An Asian-American Awakening

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By William McGurn,

from The Wall Street Journal,

A racial minority fights discrimination from elite schools and universities.

Have progressives poked a sleeping giant? A thousand New Yorkers showed up Sunday at City Hall to protest Mayor Bill de Blasio’s bid to substitute de facto racial quotas for a merit-based admission test at the city’s elite public schools.

Two things make the protest striking. First, the protesters were Asian-American. Second, the big local dailies, save for the New York Post, didn’t cover it.

New York is not the only place where Asian-Americans are revolting against racial preferences as a tool to help minorities. Four years ago, a backlash by Asian-American lawmakers in California helped defeat a proposed constitutional amendment that would have repealed a state prohibition against considering race in education and other government functions. Meanwhile, a lawsuit accuses Harvard of discriminating against Asian-American applicants in violation of Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

“For years Asian-Americans have been viewed as the ‘model minority’—you know, quiet and well-behaved,” says Chunyan Li, a professor of accounting at New York’s Pace University. “But when we see the effects of social engineering on the future of our children, we can get nasty against the politicians too.”

It wasn’t supposed to work like this. In theory, only the white patriarchy loses from affirmative action, and all people of color share the same interests, regardless of their history or socioeconomic status or achievement.

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