“Asian-American groups accuse Harvard of discrimination,” says CNN headlines. Back last November, a coalition of Asian Americans asked the U.S. Department of Education to force Harvard to change their admissions tactics, arguing that their qualifications were superior to those that got an affirmative action boost. While I don’t agree that Harvard should be forced by the federal government to change their policy, I certainly disagree with diversity quotas.
These issues first came on my radar when I began having discussions with my friend Eric Stonewood—an Asian American friend of mine—about conservatism. Having taken Chinese classes for several years, I learned much about Asian culture, but I never saw them as major political players in American politics.
Consider for a moment: Do you know any groups for the advancement of Asian Americans? I can think of countless groups for the advancement of African Americans like the NAACP and even for Hispanics like LULAC, but there is nothing nearly as strong for Asian Americans.
A minority according to oxforddictionaries.com is “A small group of people within a community or country, differing from the main population in race, religion, language, or political persuasion.” At only 5.6% of our population, Asian Americans one of the smallest minority groups in the country, well behind Hispanics at 17.6% or African Americans at 13.3%, but they never seem to be treated as such.
For instance—as my Asian American friend pointed out to me—President Obama recently gave a speech at Silicon Valley to support their diversity initiatives. As he walked onto the stage, he was surrounded by both Hispanic and African Americans, but no Asian Americans were represented.
Why do liberals constantly forget about the Asian Americans? Perhaps because their values are different. From my studies of Asian culture, I’ve seen how extremely dedicated they are to their families and achievement—both conservative values.
Back in high school, my Chinese teacher would yell at any students who would slack off instead of doing their work. She couldn’t understand why anyone would neglect their studies. One day a student asked her why she was such a strict teacher, and I’ll never forget her answer: “When I was a young girl, I lived on a small farm in a peasant’s village. Every day I would walk three miles to go to school. My parents constantly told me that if I did not succeed then my family would fail. You have a bus that takes you to school, free meals and free computers. I did not have any of this, but I worked hard because I knew that education was the only way that I could raise up my family. You can all do much better than I did if you just try.”
To Asian Americans like Stonewood, the special treatment that African Americans and Hispanics are getting is outrageous: “Yes, I am Asian. However, I don’t expect to become one of the pets of the decision makers. I don’t want any ‘Asian Lives Matter’ campaigns alongside the ‘Black Lives Matter,’ said Stonewood. “What I expect is an end to racial quotas. The college admissions process and job markets should value merits, not racial background.”
Strangely enough, however, Asian Americans are noted as “Loyal Democrats,” by the New York Times. Every they admit that “Asian-American voters, combining personal wealth, entrepreneurial success, high incomes, traditional family values and a strong work ethic, would seem to be ideal recruits for the more conservative political party.”
If I were an Asian American, I would think now is the time to reconsider who I was supporting and who is really supporting me.
Re-posted from: http://hypeline.org/how-liberals-marginalize-asian-americans/