LETTER TO THE EDITOR: No one should ignore, nor exploit, anti-Asian bias

To the Editor:

In last Monday’s editorial “Stand with Harvard on Affirmative Action,” The Sun’s editorial board stands firmly with Harvard University on the case SFFA v. Harvard. The Sun admits that the issue at hand is “ostensibly” about “Harvard’s alleged discrimination against Asian-Americans in their admissions process to the benefit of other minorities and white students.”

For this the Sun was “half-right.”

In their later, hastily added clarification for their Monday editorial, The Sun admits that they did “not pay sufficient attention to the specific claims against Harvard,” specifically on the claim that Harvard had used the system of “personal score”, a series of vaguely defined assessment rating students on their “likability, courage, kindness and being ‘widely respected’” to limit Asian admission. For this the Sun was poignant. Its Monday editorial is that of the typical argument of the “motivation.” By the editorial’s logic, anyone arguing against Harvard argues against affirmative action as a practice simply because Ed Blum and SFFA, the people behind the lawsuit, have the questionable intent of exploiting this case to dismantle affirmative action. By essentially asserting that the plaintiffs’ motivations render illegitimate the issues the lawsuit raises, the editorial suggests that the “ostensible” core of the case, the Harvard administration’s alleged long-running practice of allowing “anti-Asian bias” to affect their admission process, is worth ignoring.

EDITORIAL: Clarifying Monday’s Editorial on Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard

On Monday, The Sun published an editorial titled “Stand with Harvard on Affirmative Action.” It concerned the ongoing lawsuit Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, which went to trial in Boston this week. The editorial reaffirmed The Sun’s long-standing support for affirmative action and positive race consideration in the college admissions process. It also expressed our worry that the outcome of this case will be the end of affirmative action and positive race consideration in all college admissions processes nationwide. However, the editorial did not pay sufficient attention to the specific claims against Harvard included in the suit. The suit claims that Harvard systematically rated Asian-American applicants lower on “personal scores” — the least-defined of the five categories on which all applicants are scored.

WANG | Indistinguishable Asians

A few months ago in the spring, I had a sit-down with a charming professor about a homework problem I was stuck on, and while the chat was productive, it soon devolved into tiptoeing around a racial issue that, frankly, has worn a bit thin on me. When I told her I was Chinese, she inevitably started talked about her experience traveling abroad in mainland China, and while her eyes glowed when she talked about the sights she saw, her mouth began to twitch uncomfortably when she descended from the sights to the people. And word for word, before she began, I knew what she was going to say. It isn’t a secret in the Chinese American community that there is a certain disdain for their peers from abroad. Whether it’s true or not, nationals are regarded as louder, less behaved and generally less suited for assimilation in America.