But who cares, those Asians don't make trouble: they'll just work harder ...
Applying While Asian
To check or not to check the Asian box? That is the pointed choice faced by Asian-American students applying for admission to what are supposed to be the most tolerant places on earth, the nation’s colleges.
The Associated Press ran a report on Asian students of mixed parentage checking “white,” if possible, on their applications to avoid outing themselves as Asian. The Princeton Review Student Advantage Guide counsels Asian-American students not to check the race box and warns against sending a photo.
... All of this is done to promote a “diversity” of a crude, bean-counting sort. The private California Institute of Technology doesn’t use quotas; its student body is 39 percent Asian. The University of California at Berkeley is forbidden by law from using quotas; its student body is more than 40 percent Asian. Only a bigot would believe that these schools are consequently worse learning environments, or that they are places characterized by monochromatic, lockstep thinking because so many students share a broad-brush ethnic designation.
The author of The Price of Admission, Daniel Golden, calls Asian-Americans “the new Jews,” a reference to the 20th-century quotas that once kept Jews out of top schools. The difference then was that Jews collectively didn’t stand for the policy, now a watchword for disgraceful bias. Stephen Hsu, a professor of physics at the University of Oregon and an outspoken critic of current admission practices, laments that Asians seem strangely accepting of the unfair treatment of their children. The official Asian-American groups tend to support anti-Asian quotas because they are captives of liberal orthodoxy before all else. ...
An NRO commenter writes
I'm whitebread umpteenth generation American. My husband is Chinese by way of Malaysia. We met at the same elite college. The discrimination against Asian students is an open secret--everyone Asian knew, or at least suspected, that it was the case. It's part of why my husband and I have decided to hyphenate my WASP last name with his (thankfully) not terribly ethnic sounding Chinese surname. We don't want our children, 20 years from now, to be hurt when applying for college, should saner winds have not prevailed.
Malaysia actually presents an instructive example. In Malaysia, about 25% of the population is Chinese, and government quotas which require a certain number of ethnic Malays win university places and jobs mean that Chinese students much earn much higher scores than Malay students to win university slots. The result of this is that academic expectation for Chinese students get ever higher, while those Chinese Malaysians who can afford it try to send their kids abroad. It's not an accident that my husband wound up at an American university--it's the result of my in-laws driving him for years to get him there.
And therein lies the rub. My husband comes from a country where racial quotas are explicit, published, and protesting them will cause the government to retaliate. (Malaysia's government recently essentially outlawed freedom of assembly.) Elections are rigged, and everyone knows this. The government has forged an ethnic, institutional and religious alliance to repress the Chinese population. My husband is still surprised that Americans are willing to openly speak out against and protest against the government.
Many Asian immigrants are only recently removed from governments that do not invite the opinions of their citizens. It takes time to learn, really learn, that it is acceptable to demand accountability of institutions and of governments, and I don't see that happening overnight.
But it is happening, slowly. Every Chinese American I've talked to of college age knows about these quotas, and I don't think these first generation Americans will stand for their children being treated in the same manner.