It may be coincidental that the photojournalist the University of Missouri social justice warriors attacked in public was Asian-American, but their reaction wasn’t. Concerned Student 1950 tweeted, “It’s typically white media who don’t understand the importance of respecting black spaces.”
Liberals have a long record of minimizing and ignoring Asians in such movements. At Claremont McKenna College, protesters shouted down a student of Asian heritage for saying people should be judged on the content of their character rather than their race. Even Neel Kolhatkar’s video mocking politically correct education made the strange choice of showing an Asian student receiving one extra privilege point for his race. In America, at least, the Asian student would be docked—by 50 or maybe 140 points on his SATs during college application.
Now some of the demands from Mizzou protesters and other campus activists could also decrease faculty diversity with relation to its Asian composition. Mizzou protesters have demanded, for example, that the university hire 10 percent more black faculty and staff by the 2017-18 academic year, but implementing such a quota system would end up leaving behind candidates of Asian heritage, just like it has done for affirmative action.
Campuses Already Have ‘Too Many’ Asians
According to a summary put together by FiveThirtyEight, Asian-Americans and Asians make up 16 percent of the full-time faculty of Mizzou. Charted against the population of the state of Missouri between the ages 18 and 64, Asian-heritage faculty far over-represent their 2 percent share of the Missouri population. Compared to the percentage of Asians in the full U.S. population—4.8 percent in 2010—they are also “overrepresented.” Whites make up 75 percent of the tenure-track faculty at Mizzou and 80 percent of the state’s population within the age range.
If the demographics of Mizzou’s full-time faculty were made into the same percentage of each racial group as either the state or national population, Asian-heritage professors would be the ones to suffer most—either by being fired or not hired in the future. This phenomenon of minimizing Asians is a long-standing problem of social justice pursuits, and Asian-Americans have already suffered in education due to affirmative action.
Asian-Americans outscore their peers on the SAT, on average. In 2015, the average score for Asian-Americans was 1,654, higher than all other groups and highest in two of three categories—mathematics and writing (only trailing by four points in critical reading). The gap in test scores goes back to the old score system. Given that SAT scores and other measures of academic performance are major factors in deciding college admissions, on an even playing field the amount of Asian-Americans admitted into colleges will be higher than their share of the total population.
Affirmative Action Hurts Asians
A paper by Thomas J. Espenshade and Chang Y. Chung of Princeton University found the Asian-American college acceptance rate would increase by 5.8 percentage points if colleges eliminated racial preferences. Asian-Americans are also affected by legacy admission policies, but, the authors wrote, “preferences for athletes and legacies do little to displace minority applicants, largely because athletes and legacies make up a small share of all applicants to highly selective universities.”
That suggests that when race is taken into account in admissions, Asian-Americans are discriminated against. That is why there has been a string of complaints against universities like Harvard, North Carolina, and Wisconsin alleging racial discrimination against Asians.
Supporters of affirmative action argue, “Pacific Islanders and some Southeast Asian groups (i.e., Laotian, Cambodian, Hmong, etc.) are still struggling socioeconomically, are still ‘underrepresented’ in such institutions.” Yet Americans don’t typically cut any other ethnic group into such smaller parts for analysis. When talking about Hispanics, for example, charts do not often have separate tabs for those of Cuban, Mexican, or Argentine descent, for example. The argument also doesn’t change the fact that many individuals of Asian heritage would still be discriminated against—whether of Indian, Japanese, Filipino, or other ancestry.
These Imbalances Aren’t Limited to Mizzou
Mizzou is not alone in having a relatively large amount of Asians in its faculty. According to statistics prepared by the National Center for Educational Statistics, 10 percent of all full-time faculty at degree-granting postsecondary institutions are of Asian/Pacific Islander descent. For each category of faculty—from lecturers to professors—Asian-American representation is greater than their representation in the general population.
Compared with the nation at large, Mizzou does have fewer black full-time faculty members—3 percent at Mizzou versus 6 percent total in the country. However, if the goals of the protests continue to spread and other universities apply policies for racial quota systems in hiring, it will decrease the proportion of Asian professors.
The reaction to the woman at Claremont McKenna who talked about her experience of racism at the hands of a black man who told her to “go back to your home” was telling. “Black people can be racist,” she said, at which intolerant students began shouting. One could be heard to say, “She’s done,” and eventually someone took the megaphone from her. So much for listening and accepting someone else’s experiences.
Liberals accept minorities only as far as they can use them to advance their cause. The same thing happened to a degree to Suey Park. When she was protesting a police shooting of a black teen and the Native American name of a school mascot, liberals used her as their Asian sidekick. When she tweeted out #CancelColbert, admittedly a stupid hashtag, but not much stupider than the campaign underway at Yale, it was mostly Colbert’s liberal fan base that turned against her, according to a long profile in The New Republic, and sent her death threats.
Connie Zhou says Asian-Americans are “the ignored minority.” Where were the social justice protesters when Asians marched to protest racial violence in South Philadelphia? Where were they this summer in Baltimore when gang members directed rioters to attack Chinese- and Arab-owned stores or when Korean-owned shops were targeted?
Those stories aren’t to be told.