Watch Rep. Ted Lieu Explode at Witness to 'Stop Bringing in Irrelevant Issues' on Asian Discrimination

Posted: Mar 25, 2021 8:05 PM
Watch Rep. Ted Lieu Explode at Witness to 'Stop Bringing in Irrelevant Issues' on Asian Discrimination

Source: House Television via AP

During a Thursday hearing on "The Importance of a Diverse Federal Judiciary," Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) absolutely went nuts on the witness, Peter Kirsanow, of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, because he dared to bring up the discrimination against Asians at Ivy League schools. Well, at least, Kirsanow tried to bring it up.

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"I agree with you entirely, that if there is discrimination it's against Asian-Americans," Kirsanow said. "In fact just yesterday, or the day before yesterday I filed brief in the Students for Fair Admissions Harvard case in the Supreme Court," he continued. Rep. Lieu suddenly interrupted to shout for Kirsanow to "stop bringing in irrelevant issues" as he claimed "there are more Asian-Americans at these Ivy leagues." His yelling was loud enough to create feedback.

Throughout their exchange, Kirsanow emphasized his agreement with Rep. Lieu on his concerns on discrimination. "We must avoid, at all costs, the perception that decisions are being made on the basis of race," Kirsanow said, before attempting to bring up ivy League school admissions once again. He noted that "it appears as if decisions, in large part, are being based on--"

Rep. Lieu cut Kirsanow off once again, to snap "we're not talking about the admissions process! We're talking about the federal judiciary," before continuing to lambast the mostly white, male judiciary. 

"It's corrosive for America to have an entire third branch of government in which people are selected on the basis of them being white. That's the only way to explain these statistics," the congressman said, yielding back so that Kirsanow did not have a chance to respond further.

Kirsanow and Rep. Lieu were both in agreement about the societal ills of discrimination, that is when Rep. Lieu actually let Kirsanow speak. When Kirsanow did not make the exact point Rep. Lieu did, the congressman lost his patience and made the claim that "people are selected on the basis of them being white," which ignores the qualifications said white judges might posses as the reason why they were selected in the first place.

Regardless of whether or not Rep. Lieu wants to address or would rather ignore the issue, Kirsanow's concerns with discrimination at Ivy League schools are not unfounded. Under the Trump administration, the Department of Justice investigated Harvard and Yale in separate instances for denying admission to Asian students in favor of accepting less-qualified students of other minority groups. The Biden administration has dropped the case against Yale.