Wednesday, June 15, 2016

From the Washington Monthly: Asian-Americans and Affirmative Action

For out look at civil rights policy - a twist on the use of affirmative action.

- Click here for it.

Affirmative action has survived decades of conservative antagonism, an unfriendly Supreme Court, and attacks by Republican state legislatures, but the institution’s future looks bleaker than ever.
While long a staple of the progressive agenda, race-conscious affirmative action has quickly been relegated to the relative fringes of the liberal platform. While both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are both supporters, it’s been a non-issue so far in the campaign. But while it’s been mostly missing from the national stage, the frame of the affirmative action debate has also shifted – the rise of Asian-Americans as the country’s anointed “model minority” has helped to disrupt the common understanding of affirmative action as an issue of black versus white.
The question is whether Asian-American achievement – or rather understanding its underlying mechanisms – could hold the key to affirmative action 2.0. New research attempts to answer that question and highlight alternatives to race-conscious affirmative action. There are no easy answers, though, and with universities preferring to maintain statistical rankings rather than foster true diversity, it’s hard to find a practical example of affirmative action innovation. One thing’s for sure: If affirmative action is to continue to live up to its ideal, something needs to change.

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