Thursday, July 25, 2024
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As an Asian American, I Say DEI Must Go



As someone who was involuntarily used as a poster child for Asian American and Pacific Islander month by my university, yet listened to some classmates rant that Asian Americans “would be nowhere without black people,” take it from me: Diversity, equity, and inclusion offices make racism worse, not better.

Nobody should wonder whether circling their race on an application form would harm his or her chances of being accepted, yet I would be lying if I said that was not my first thought every time I reached the dreaded racial question.

What else can you expect when your racial identity—an immutable trait that is literally skin-deep—signals to a university or workplace that you are “too privileged” or less deserving to have a seat at the table?

Conversely, how could one’s race alone fairly make someone more deserving of admittance?

I will never forget my senior year of high school, when I consulted a pro-DEI teacher about my essay topic for the Common App to colleges.

She squinted at my face before asking, “Have you given much thought to writing about your race in your college essay? I mean … ’cause you’re clearly not white.”

My heart sank. Suddenly, I went from being an impressive writer to another non-white person whose race needed to be exploited for sympathy.

Little did my teacher know that I am half white and half Asian, two of the DEI scorecard’s least favorable boxes to check.

To this day, classrooms preach inclusivity in the same breath that they write white people off as privileged and cultureless. The more an individual is “white-passing,” the less interesting they become.

This narrative is poisoning minds in grade school and higher education. Take the “model minority” stereotype about Asians, which asserts that Asians are successful because their culture uniformly pressures them to perform well.

Stereotypes such as these have been perpetuated by DEI under the guise of being inclusive when it is anything but. It treats people as groups defined by distinct levels of oppression, instead of rewarding people based on merit.

In late May, former Harvard University President Claudine Gay was honored with a Faculty Award and called “our forever president” at a separate graduationfor black students, not due to her research, but because of her “commitment to social justice.”

Meanwhile, Harvard’s DEI office, which Campus Reform reports sponsored the ceremony, has not commented on Gay’s inability to state unequivocally before Congress that calling for the genocide of Jews violates Harvard’s policies.

I may be biracial and have Asian heritage, but that identity has no bearing on my most important and fulfilling identities: child of God, daughter of two great parents, proud sister, and friend to many.

It certainly has no bearing on my ability to seek opportunities and try my best.

Anyone who says otherwise is evidence that DEI offices profit from teaching people to judge others by their skin color, rather than their character.

Character cannot be built by meeting  racial quotas. It’s developed through taking risks and working hard.

Contrary to what the Left would have you believe, the ability to grit your teeth and work hard to pursue your dreams is not exclusive to “white-passing” people.

This fact is liberating, and anything but oppressive or racist.

What is unacceptable is impeding someone’s potential to learn or succeed because they do not check a favorable racial box, not to mention doing so under the guise of being against racism.

Last year, the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn race-conscious admissions to colleges and universities marked a celebratory step for fairness.

But it isn’t enough. State lawmakers in Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Texas, and more are prohibiting the use of taxpayer spending on racist DEI programs at colleges. Policymakers around the country frustrated by the student “encampments” on campuses this spring that claimed to be for peace, but were really antisemitic activists, would do well to follow suit.

DEI is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and it’s time we exposed it as such. Like racial preferences, it too must go.