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Ivy League schools accused of anti-Asian discrimination condemn anti-Asian hate

Ben Zeisloft and Jon Street, Campus Reform

  • Multiple Ivy League institutions, including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Brown, and Dartmouth, have all faced accusations and even lawsuits alleging anti-Asian bias.
  • In the aftermath of the recent Georgia salon shooting, which left six Asian-Americans dead, each of these institutions spoke out against anti-Asian sentiment, of which they have been accused.

Multiple leading universities have been investigated or even sued for allegedly discriminating against Asian-American students in their admissions processes.

Now, those same schools are making public statements condemning the purported uptick in anti-Asian violence.

Yale University

As Campus Reform previously reported, Yale University was investigated by former President Donald Trump’s Department of Justice for allegedly violating the 1964 Civil Rights Act in their admissions processes.

A two-year probe found that in the case of Asian-American students, race was “the determinative factor in hundreds of admissions decisions each year.” Investigators concluded that White and Asian-American applicants had a one-tenth to one-fourth chance of acceptance compared with students from racial minority groups who boasted similar qualifications.

President Joe Biden’s Justice Department, upon assuming office, dropped the lawsuit.

Nevertheless, the university condemned discriminatory acts against people of Asian descent.

“Many members of our faculty address anti-Asian racism, particularly amid the pandemic, both in their scholarship and through scholarly organizations,” wrote the university’s Office of International Students & Scholars. “All of us — faculty, staff, and students — can learn and respond.”

Yale’s Department of Psychology stated that “anti-Asian prejudice is one form of systematic racism that continues to operate in our nation and in all its institutions.”

Harvard University

In addition to Yale University, Students for Fair Admissions — a group that represents Asian-American families in pursuit of fair admissions processes — recently appealed its lawsuit against Harvard University to the Supreme Court.

The group wrote in a press release that Harvard, Yale, and other schools “employ admissions practices that are discriminatory, unnecessary, and unconstitutional.”

Harvard’s Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations, however, recently asserted that “the systematic marginalization and misrepresentation of Asian lives and histories is antithetical to the mission and aspirations of any academic institution.”

Harvard President Lawrence Bacow wrote in an email to the university community that the school “must stand as a bulwark against hatred and bigotry.”

“We welcome and embrace individuals from every background because it makes us a better community, a stronger community,” he added.

Dennis Saffran — a Harvard alumnus who submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in support of Students for Fair Admissions — provided Campus Reform with his response to Bacow’s email.

“Your commitment to ‘stand together’ with Asian-Americans might be a bit more persuasive and a bit less laughable if Harvard were not at the same time blatantly discriminating against them in admissions,” wrote Saffran. “Your letter might also have more credibility if you had said anything about the spate of attacks on Asian-Americans, mostly by young Black men, over the last few months, rather than waiting for these murders by a mentally and sexually deranged young White ‘incel’ and trying to tortuously fit them into a hackneyed narrative of ‘xenophobia and ignorance.'”

Columbia University

The Asian-American Coalition for Education — another group devoted to “Asian-American equal rights on education and other education related activities” — included Columbia University in a 2016 Department of Education Office of Civil Rights complaint about its allegedly biased admissions processes.

Alongside its Ivy League peers, Columbia administrators condemned recent prejudice against Asian-Americans.

“To the many thousands in our Columbia community who are Asian or Asian American, we want you to know that we, too, on your behalf and for all of us, feel the anguish and justifiable fear because of this latest episode of a deep-rooted strain of racism in America,” wroteColumbia President Lee Bollinger.

Cornell University

The same 2016 complaint named Cornell University, which also issued a statement in response to the shooting at a Georgia salon, where the majority of victims were Asian Americans. Authorities have not concluded that the shooting was racially motivated.

“It is intolerable that these communities have experienced acts of racism, violence and hatred. As a campus community, we denounce these vile acts and stand firmly with our Asian and Asian American friends and colleagues,” Cornell University President Martha Pollack wrote.

Brown University 

AACE in a separate 2016 complaint to the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights Brown University for its admissions policy, which the group said discriminated against Asian Americans.

Brown University President Christina Paxson issued a statement in response to the Georgia shooting, saying, “we are committed to ensuring that our Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander community of students, faculty and staff know that they are deeply valued as essential members of the Brown community. We recognize the amazing contributions they make as scholars, learners, colleagues and friends.”

Dartmouth College

Dartmouth was named in the same 2016 complaint as Brown University. As recently as 2020, Dartmouth was accused of anti-Asian bias following its decision to cut some varsity sports teams, which disproportionately impacted Asian American students, according to Bloomberg.

Likewise, Dartmouth President Phillip Hanlon condemned the violence in Georgia by declaring that the Ivy League school stands in “solidarity with the members of the Asian-American community, especially those with whom we are fortunate to live, work and study on our campus, and are extraordinarily proud of the outstanding contributions they bring to Dartmouth.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft

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