Asian Americans on Affirmative Action

The "Model Minority" Speaks Out

Asian Americans gather outside the Supreme Court to protest against Affirmative Action.

Courtesy of Jacquelyn Martin

Asian Americans gather outside the Supreme Court to protest against Affirmative Action.

Amanda Chung, Photojournalist

Affirmative Action was first introduced in the mid 1900s as a way to combat racial and gender discrimination in the hiring process. Now, the main issue that is currently debated over is affirmative action in the college admission process. This system gives minorities and underprivileged children more chances to be accepted into colleges, but surprisingly, it’s bad for Asian Americans.

Although Asian Americans are a minority group, it is actually harder for them to get in college because of both true and incorrect stereotypes. These stereotypes say that Asians are “innately” smart and that we are “good at math.” 

Consequently, Asian American applicants aren’t being considered fairly; instead of trying to one up their peers as a whole, they have to focus on their Asian American peers because they’re the real competition. They are expected to reach higher standard than other members in society because people assume they are naturally smart.

Many people have told me that just because of my race, I have to score way higher on the SAT and do way better than what’s considered “impressive” to actually have a shot at somewhere like Harvard and Stanford. To give an example, if an Asian American got a 1500 on the SAT and an African American got a 1420, colleges will most likely pick the African American student based solely on race.

Do Asians need higher test scores? Is it harder for Asians to get into college? The answer is yes.”

— Ann Lee

There are studies to prove that this phenomena is actually occurring. Princeton University conducted a study to find out how much race mattered in the college admission process. African Americans received a bonus of 230 points and Hispanics received a bonus of 185 points while Asian Americans are penalized by 50 points (LA Times).

This is why it is hard for me to support this policy because although I’m all for giving underprivileged people more opportunities, this is harming my future and my education. Wayne Chan (11) is in opposition to Affirmative Action because he believes that “protection of a particular group of minority should not be derived from the academic peril of another,” adding that “true equality in regards to education should not operate on the basis of racial orientation.”

I am not a Trump supporter whatsoever, but I like how he’s addressing complaints from Asian Americans about affirmative action. However, I don’t support his motive behind this. Since affirmative action affects Asian Americans and whites negatively, our interests align. Trump sees this as a political opportunity to exploit the “model minority,” saying that he’s doing this to help us when in reality, he just wants to further his own agenda. Trump obviously doesn’t care about Asian Americans; we’re just a prop to him. Although he is helping us by “reforming” affirmative action, his ultimate reason for doing it is to protect the privilege of white people.