Ending Anti-Asian Discrimination at Harvard: Plan B

Asian students

It is uncertain how the current lawsuit regarding Harvard’s alleged discriminate against Asian applicants will eventually turn out, but the smart money predicts little will change. After all, this is just one of many similar previous lawsuits, and racial preferences survived them all. Nor should we ignore administrative ingenuity in circumventing court orders. At most, Harvard and other elite schools will admit a handful more Asian applicants and hold their tongues in describing these youngsters as boring, plain vanilla dullards who add little to the school’s vital diversity.

The Court’s likely reluctance to flat out ban racial discrimination hardly settles the issue. The legal strategy may end, but the battle can continue through other means. Let me advise the parents of Asian applicants—the Tiger Moms—to implement a Plan B: revamp junior into something other than the stereotypical nerd who, supposedly, adds zero to campus diversity. Yes, junior will remain an academic grind majoring in molecular biology not Gender Studies, but no more stereotypical nerdiness. Harvard may still discriminate, but it will have to be more ingenious.

This Plan B will involve the familiar after-school cram academies long favored by Asians with  names like GPS Academy or Elite Academy. They are ubiquitous in Asian neighborhoods and even attract many non-Asians. Plan B will create additional academies whose purpose will be to add a little extra “diversity” to junior’s resume that will, hopefully, make him a bit less “Asian.” At least in the eyes of Ivy League admission officers.

Related: Is Affirmative Action Near Its Expiration Date?

Below are some suggestions regarding these new-fangled cram academies.

The Barack Obama Academy of Social Transformation. Students will learn-cutting edge theories of social justice and how society oppresses people of color, the marginalized, the stigmatized along with the incalculable facets of debilitating white racism. Students also master the trendy concepts of social justice, terms like ‘intersectionality’ and ‘cis-gendered.’ Equal time will be spent on direct action that has special meaning for enrollees; for example, demonstrations against popular Chinese restaurants in suburban mall food courts (e.g., Panda Express) for promoting hurtful cultural stereotypes while exploiting recent immigrants of Chinese ancestry. Students will also demonstrate against cram academies with largely Asian enrollment since they are barriers to blacks and Hispanic seeking a quality education. What Dean of Admissions could reject such a high-minded applicant?

The History of Victimization Academy. A dual-track curriculum stresses both historical group victimization and personal, identity-related tribulations. Those of Chinese ancestry, for example, will learn about how 19th century Chinese immigrants were economically exploited and demeaned (“coolies”), how a California law–California Crimes and Punishment Act of 1850  forbid Chinese people from testifying in court in self-defense against assault, the use of degrading typecasting in the entertainment industry (e.g., Charlie Chan who was always portrayed by Caucasian actors ) plus modern-day depictions of Chinese as “the model minority.” A trained therapist will then help students recover past long-forgotten memories of personal victimization, for instance, the bullying that resulted from being the smartest student in AP Calculus and the intense psychological discomfort experienced due to family pressure to succeed academically professionally.  Now, thanks to this new self-awareness, the college application personal statement will be, “It’s not easy growing up Chinese in an America dominated by white privilege.”

The Kanye West School of Kool. To be fair, Ivy League admission officers have a point that merit-only admissions criteria will result in a campus overflowing with look-alike nondescript Asian dorks. This homogeneity—khaki pants or budget-priced jeans, thread-bare Star Trek tee-shirt, non-descript sneakers, black-rimmed glasses, barber college quality haircuts, etc. etc. strikes at the very heart of diversity. Time to abandon the “Asian dweeb” look and add some attention-getting style. And who knows the cutting-edge trends better than Hip-Hop artists?

Related: Harvard, Not Trump, Could Kill Affirmative Action

Fortunately, over two dozen magazines now cater to the Hip Hop community with names like 2DOPEBOYZ. Hip Hop Weekly and Vibe. These can easily help transform plain vanilla geeks into the stylish men and women decked out in the most up-to-date clothing, bling jewelry, and electronic accessories. Then supply a whole new vocabulary totally beyond the ken of uncool classmates, professors and, most of all, admissions officers. Picture a young Chinese student in trendy gang-theme attire talking with similarly attired classmates about “a dime” who has some “Hydro” and doesn’t want any “green” since she must avoid the po-po. No doubt, visiting Harvard alums will congratulate the Admissions Office who have worked overtime to make Harvard vibrant.

The Max Institute of Personal Aggression. The most serious criticism of Asian students is their classroom passivity and unwillingness to challenge authority. These traits are especially frustrating for instructors insisting that that lively debate is fundamental to the university’s intellectual mission. Such deference also undermines creativity and innovation, particularly in the sciences. At The Max Institute, the once hopelessly recalcitrant will learn the art of inter-personal aggressive behavior—in a word. pushiness. Thanks to role-playing and training videos they will soon excel at interrupting teachers without first even listening to them, using sarcasm to bolster weak arguments, feigning anger when facing disagreement, constantly raising one’s voice to make a point and similar mannerism that are, at least in some cultures, deemed essential to lively intellectual debate. From meekness to confrontational smart ass thanks to this assertiveness training.

Of course, no guarantee exists that admissions officers will embrace the “new and improved” Asians. But, those rejected from Harvard for being dull dorks should take hope: Help is on the way thanks to Plan C: now faced with these new woke, quick-to-anger Asians mindlessly shouting airhead PC slogans, obsessed with group and personal victimization, milling about the Quad in gang-theme clothing sprouting incomprehensible Hip-Hop nonsense, etc. etc., admission officers will pine for the good old days of generic nerds. After all, the campus already has enough obnoxious snowflakes, so it hardly needs yet more undergraduates issuing stupid non-negotiable demands. With a little luck, the diversity and inclusion apparatchiki might reverse course and return to admitting old-style dorks and open the floodgates to prevent future Plan-B fiascos. Score one for the Han Tiger Moms.         

Robert Weissberg

Robert Weissberg

Robert Weissberg is a professor emeritus of political science at The University of Illinois-Urbana.

5 thoughts on “Ending Anti-Asian Discrimination at Harvard: Plan B

  1. I know this is satire, but . . . Asian-American students have been looking for “non-Asian” sports, interests and extracurriculars for some years now. Badminton and violin are out. Winning the science fair? Too stereotypical. These kids (and their parents) will do what it takes to get into elite schools. I wouldn’t be surprised if college coaches are telling kids to take up hip hop (you don’t have to be good at it), boxing and a non-binary gender.

    1. The first non-binary gender was “LUGgie” — Lesbian Until Graduation — and it inherently was in response to the political pressures of women’s colleges in the 1990’s.

  2. Quote: Plan B will create additional academies whose purpose will be to add a little extra “diversity” to junior’s resume that will, hopefully, make him a bit less “Asian.” At least in the eyes of Ivy League admission officers.

    No, it matters not. Harvard and the other Ivies simply hate Asians because they succeed without elite assistance. Read what actually took place and you’ll discovered that Harvard had to manufacture lies about Asian students to add enough negative points to keep them out. That’s bigotry.

    Quote: “These traits are especially frustrating for instructors insisting that that lively debate is fundamental to the university’s intellectual mission.”

    Surely you jest. Lively debate is the last thing today’s major universities want to see in students. Conformity now rules.

  3. Hilarious! As a graduate of UCLA in prehistoric 1967, I missed all the cool intersectionality studies—hell, they hadn’t even invented the word “intersectionality” yet!—and the fun victimization/ marginalization programs that sprang up after I left. Yes,I got to march against the Vietnam War, and protest against the “establishment”, but it was so intellectually primitive. We didnt have departments devoted to studying the oppression of women, blacks, latinas, gays, or transgenders—hell, we didn’t even have transgenders yet!—but we were forced to study the dregs of western imperialism, like Shakespeare, Newton, Milton, Copernicus. We didn’t see how it was all connected in a vast hurricane of power, privilege, colonialism, imperialism and cisgenderism ( which hadn’t been invented yet!). Thanks to Harvard and the Ivies, now we deeply understand how the world really works. Whew! I missed so much!

  4. As far as I know, “diversity” sounds nice, but there is no basis in law or common sense that it be a requirement for our school systems. It is a trendy belief. There are no legitimate studies showing that “diversity” somehow increases the education of our young, either.

    All these people who believe in “science” and in “Evolution” …. why do you lose those beliefs when it comes to fulfilling a PC shibboleth like “diversity”. If someone is qualified to get into college, let them in; if someone is not qualified equivalently to get into college, don’t lower the scores for them. That is anti-evolution if you do that.

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