Fight against race-based education policy isn’t over for Xu

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  • The US Supreme Court's affirmative action decision made an exception for military service academies, due to the military’s “potentially distinct interests that military academies may present." 

Kenny Xu, President of Color Us United and a board member of Students For Fair Admissions (SFFA), spoke with CJ recently, regarding SFFA’s recent victory in the Supreme Court that overturned affirmative action late last month in a 6-3 ruling, as well as his forthcoming book: School of Woke: How Critical Race Theory Infiltrated American Schools and Why We Must Reclaim Them.

Kenny Xu, Color Us United

“It’s an exceptional decision,” Xu stated. “It restores the foundations of meritocracy and a culture that desperately needs it. It also restores the dignity of Asian-Americans who are discriminated against by Harvard admission officers.”

Military academies exception

In the Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina case, the Supreme Court ruled that UNC-Chapel Hill and Harvard could not use affirmative action as part of their admission processes due to it violating the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Included in that decision was also an exception of the ruling for military service academies, due to the military’s “potentially distinct interests that military academies may present.” 

This was interpreted as referring to the friend-of-the-court briefs filed by thirty-five former military leaders, who argued that affirmative action was essential for national security. 

Within those briefs, the former military leaders wrote that “History has shown that placing a diverse Armed Forces under the command of homogenous leadership is a recipe for internal resentment, discord, and violence.” 

To that, Xu disagreed, citing an older Alabama case, Lee v. Washington, that forbade racial discrimination in public prisons for the sake of keeping peace and avoiding racial violence. 

“The Supreme Court had ruled that segregated jails for the purpose of racial peace are unconstitutional. So if they ruled that jails cannot be segregated, why should they rule that the military can be segregated?” Xu stated. 

race-neutral alternatives

The overrepresentation of Asian Americans in Higher Education is no coincidence according to Xu.

“The fact is that they study many more hours than the average American, the fact their family culture prioritizes educational success, and the fact that they have lower rates of crime and drug use,” Xu said. “All behaviors which are correlated with higher educational achievement.”  

In an interview with Mitch Kokai, senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation, Manhattan Institute fellow Robert VerBruggen discussed the potential future of higher education after affirmative action with race-neutral alternatives. Examples include taking into account socioeconomic status as a measure of their privilege or admitting a certain number of students from each high school. 

Xu disagrees with socioeconomic status being a factor, however, except when trying to assign need-based aid.

“Lowering your standard to admit somebody based on socioeconomic status is a dangerous idea,” he said. “It means that you’re putting that person in a situation in which he is disproportionately likely to graduate in the bottom 25 percent of their applicants.”

“Data from Harvard law shows that when black applicants are admitted based on affirmative action, they tend to suffer from precisely those things, whereas if they were matched to the university, which they were merit eligible, they’d be more likely to succeed,” Xu added.

diversity statements on radar

Color Us United, based in Morrisville, NC, is promoting Xu’s new book School of Woke: How Critical Race Theory Infiltrated American Schools and Why We Must Reclaim Them. 

“This book is why we must reclaim them,” he said. “This book is central because it’s going to start the conversation about what is the most important failure in black America, right now, which is education. Black Americans are actually doing quite well in our country. Sixty percent of them are doing financially, better off and their parents, they have greater social status, greater political representation, [and] they have greater business representation, especially in CEOs than ever before. The only place that black Americans have stagnated is education.” 

With Color Us United, Xu says that he plans to continue investigating and potentially filing litigation on medical schools that have diversity, equity, and inclusion task forces, similar to their recent victory over UNC Medical School where they successfully lobbied for them to get rid of their DEI task force. If colleges decide to impose other requirements, like DEI statements, to try to keep the same racial makeup as before, Xu stated that they go against that as well. 

“If they state demanding diversity statements from applicants, then, that would definitely be a subject of target for us” Xu said.