One of the least-kept secrets in higher education is the fact that many colleges and universities, especially the more select ones, consciously seek to suppress their “Asian” student enrollment.
During the first year of my term as a regent of the University of California (UC), a prominent member of the staff at one of the UC campuses remarked to me that at least two of the UC campuses could become “all-Asian” if conscious efforts were not pursued to “maintain diversity.” It was at that point that I learned that “diversity” was the fig leaf to hide this pervasive system of discrimination against Asians.
The case filed by Jian Li against Princeton and the decision of the Office of Civil Rights to take this case, and to even expand it, is an extremely important one for those who believe that racial discrimination is morally wrong and that every American is entitled to equal treatment. This insidious practice of Asian discrimination has largely gone unchallenged for a variety of reasons. First, there is a prevailing view that “opportunities” granted to one group do not come at the expense of another. This view was recently expressed by one of the presidential candidates. It is a sentiment that enables institutions of higher education as well as others to get away with their Asian discrimination. Few are aware that the percentage of Asians at the University of California at Los Angeles campus went from roughly 22% when preferences were being accorded to “underrepresented minorities” to over 40% once they were eliminated.
Second, Asian discrimination occurs because Asians—unlike black and Latino activist groups—remain silent in the face of discrimination against them. Stepping forward as he has done, Li might very well trigger an “I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore” attitude among other Asians. And that would be a good thing.
Until recently, the unbridled pursuit of “diversity” has allowed public and private institutions to operate with reckless abandon based on their belief that the end of racial integration and “inclusion” justified the means of achieving it—a means that they failed to even acknowledge as constituting discrimination. Hopefully, the Office of Civil Rights can unmask the consequences of this diversity gambit and restore the principle of individual rights to the decision-making process.