AAPI Data research finds that the majority of Asian American registered voters support affirmative action in university admissions.
What future can we create by voting together and standing together?
By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang
“I’m going to put your name down as a write-in candidate for the library board,” my son, who we all call Little Brother, joked as we filled in our ballots together Sunday at the kitchen table.
When my children were small, I made a point to take them with me to the polls. They squirmed into the voting booth with me, watched as I fed my finished ballot into the machine, and proudly wore their “I voted” stickers on their foreheads.
Now that my youngest has turned 18, we are still voting together as a family. We research and discuss each candidate and issue as we work our way down our ballots, and then make our own decisions. Even my kids who live in other states proudly report in when they have turned in their ballots.
My daughter HH was excited to discover an “I voted” sticker inside her absentee ballot envelope, “That’s the best part.”
As we tried to figure out the judges running for various district courts and the state supreme court, I thought about how our votes at the local level connect us to the national. The U.S. Supreme Court began looking at affirmative action and the consideration of race as one factor in college admissions at Harvard and the University of North Carolina this week.
“Race-conscious admissions policies have played a significant role in the increased number of Chinese American students in American colleges over recent decades,” said the Committee of 100 in a statement. “We must not allow the current litigation before the Court to drive apart the Chinese American or broader minority communities. We must stand with each other as we have on issues such as anti-Asian hate and violence.”
According to AAPIData, 69% of Asian American registered voters support affirmative action. Despite how Asian Americans are portrayed as being harmed in these two cases, only 19 percent of Asian Americans oppose affirmative action (11 percent don’t know). The full history of Asian America shows how affirmative action has helped and continues to help Asian Americans. The plaintiff in these cases, Students for Fair Admissions, founded by a white conservative affirmative action opponent, is exploiting Asian American stereotypes like the model minority myth.
“The opposition does not speak for Asian Americans, and we reject these false narratives rooted in white supremacy to pit communities of color against one another,” said John C. Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC. “The majority of Asian Americans have consistently supported affirmative action, which allows all students to share their whole story that is inclusive of their identities, histories, and lived experiences. We stand with our Black, Latino, Pacific Islander, and indigenous allies to protect race-conscious admissions so we can continue to break down systemic and racial barriers that have denied too many access to a quality education.”
Rallies outside the Supreme Court and on college campuses nationwide showed solidarity and support for ensuring access to higher educational opportunities for all.
Remember to vote on or before November 8.
Two Asian American suffragists and trailblazers show us we cannot take our right to vote for granted. Learn how Mabel Lee and Tye Leung Schulze made history in our video called “Voting is Your Privilege: Unsung Heroes.”
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Behind the vocal Asian American minority railing against affirmative action | NBC News Though 69% of Asian Americans support affirmative action, factors like pressurized school systems in Asia, the immigrant condition, and a lack of firsthand knowledge of U.S.’s racial history fuel the opposition, experts said.
Dr. Jennifer Lee: Asian American Students Face Bias, but It’s Not What You Might Think | New York Times Asian Americans may experience positive bias before they apply to college. Abandoning race as a consideration in admissions would further obscure this bias.
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- VIDEO: “VOTING IS YOUR PRIVILEGE: UNSUNG HEROES” – Have you heard of Mabel Ping-Hua Lee or Tye Leung Schulze? See our video showcasing Mabel Lee, a suffragist who was unable to vote due to the Chinese Exclusion Act, and Tye Leung Schulze, an American by birth who was the first Chinese American woman to vote in a Presidential primary. These Asian American trailblazers, shown in our video courtesy of PBS and the Smithsonian, highlight how we cannot take our right to vote for granted. Watch “Voting is Your Privilege: Unsung Heroes” on our YouTube channel.
- VIDEO: “VOTING IS YOUR RIGHT: A RIGHT WORTH FIGHTING FOR!” – This video with Asian American rapper Matt R.Fact brings you on a musical journey through 138 years of events that finally brought us to the ballot box today. It was a long and arduous journey to gain the right to vote. Election Day is Tuesday, November 8, so make your voice heard! Early voting is an option for many people through mail-in ballots, drop-off locations, or in some cases, in-person polling locations. Find voting locations, see what’s on the ballot, get a code for a ride to your polling location, and more at apiavote.org. And visit our YouTube channel to watch “Voting is Your Right: A Right Worth Fighting For!”
- SURVEY ON THE STATE OF CHINESE AMERICANS IS OPEN – A nationwide survey is open from Columbia University and the nonprofit Committee of 100. This joint research aims to shed light on the demographic, economic, health, and sociopolitical situations of the Chinese American population, and inform policymakers and the public on the status and needs of the community. The survey data will inform timely and responsive policies, programs, and services. The survey can be completed online in English, simplified Chinese, and traditional Chinese. All adults who self-identify as being of Chinese-ethnic origin and are living in the United States are encouraged to participate in the anonymous survey.
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