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Affirmative Acting Up

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Affirmative Acting Up

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Since a young age, most readers are at least somewhat familiar with affirmative action – the standards put in place by colleges and organizations to favor those discriminated against in prior years. Education facilities have utilized statistics in the past to boost their race admission rates, and Harvard University is no exception. However, a trial in Boston began against the college on October 15, 2018, proclaiming discrimination against Asian-American applicants. New York Times writes, “The plaintiffs say that the university holds Asian-Americans to a higher standard than applicants of other races and resorts to racial balancing to shape its incoming classes, in violation of civil rights law.” Harvard refutes those claims, denying any manipulation of racial quotas to attain their diverse populace.

Although the case in question is aimed specifically towards Harvard and its admission policies, the trial is being seen as a major development, specifically in the possible abolishment of affirmative action. However, Time states, “Surveys show that a majority of Asian-Americans support affirmative action policies, though support among Chinese-Americans decreased to 38% this year, according to a survey by APIAVote and AAPI Data.” Furthermore, in an interview with Julie Park, an associate professor at the University of Maryland, she says, “I think if this case or another case leads to a nationwide ban on race-conscious admissions, everyone is going to lose out, including Asian-Americans.”

However, others are not quite so certain. Some, such as Chinese-Americans, “[have] longstanding fears of being reduced to crude stereotypes. It has sowed ambivalence and division among Asian ethnic groups,” according to New York Times.

No matter the results of the case, the longstanding effects of the final decision will not be set in stone for years to come – even then, there’s not necessarily a linear destination for the future of affirmative action. Still, the events of the lawsuit are a major step in the politics and justifications involved in such legislation. Only time will tell the definite ramifications in “big picture” terms and in the future of Asian-Americans attempting to enroll in Harvard University.

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Affirmative Acting Up