Marion-Barry

Anti-Asian Bias and the False Premise of Forced Diversity

In today’s society, conservatives are constantly lectured about fairness. The stereotype that conservatives don’t like minorities and want them to fail is a bit ridiculous.

Now, as most conservatives would argue, we aren’t actually about injustice (who is?); we simply find intrinsic and extrinsic value in merit. Well-rounded, hardworking academics should have a better chance at getting into the top universities. Liberals claim that we need programs like affirmative action to ensure that minority participation isn’t hindered by racial profiling. This is a classic example of the left trying to implement justice and make nothing about race when actually, they are making everything about race.

Not surprisingly, this Affirmative Action policy doesn’t even aid all of the minority groups it supposedly helps. In fact, Affirmative Action policies actively harm people of Asian descent. Schools like UC Berkeley, that are legally bound to ignore race when selecting students, have far more Asian students than they “should” in the minds of liberal diversity hounds. Asians only make up 4.8% of the U.S. Population (as of the 2010 Census), but they represent 46% of the student body at UC Berkeley.

Which is more important: implementing a university system that mirrors the population? or allowing the best and brightest to rise to the top?  I live in Vancouver, British Columbia, where the Asian population makes up nearly 40% of the total population. Does that mean we should limit the percentage of Asian students on any given campus to 40%? If they make up a larger percentage, doesn’t that mean the some other racial group is being treated unfairly? Of course not. They got into the school because they earned it, regardless of their race, which inherently has nothing to do with intelligence.

Universities should be fighting for the best and brightest students; regardless of age, gender, or race. Artificially limiting excellent students out of selection based on their race is immoral. I’m not the world’s biggest fan of George W. Bush, but he had it right when he called out people who overlook the “soft bigotry of lowered expectations.”

But the problem with anti-Asian bias doesn’t end in education. Over the last few weeks, Marion Barry, the former mayor of Washington D.C. and current city councilman, has been making waves by saying:

“We got to do something about these Asians coming in and opening up businesses and dirty shops. They ought to go. I’m going to say that right now. But we need African-American businesspeople to be able to take their places, too.”

What happened to diversity? Why should African-Americans (who vastly outnumber Asians in Washington D.C.) get priority for businesses? It’s almost as if he’s not actually about supporting minorities, but about delivering pork and pandering to his core constituency. Weird. But that’s not the only strangely anti-Asian thing Councilman Barry has said in the last week.

“In fact, it’s so bad, that if you go to the hospital now, you find a number of immigrants who are nurses, particularly from the Philippines… And no offense, but let’s grow our own teachers, let’s grow our own nurses — and so that we don’t have to be scrounging around in our community clinics and other kinds of places — having to hire people from somewhere else.””

Are you detecting a bit of a pattern here? Councilman Barry has been very active on Twitter, attempting to defend himself from allegations of racism. After thorough condemnation from both sides of the political spectrum, Barry apologized. But in his apology, he exposed his real motives.

“”…there are a number of the Asian-owned, neighborhood stores and carry-outs in Ward 8 that only sell highly caloric food and that, unlike some other Asian businessmen in Ward 8, don’t reach out to neighborhood groups, make financial contributions to the neighborhood, or help young people in the neighborhood improve their quality of life.”

I wonder if he’s talking about his Ward 8 Renaissance Project. Oh wait. We know he is, because he said so on his Twitter (Excuse his twitter slang. He only has 140 characters to work with).

@MarionBarryJr: “Just like the owners of these bizs want the best for their families & communities so do we. The ? Is: will they join the Ward8 Renaissance”

@MarionBarryJr: “Many people have contributed 2 the Renaissance underway. EVERYONE is welcome but must work to make at least their own space a nice place.”

Unless you’re willing to contribute to his neighbourhood project, you’re not the right kind of diversity for Councilman Barry. Diversity of skin colour or geographic origin isn’t the only kind of diversity. Diversity of opinion, diversity of thought, and diversity of ideas are far more important.

Now. You tell me. What is more racist: saying that dirty Asian shops need to close or that Affirmative Action programs that negatively affect minority groups need reform?

Luke Stibbs | University of the Fraser Valley | Abbotsford, British Columbia | @LukeStibbs

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