Affirmative action: Asian Americans affirm hiding their heritage

From Aaron Mak at Slate:

Looking over my admissions file that day last year, I was reminded of just how much I’d internalized warnings about the “Asian penalty.” Like many other high school seniors, I carefully manicured my identity to cater to the admissions committee. But that effort also involved erasing it in order to appear white, or at least less Asian. I chose to leave the optional race and ethnicity section of the form blank, a practice common among Asian applicants. I assumed “Mak” isn’t a popularly known Chinese surname in the U.S.; my dad used to jokingly point out that it’s one letter off from the Gaelic surname “Mack.” Maybe an oblivious admissions officer would mistake me for Scottish. (I didn’t tell my father how much I’d hoped our family name would be misread.) I marked my intended major as philosophy, thinking this was one of those impractical fields that most sensible Asian parents would not allow their children to pursue. I had no intention of actually following through. The response boxes under the questions inquiring what postgraduate degree and career I desired were left blank. I wanted a J.D. and planned to become a lawyer, but I felt that admitting such a goal would conform to the stereotype that Asians are particularly obsessed with a narrow range of prestigious professional careers.

In my Ivy League essays, I made sure not to mention anything about my heritage. The personal statement I submitted for the University of California applications about my immigrant grandfather was the most emotionally honest one I wrote that year—I knew the UC system had discontinued race-conscious affirmative action, so the essay wouldn’t hurt me.More.

Reality check: Thug U costs more than we realize.

See also: An elegant whine against taxing endowments

Survivor of communism wants millennials to know that communism sucks. But he doesn’t seem to understand that the millennials’ children in college will be the ones with the boots, not the faces: = Orwell: If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.

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  • Hard Little Machine

    In this day and age why not self identify as black or Hispanic or gay? Everyone can be anything and there’s no empirical test.

  • Ed

    “…I wanted a J.D. and planned to become a lawyer, but I felt that admitting such a goal would conform to the stereotype that Asians are particularly obsessed with a narrow range of prestigious professional careers…”

    Sorry Bud… there’s no “stereotype” of Asians as lawyers. NONE.

  • Are people terrified of merit?