WASHINGTON – In 1862, when the nation was in bigger trouble, a California congressman advocated a tariff on a particular rice favored by Chinese immigrants he called people “of vile, unassimilable habits.” which “swarm by the thousands on our coasts, like the frogs of Egypt. Today’s anti-Asian racism is generally expressed in less sulphurous language – in the progressive patois of a” culture “of” diversity ” “.

Thomas Jefferson High School (TJ), a selective STEM magnet school with a national reputation for excellence, has what the Fairfax County, Va. Suburban school board sees as a problem: too many American students of Asian descent excels in the admission test. TJ’s current student body is 73% Asian Americans, 17.7% White, 3.3% Hispanic or Latino, 1% Black, and 6% others. So the board decided to eliminate the test. Admissions will be based on a “holistic” assessment of applicants, which is what admissions officials want it to mean.

And there will be limits on the number of admissions from some colleges. The four that typically produce the majority of TJ admissions have higher Asian American populations than most other middle schools. A lawsuit brought by some of TJ’s parents says, “By severely limiting the number of students who can be accepted to TJ from [these four] colleges… future TJ classes will have a radically different racial makeup, by design.

In Boston and New York, similar measures with identical motivations attack the selectivity of elite public high schools. In both cities, as in Fairfax County, parent groups, with large Asian American involvement, are suing. Last week, a Federal District Judge, dismissing the Fairfax County School Board’s request to dismiss the racial discrimination trial, said: “Everyone knows that politics is not race neutral and that ‘it is designed to affect the racial makeup of the school.

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