On October 31st, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two current affirmative action cases: Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) v. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and SFFA v. Harvard University. JACL has joined 36 other AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) civil rights organizations and advocates in signing onto Asian American Advancing Justice (AAJC)’s amicus brief in support of race-conscious admissions. The amicus brief details the harms and addresses misconceptions of race-neutral admission practices. As we get closer to a decision by the courts in these cases, we must stay committed to preventing any potential action that can impede our ability to express our identities and lived experiences.
SFFA’s representation of the Asian American community as victims of Affirmative Action is a subtle example of how Asian Americans historically have been and continue to be leveraged toward dividing communities of color. As noted in the amicus brief, there is no evidence of the exclusion of Asian Americans by race-conscious admissions in higher education. Furthermore, Harvard, and UNC, among many other institutions that have implemented a race-conscious admissions system have only granted more opportunities for AANHPI identifying students to pursue higher education. It is our responsibility, as a community, to challenge these false notions perpetuated by the SFFA and the Project on Fair Representation, and unify our voice in cohesion with the 69% of Asian American voters that support Affirmative Action, and the millions that benefit from it nationwide.