Asian-Americans: A Social-Justice Blind Spot?

Editor’s note: This week’s Future View discusses the relationship between Asian-Americans and movements for social justice. Next week we’ll ask, “Should businesses require employees or customers to show ‘vaccine passports’ to enter their premises? Should government insist on it?” Students can click here to submit opinions of fewer than 250 words before April 6. The best responses will be published that night.

Allies of Convenience
The social-justice movement has taken a sudden interest in violence and discrimination against my community, Asian-Americans. But this interest was sparked only when anti-Asian hatred could be framed as an expression of “white supremacy” following the horrifying mass murder in Atlanta. The broader story of violence and discrimination against Asians is much more complex.
We are taught growing up to keep our heads down and work hard. This mentality has paid off: Asian-Americans rank highest of any group in standardized testing and median income. On average, we score more than 100 points higher than white SAT takers and earn around $22,000 more than white households. Unfortunately, top universities use discriminatory tactics to make us less eligible for admission—in the name of racial diversity and equity. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio attends rallies and spouts platitudes against anti-Asian bias, while also attempting to change admissions policies at specialized high schools to ensure a “more diverse” student body, meaning fewer Asians.

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