Why Asians Need Affirmative Action

Editor’s Note: Samantha Wu-Georges is a sophomore studying at the University of Pennsylvania.  She is our Media Intern for the summer of 2017.

When I applied for college two years ago, my family warned me: admissions officers have higher standards for Asian applicants.  If you want a spot at a top school, they cautioned, you’re going to have to study harder, get better grades, and have higher test scores.  Turns out, they were right.  A widely publicized Princeton Study suggests that  “applicants of Asian heritage experience an apparent admissions disadvantage.”  Conversely, the data indicate that being African-American or Hispanic helps admissions chances.  However, despite being a recent member of the group that affirmative action supposedly hurts the most, I staunchly support affirmative action policies.

I don’t blame my fellow Asian students for filing complaints against university affirmative action and holistic admissions approaches.  In fact, I agree that it’s not fair to discriminate against us based on our race.  Nonetheless, consider that such policies, while highly imperfect, may be our only hope at achieving college campuses that represent the actual racial makeup of our country.  While I find the existence of race-based implicit quotas unsettling, what makes me more uncomfortable is our nation’s history of systemic racism and disadvantaging certain minorities.

People of color have historically been discriminated against in America, including Asian Americans.  Before affirmative action, Asians were excluded and can be again.  Former laws such as the Chinese Exclusion Act and Asian Exclusion Act curtailed Asian immigration and, consequently, education in this nation.  Affirmative action combats this discrimination by conferring opportunity to underprivileged students.  The policies continue to help low-income Asian Americans and Southeast Asians today.

Affirmative action protects Asians by ensuring that we are admitted to colleges at all.  We should not turn our backs on the policies that gave our community education and employment opportunities.  Instead, we should support them so that underprivileged students can continue to benefit.  As a student, I know my education is enriched by belonging to a diverse student body. College admissions offices recognize the value of including applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds–we should, too.

DNC AAPI: Video Interviews

From Facebook Page, here’s all the video interviews thusfar. We’re producing and uploading many more. Special thanks to Caroline Fan for organizing; Tony Chen, Johnathan Yao, and Kumar Percy Jayasuriya for filming and interviewing; Loren Nares for logistical support; and Helen Guo for social media amplifying.

HS Junior Varun Seetamraju, the youngest volunteer at the 2016 DNC Small Business Council

Neil Makhija, candidate for Pennsylvania State Representative, Carbon County

Rishi Kumar, Saratoga City Council Member

David Ryu, Los Angeles City Council Member, District 4

Ronald Joseph (Temple ’18), Garima Gupta (Temple ’15 & ’16) and Rob Buscher (Philadelphia Asian American Film & Filmmakers) at the phlAAPI #DemSum

Gov. David Ige, Governor of Hawaii

Our 2016 Endorsed Candidate Raja Krishnamoorthi, candidate for Illinois’s 8th congressional district

DNC AAPI Caucus: Inspiration

Progress Democrats AAPI

Last time, we wrote about the inspiring quotes from the DNC AAPI Caucus. Now here’re the inspiring messages:

There is a common theme in this message – the children of immigrants and seeing our parents struggle to give us what we have now. What is the value of our voice? Why do nominees need to come after the AAPI community?

This is our moment. AAPIs are on the rise. We have the fastest growing population. We have more faces and presences in the media and positions. We have the organizing, the brains and brawns. We are more united now. We used to think there was no AAPI community due to presumed infighting, no outreach, no organizing, no organizations, no care or priority, but now we realize we have many networks and that we come together, as this convention has said, stronger together.

Our community is like a sleeping giant. We are not a model minority. We are not your wedge [issue]. We do not let others speak for us. We are ready to take action and we are activated. In Nevada, we have literally been the margin of victory in many races, a particular state of particular political drama.

76% of AAPIs watch YouYube at least one a week. AAPIs hold incredible power and we have to use it NOW.

Calling Out CNN

Editor’s Note: The below is a repost of Erica Jung’s post in the hopes of keeping minds and hearts open. Ms. Jung is the founder of and an instructor at Trepta Toga in Far Hills, NJ. Her piece supports our organizational mission to increase AAPI political involvement.

In light of the crazy that has hit Germany in the last few days, I’ve got a serious bone to pick with American media and a wake up call to my fellow humans. Media has always steered towards sensationalism and what sells or in this day and age, gets the most clicks. Unfortunately fear and the Kardashians seem to be what the general public respond in fervor over, so in light of economics, there is appeal in fueling that profitability. Great, if you are some fluff magazine or site, but not great if you are thought to be a reputable news outlet.

Here’s my bone to pick with you @cnn. Being that I’m actually IN Germany experiencing these events in live time. You used to be a source that I considered as one of the “good guys”, but ever since you headlined Kim Kardashian over a major world event a couple years back and then explained your shift in target because of the readers and the clicks they make, I knew that trust in accuracy and integrity was going to be gone quickly. In a time like this where fear, reaction, and broad generalizations are being fueled over logic, prudence, and understanding, it’s important, more than ever to be unbiased and factual in what you feed our nation.

Too often are we looking to shift the blame and point the finger. Too often are we looking for our fears to be validated when we step into a space of unknown so we can retreat back to our walled up holes and scream, ” I told you so!!!” Now more than ever we need people’s who’s job it is to tell the NEWS, to do that in a manner that keeps the average American informed as objectively as possible so that YOU aren’t making up the minds of the people, without them even knowing.

When the McDonald shooting happened, German outlets were posting video of the troubled teen yelling out against Turks and saying he was German, despite you HIGHLY pushing his Iranian DESCENT. I’m sorry, but when cop shootings happen, why are you not posting if they are of Irish or Jamaican descent in that case?? Tell EVERYONES heritage then. Because the truth is he was a troubled German teen that’s got nothing to do with Muslim extremists. You posted an “eyewitness” claiming there were three masked men screaming “Ahllu Ahbkar” while German outlets said they still didn’t know anything and there seemed to be one shooter. At quick glance of the posted bullet points, the teen seems related to the Muslim based terror fear. Not only till you read much further down do you hear that he was a bullied kid that was obsessed with teen mass shooting, violent video games, and had been in and out of mental health systems. I’m sorry, I thought I was reading about Columbine for a second.

When white Christian kids commit mass killings, do you go on or bullet point their heritage or religion? No, you speak about how they were troubled kids with a history of mental health issues. Same goes for your bullet-pointing of the recent bombing and machete killing. ALL not related, but by your reporting, seriously suggesting they are because they are Muslim or Syrian, that must mean it has terror ties. ONE out of four COULD be Isis related, but again, look like it’s yet another troubled and disgruntled teen.


Stop trying to be the first to report and spit out none sourced facts. Don’t be quick to feed an already hot topic because it sells. Be prudent to not cause divide or prejudice where there is NO link. Do your job for the American people and drop the fluff and insinuations. It’s dangerous to our nations and the worlds well being. Have INTEGRITY. And for us readers, demand it. If money is what they respond to and you don’t want to live in a world of perceived fear and limitation, then start taking responsibility in the people who say they deliver the truth.

Start demanding, with your LACK of clicks that news become something we can rely and trust again. Stop making the world, a race, a religion worse then it is, and stop fueling the pitch forked mobs just LOOKING for someone to blame for their racist tendencies that need an outlet to come out and play and be accepted. Three of the four incidents were by well documented mentality unwell, and suicidal individuals. Another, most likely a crime of passion between a bi-racial couple. CNN wants you to believe that terrorism is taking hold in Germany with their suggestive reporting.

I want you to wake up, get out, meet new people and different cultures, and realize that we will collapse as the race of humanity if we don’t take responsibility in breaking the walls that divide so that ignorance and fear can not and will not survive in the name of getting “clicks”.

And for the love of God, get your butt to a yoga studio so you can have the space to drop the BS, connect, and be love.

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