Guest Post by Jason Fong
This month, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, a national affiliation of civil rights organizations focused on serving the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, and several prospective AAPI Harvard students joined a diverse group of black, Latino, and Native American students to support Harvard's race conscious admissions program against attacks that the program intentionally discriminates against Asian American applicants. I am one of those students.
I joined this effort because like the majority of Asian Americans, I support affirmative action, but I also did so because I think our community needs to reflect upon our shared identity as Asian Americans, especially in light of recent lawsuits by a few disappointed Chinese Americans who blame race-conscious admissions programs for their failure to gain admission to their dream schools. With the composition of the United States Supreme Court skewing even more sharply to the right under a Trump administration, the narrow majority that upheld affirmative action in Fisher II could reverse by the time the lawsuit against Harvard reaches the highest court, putting race-conscious admissions policies throughout the country in serious jeopardy.
For me, this fight isn't about my Harvard application. In fact, I know that, like 95% of almost 40,000 applicants, I'm likely to be rejected. But I won't take it personally. I don't depend on Harvard to provide me with self-worth in an admissions letter. Like other institutions, it's looking out for itself — and trying to build a class that it feels best serves its goals.