When does achieving a perfect ACT score and scoring in the top 1% in the nation not get you admitted to a top university? When you are an American of Asian descent.

 

Last month a young Chinese-American student, Michael Wang, wrote an op-ed giving his personal account of how race-based college admissions policies harmed his educational outlook. Read the whole column here. He provides a sobering look at the real impact of these policies:

 

“Applying to college is an anxiety-filled rite-of-passage for students and parents alike. For Asian-American families, however, the anxiety is mixed with dread. They know that their race will be used against them in admissions, and there is nothing they can do but over prepare…

 

“A 2009 study found that Asian-Americans were admitted at the lowest rate of any racial group. For Asian-American applicants to have an equal chance of getting into an elite private college, we had to score 140 points higher than whites on the SATs, 270 points higher than Latinos and 310 points higher than blacks.”

 

Though Michael scored a perfect 36 on the ACT and a 2230 (out of 2400) on the SAT, he was denied admission by Yale, Princeton, and Stanford — all private universities that continue to use racial preferences in order to boost “diversity” on campus.

 

Though these policies are supposedly designed to help minorities, Michael is keenly aware that checking “Asian-American” on an application means he will be held to a much higher standard than other applicants. Racial preferences may mean extra points for black, Hispanic, and Native American applicants, but Asian applicants face the other side of the diversity coin.

 

This is discrimination, plain and simple. It undermines the value of hard work and achievement, it reduces diversity to a skin color, and it teaches young people that it is okay to treat people differently because of their race.

 

- Jennifer Gratz

 

 

Additional articles on discrimination against Asians:

 

Do Elite Colleges Discriminate Against Asians?, Priceonomics

 

Statistics Indicate an Ivy League Asian Quota, New York Times

 

Affirmative Action = Discrimination Against Asians, NYC Schools Edition, Reason

 

Several Republican senators have introduced a resolution to encouragecorporate America to adopt racial quotas (aka discrimination) when interviewing candidates for upper management positions. Center for Equal Opportunity President Roger Clegg and attorney Hans von Spakovsky called attention to this disturbing move earlier this month in National Review.

 

The resolution calls for businesses to institute a version of the NFL’s “Rooney Rule,” where hiring managers must meet a quota of interviewing at least one minority individual for every position. Sadly, this appears to be a way to appease Jesse Jackson’s new calls for “diversity” in the tech industry.

 

Backers of the resolution insist it is not a racial quota, but rather merely a good-natured attempt to expand opportunity and increase diversity in the workforce. These are the same reason used to justify racial preferences in college admissions.

 

Using feel-good terms doesn’t mitigate the fact that such policies are grounded in identity politics and fundamentally discriminatory. Consider this: Republicans in the Senate want businesses to make interviewing decisions based on a person’s skin color. I expect this from the left, but it is distressing to see this coming from politicians who champion liberty and personal responsibility.

 

It is in the best interest of companies, and the country as a whole, to hire and promote the best qualified individuals. Pushing companies to use discriminatory policies to promote the noble cause of diversity is a step in the wrong direction.

 

Every applicant deserves the respect of being treated as a unique individual, not as a means of fulfilling a quota.

 

- Jennifer Gratz

Jesse Jackson is attempting to impose his idea of “diversity” on the tech industry, insisting the government has a role to play in ensuring that women and minorities are fairly represented. However, Asians are the only overrepresented group when comparing tech industry ethnicity statistics with national ones. Asians make up roughly 5 percent of the national population and 30 to 40 percent of employees at top tech companies.

 

In order to achieve greater “diversity,” Jackson has long supported treating people differently based on skin color, using racial preferences and quotas to help some applicants and hurt others. Sadly, Asians Americans far too often receive the short end of the diversity stick and are required to compete at much higher standards just to make up for the special consideration received by other groups. Moreover, they are used as a diversity football.

 

In a recent USA Today article about Jackson’s new endeavors, the author subtly manipulated the stats. First she writes that “whites and Asians comprise 88% to 91%” of employees at Twitter, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and LinkedIn. Yet in the next paragraph, she lumps Asian with black and Hispanic statistics to demonstrate the diversity of Twitter’s users. Asians are used to show a low level of diversity in employment, but a high level of diversity in customers.

 

So which is it, do Asians add to diversity or not?

 

Rather than striving to socially engineer specific racial outcomes, we should instead ensure that every person is treated equally as a unique individual based on the unique skills, achievements, character, opinions, and background they bring to the table.

 

- Jennifer Gratz

Last week, an emeritus professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison uncovered a “representational equity” plan by administrators to seemingly pressure professors into adjusting grades based on students’ skin color.

 

The plan is based on an “Inclusive Excellence” document adopted by the Board of Regents, which calls for “proportional participation of historically underrepresented racial-ethnic groups at all levels of an institution, including high status special programs, high-demand majors, and in the distribution of grades.”

 

UW has since denied any attempt to impose a racial quota system for the distribution of grades. However, its response was so full of meaningless “diversity” cliches that it is impossible to decipher its actual plan.

 

The idea that any university would encourage the use of race in determining classroom grades is outrageous, but it shouldn’t be a surprise. The University of Wisconsin has no problem making admissions decisions based on race, so why not apply the same discriminatory logic to grades?

 

The reality is that race preferences harm those they are designed to benefit — “targeted minorities” — by placing many in educational institutions that do not match their academic qualifications and preparation. This leads to lower average grades and much higher dropout rates. The new UW plan is simply an attempt to paper over the inconvenient consequences of its discriminatory admissions policies.

 

A similar diversity charade is happening in New York City, where Mayor de Blasio has announced plans to change the admissions process for the city’s nine highly-selective premier public high schools in order to produce a “better” racial balance. There are supposedly too many Asian students for the process to be fair.

 

This isn’t about real diversity. It’s about reducing individuals to superficial group identity and manufacturing politically correct statistics. Politicians and administrators get to feel good about themselves, while real people are harmed in the process.

 

The XIV Foundation is fighting for the day when every person is treated equally as a unique individual instead of a color.

 

Jennifer Gratz

July 15, 2014

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact: Glenn Landstrom

Phone: 517-643-5514

E-mail: glandstrom@xivfoundation.org

 

Fifth Circuit Upholds Race Preferences at University of Texas

Gratz Says Ruling Demonstrates Why SCOTUS Should Strike Down Grutter

 

NATIONAL – On Tuesday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals once again upheld race-based affirmative action policies at the University of Texas in Fisher v. University of Texas. The Fifth Circuit’s previous ruling in this case was in question after a US Supreme Court decision in June 2013 that determined the lower court had not properly applied the Supreme Court’s “strict scrutiny” requirement to the racial policy at Texas’ flagship university.

 

Jennifer Gratz, CEO of the XIV Foundation, was not surprised by the outcome. “The Fifth Circuit ruled decidedly in favor of race-based policies before; it is not shocking to see them do so again,” she remarked. “This decision demonstrates the fundamental murkiness of the Grutter v. Bollinger allowance for nuanced uses of race in admissions.”

 

“In the Grutter dissent, Justice Ginsburg rightly pointed out that the Court was allowing racial preferences to continue with ‘winks, nods, and disguises.’ This has led universities to hide race-based decisions behind a supposedly holistic review process. In reality they are the same discriminatory policies with even less transparency. Citizens deserve to have clarity when it comes to whether or not universities are holding their skin color against them.”

 

Gratz was happy to hear that Abigail Fisher will appeal the decision. “Grutter has only muddied the water on these unsustainable policies, and, ironically, today’s Fisher decision leaves the door open for the Supreme Court to issue the broad ruling many pundits expected from its first hearing.”

 

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The XIV Foundation is dedicated to the principle that equal treatment is the essence of civil rights and that all people are entitled to civil rights. Jennifer Gratz challenged racial discrimination in the admissions policy at the University of Michigan and won at the U.S. Supreme Court (Gratz v. Bollinger). She spearheaded the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative and is the co-founder and CEO of the XIV Foundation.

On Tuesday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals once again voted to uphold race-based affirmative action policies at the University of Texas in Fisher v. University of Texas. The Fifth Circuit’s previous ruling in this case was in question after a US Supreme Court decision in June 2013 that determined the lower court had not properly applied the “strict scrutiny” requirement to the racial policy at Texas’ flagship university.

 

This outcome is not surprising in the least. The Fifth Circuit ruled decidedly in favor of race-based policies before; it is not shocking to see them do so again. This decision demonstrates the fundamental murkiness of the Grutter v. Bollinger allowance for “nuanced” uses of race in admissions.

 

In the Grutter dissent, Justice Ginsberg rightly pointed out that the Court was allowing racial preferences to continue with “winks, nods, and disguises.” This has led universities to hide race-based decisions behind a supposedly holistic review process. In reality they are the same discriminatory policies with even less transparency. Citizens deserve to have clarity when it comes to whether or not universities are holding their skin color against them.

 

Today’s appeals court ruling that universities may use race preferences confirms that race quotas are still prevalent but now employed under the new terminology of achieving a “critical mass” of minority students. Conveniently, the Fifth Circuit never defined what exactly constitutes this “critical mass.” (The ruling does not affect the eight states that have banned all use of public race preference policies.)

 

I am happy to hear that Abigail Fisher will appeal the decision. Grutter has only muddied the water on these unsustainable policies, and, ironically, today’s Fisher decision leaves the door open for the Supreme Court to issue the broad ruling many pundits expected from its first hearing.

 

Jennifer Gratz

July 10, 2014

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Glenn Landstrom

Phone: (517) 643-5514

E-mail: glandstrom@xivfoundation.org

 

University of Michigan Pays Libertarian Student Group to Settle Political Discrimination Lawsuit

 

ANN ARBOR, MI – The University of Michigan has settled a lawsuit brought by a student libertarian club after the University spent thousands supporting leftist campus groups while denying funding to campus conservative and libertarian clubs. The University agreed to pay the U-M Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) a sum of $5,000 plus attorney fees for denying the student group funding toward an event hosted by anti-affirmative action activist Jennifer Gratz.

 

Ms. Gratz spoke about the importance of intellectual diversity at the University last October. The student government denied YAL’s request for financial support of Gratz’s visit, citing a policy of not funding “political” events.  YAL filed suit when they discovered the student government had approved funding for a radical pro-affirmative action group’s bus trip to Washington DC to protest at the US Supreme Court in favor of affirmative action. The University funded multiple other “political” events in support of immigrant rights, Islamic groups, etc.

 

“Too few students have the courage to stand up for diversity of opinion and thought when bullied, intimidated, and silenced by zealous university officials intent on imposing their views,” Ms. Gratz stated in reaction to the settlement. “The YAL students at the University of Michigan refused to accept discrimination and stood up for their right to equal treatment. The University recognized they would lose in court and quietly settled the matter. The U of M YAL students truly are the ‘victors valiant’ for standing up for the rights of all students.”

 

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Jennifer Gratz is the CEO of the XIV Foundation, dedicated to the principle that equal treatment is the essence of civil rights and that all people are entitled to civil rights. Ms. Gratz challenged racial discrimination in the admissions policy at the University of Michigan and won at the U.S. Supreme Court (Gratz v. Bollinger). She also spearheaded the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative.

Have you been watching the World Cup this month? It’s been thrilling to see the US Men’s National Team advance to the elimination round.

 

But imagine if the US chose its players based on race and skin color instead of skill and ability. Would we praise the team for fostering diversity? Would we laud the efforts to boost traditionally disadvantaged groups? Would we excuse the results knowing that at least team selection was driven by “good intentions”? Would we demand that goals be worth more or less points based on the scorer’s skin tone?

 

Of course not. In competitive sports we recognize that team choices should be based on the skill and qualities of individuals, not the ability to satisfy an ethnic quota. This is beneficial to the performance of the team as well as to the competing individuals who are driven to improve themselves to make the cut.

 

Why is it any better when race-based decisions are made in competitive college admissions and employment? These policies diminish the quality of institutions by undermining individual character, merit, and achievement.

 

It’s long past time to end these discriminatory and harmful policies.

 

- Jennifer Gratz

When Pamela Swanigan applied for her doctorate at the University of Connecticut, she was told that, as the top candidate that year, she had received a prestigious merit-based scholarship. Instead, she was routed into the less prestigious “diversity” award solely because of her race — she is half black and half white.

 

Terry Pell and the Center for Individual Rights (CIR) filed a lawsuit on her behalf, arguing that students deserve to compete for scholarships based on merit, not to be pigeonholed because of race.

 

Ms. Swanigan says it best: “My goal is to ensure that students are treated as individuals regardless of race and regardless of other efforts to promote racial diversity. I wanted — and still want — to compete on the basis of my academic abilities just like any other student.”

 

I am personally very grateful for the work Terry Pell and the Center for Individual Rights have done to stand for true equality. CIR represented me in my lawsuit against the University of Michigan’s discriminatory race-based admission point system. We can always count on CIR to support equal treatment.

 

- Jennifer Gratz

Griffin Furlong lost his mother to leukemia when he was just 6 years old. Shortly after, he spent two years living in a homeless shelter with his father and brother. It wasn’t until the sixth grade that this family finally moved into a home, but money was scarce and they often went hungry.

 

Despite finding himself homeless again just a month ago, Griffin is graduating today as his high school’s valedictorian with an incredible 4.65 GPA. He plans to attend Florida State University to study civil engineering.

 

Griffin told reporters, “I try to accomplish everything I need to do. I know that I have everything to lose. So I just push myself. School is all I have, family is all I have. I am doing it all for me and what I have been through. I am doing it for my mom.”

 

What a remarkable example of a young person pushing himself to succeed in the face of tragedy and poverty! It is a reminder that skin color does not determine a person’s lot in life. We all have our own obstacles and opportunities that shape who we are as unique individuals.

 

Policies that sort based on skin color and treat people based on assumed need merely gloss over the surface and miss inspiring stories like this one.

 

No doubt this young man will one day hear that he is supposed to “check his privilege.” Hopefully his story will teach others about the pitfalls of making skin-deep judgments.

 

- Jennifer Gratz