Thursday, April 19, 2012

“The Year I Became a Minority”

Dear Fellow Asian Americans and other Friends, 

Large racial preferences induce insurmountable academic mismatch, degrading the quality of classroom instruction, hurting everyone including its intended beneficiaries. Esther Cepeda, a Hispanic writer, shared her bewildering experience of "becoming a minority" at Northwestern University in her 2012-03-01 Chicago Tribune article "The Year I Became a Minority"

Coming "from a diverse public college preparatory school and attended an equally diverse public university where no one ever felt anyone else got in because of affirmative action", she thought she earned a full-ride scholarship to the prestigious graduate program through her "strong undergraduate performance", only to find out the harsh realities:

o All of a sudden, she "formally became a minority". "In all my classes I was the official Hispanic, routinely called upon to enlighten my white classmates about  Latino consumers' struggles in the barrio with English language acquisition, gangs, and discrimination – none of which I'd ever had any experience with".
o "I was not academically equal to my peers and woefully unprepared for the math-heavy statistical analysis needed to complete the basic courses in data mining. My low first-quarter grades put me on academic probation and I later ended up leaving school never having gotten that graduate degree"
o "The well-meaning admissions people who thought that I'd find a way to succeed academically were, as it turns out, a little too sunny about my potential, and I left with serious bruises on my psyche and ego. But it was painful preparation for the "real world" because since then I've not held a job — in teaching, government or journalism — where someone didn't imply, or flat out declare, that I got it just for being Hispanic."

Is Ms Cepeda being helped by the race conscious admission? No! Racial preferences lured her away from what could have been a very successful graduate career had she been placed in a good (but not the most competitive) graduate program commensurating with her pretty good (but not the top) qualifications. Racial preferences also hurt America's competitiveness by turning away the most qualified students, resulting in heartbreaking stories of the opposite kinds.

"One of the principal reasons race is treated as a forbidden classification is that it demeans the dignity and worth of a person to be judged by ancestry instead of his or her own merit and essential qualities." Rice v. Cayetano, 528 U.S. 495, 517 (2000)

We will try our ultimate best to influence the Supreme Court case, and other issues of Asian American concern. We are able to advocate for the As Am community because we do NOT take grants from the schools or the government. However, an operation of this scale costs money.

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