lifeblood of this Nation”

By May 5

NBC News, 5/5/16

President Barack Obama addressed a range of topics including healthcare, education disparities, and immigration at a gala dinner Wednesday note hosted by the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS).

The president, who was introduced by Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), also praised the Asian American and Pacific Islander community for speaking out against anti-Muslim rhetoric and for supporting the Sikh, Arab, and South Asian communities targeted by discrimination.

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Categorized in: Government / WHIAAPI in the News, Immigration, Race and Civil Rights, Uncategorized

US Navy Officer

Advocates Worried Navy Espionage Case Could Hurt Asian Americans

By April 13

NBC News, 4/13/2016

When the case of Navy Lt. Comdr. Edward C. Lin, who stands accused of handing over state secrets to a foreign government, broke earlier this week, Lin became the latest story of a Taiwan-born American citizen charged with spying against the United States.

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Categorized in: Race and Civil Rights

Sihk Festival

Celebrating Vaisakhi: The Story Behind the Sikh Festival

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NBC News, 4/13/16

This week, millions of Sikhs wearing vibrantly colored turbans parading to the sound of beating drums will commemorate a tradition centuries old. The Sikh celebration called Vaisakhi happens annually in mid-April. The origins of Vaisakhi stem from a spring harvest festival native to the Punjab region of South Asia, but more importantly marked as a religious significance for Sikhs. Sikhism is a monotheistic faith founded on the principles of equality, freedom of religion, and community service.

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Categorized in: Race and Civil Rights