Kenny Xu is a brave young man. His new book An Inconvenient Minority: The Attack on Asian American Excellence and the Fight for Meritocracy
expertly documents a number of unpleasant facts about American society that most major media outlets, education leaders, and social justice advocates have been obfuscating or outright suppressing for decades.
1. Asian Americans (not foreign students from Asia, but individuals of Asian heritage who are US citizens or permanent residents) have been discriminated against in admission to elite institutions of higher education for over 30 years.
To put it bluntly, Asian Americans must, on average, outperform all other groups in order to have an equal chance of admission to universities like Harvard or Yale. If one were to replace Asian Americans with Jews in the previous sentence, it would describe the situation in the early 20th century. Looking back, we are rightfully ashamed and outraged at the conduct of elite universities during this period. Future Americans, and observers all over the world, will eventually have the same reaction to how Asian Americans are treated today by these same institutions.
2. Asian American success, e.g., as measured using metrics such as income, wealth, or education, is problematic for simplistic narratives that emphasize race and "white supremacy" over a more realistic and multifaceted analysis of American society.
3. Efforts to guarantee equal outcomes, as opposed to equal opportunities, are anti-meritocratic and corrosive to social cohesion, undermine basic notions of fairness, and handicap the United States in scientific and technological competition with other nations.
The Table of Contents, reproduced below, gives an idea of the important topics covered. Xu had an insider's view of the Students for Fair Admission v. Harvard trial, now awaiting appeal to the Supreme Court. He also describes the successful effort by a grass roots coalition of Asian Americans to defeat CA Proposition 16, which would have reinstated racial preferences in the public sector (including college admissions) which were prohibited by Proposition 209 in 1996.
Over the years I have had many conversations on this topic with well-meaning (but often poorly informed) parents of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds. I cannot help but ask these people
Are you OK with discrimination against your child? What did they do to deserve it?
Are you going to let virtue-signaling administrators at the university devalue the hard work and hard-won accomplishments of your son or daughter? Are you going to do anything about it?
and I cannot help but think
If you won't do anything about it, then f*ck you. Your kids deserve better parents.
Kenny calls it a Fight for Meritocracy. That's what it is -- a fight. Don't forget that Meritocracy is just a fancy word for fairness. It's a fight for your kid, and all kids, to be treated fairly.
I highly recommend the book. These issues are of special concern to Asian Americans, but should be of interest to anyone who wants to know what is really happening in American education today.