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OPINION

The New Asian Exclusion Act

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Were Harvard crushing the dreams of young white students to attend arguably the nation’s most prestigious university for no better reason than the color of their skin, who would care?

Indeed, Harvard University does more easily dismiss these disfavored pigment-deficient prospects. So do many other institutions of higher learning across America.

Are whites such a bad lot — down to each individual honky — deserving to be kneecapped?

It’s all about racist crimes, of course, crimes of the past. A surprisingly few whites once held a surprisingly large number of people with some African ancestry in bondage. After the bloodiest war in U.S. history led to the end of slavery, another century of Jim Crow discrimination ensued, with systemic violence committed against blacks in many areas of the country, often with government acquiescence or involvement.

Harvard and other educational institutions are trying to right those wrongs. But the more you look at the situation, complications arise. The story is usually told as white vs. black. But it really was only a small percentage of whites owning slaves. And there are many, many white Americans who can find no ancestor who owned even one slave.

And yet “justice” is said to demand race-based accounting?

Harvard officials, representing many if not most university brass across the country, quibble that they are simply ensuring a diverse student body. White students are sadly collateral damage . . . for which they feel just terrible.

And they hate to jettison the idea of a meritocracy, but . . .

. . . Governments should set rules for helping and harming individuals on the basis of what racial group they belong to until all races have been helped and harmed “equally.” Exactly equal. Well, close enough for government work.

Sounds fair, eh?

The Supreme Court has officially blessed this bizarre reverse discrimination notion.

Well, for a quarter century, anyway.

“The Court takes the [University of Michigan] Law School at its word that it would like nothing better than to find a race-neutral admissions formula and will terminate its use of racial preferences as soon as practicable,” former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor opined in Grutter v. Bollinger. “The Court expects that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.”

America is simply taking a little break from equal protection of the law to even out the collective racial burdens until everyone is satisfied that all current lives are equally valued and life itself is now supremely fair. Please set that 14th Amendment out of the way; we don’t want anyone bumping into it until we need it again.

Yet, even accepting this ridiculous constitutional timeout . . . those 25 years are mostly gone. Does anyone think that in 2028 folks who favor racial preferences will say, “Enough! Stop the preferences! Everyone’s collective everything is now precisely even-steven according to race”?

This week, a leak led the New York Times to report that: “The Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants . . .”

Turns out that the Trump administration is now investigating Harvard University after receiving a complaint that the school discriminates against Asian applicants. The complaint was “filed by a coalition of 64 Asian-American associations in May 2015” and “rolled over from President Barack Obama's administration,” according to CNN.

The groups allege: “Harvard is using racial classifications to engage in the same brand of invidious discrimination against Asian Americans that it formerly used to limit the number of Jewish students in its student body. Statistical evidence reveals that Harvard uses ‘holistic’ admissions to disguise the fact that it holds Asian Americans to a far higher standard than other students and essentially forces them to compete against each other for admission.”

Wait a second. Discriminating against whites is wrong, but has been justified because whites are “on top” and do not constitute “a disadvantaged minority.” However, Asian Americans are without a doubta disadvantaged minority. Asians have faced numerous laws throughout the last 150 years denying them equal rights. Japanese American citizens were forced into internment camps during World War II in complete disregard of their inalienable rights.

Affirmative action has an Asian problem: a downtrodden minority group that has, nonetheless,found tremendous success.

A higher percentage of Asian students have good grades and strong test scores placing them in competition for admission spots to the best universities. Therefore, a focus on admitting a student body that mirrors the racial make-up of the larger society, as opposed to a color-blind merit system, would necessarily disadvantage the racial groups outperforming their numbers, i.e. Asians, while rewarding the groups that are underperforming.

The various justifications for affirmative action are falling apart. Increasingly, supporters of a more diverse diversity acknowledge that the program often advantages wealthier minority students at the expense of poorer whites — and Asians.

And, even if a person can stomach reverse discrimination against whites for past sins of our race, how can one accept discrimination against Asians for no sin other than outworking and outperforming others?

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