As host Dr. Jason Johnson said in his introduction, the conservative group, with the racism-disguising name of Students for Fair Admissions, is “mounting a barrage of lawsuits” they are happy to lose because the losses could enable an appeal to the Trumpy Supreme Court.
Attorney David Hinojosa explained that this is part of “a long effort” by a guy named Edward Blum, an “anti-school-diversity" activist and "borderline racist” who fails to recognize the need for affirmative action or to honor the 40-plus years of legal precedents that have upheld it. Blum has sued Harvard, UNC Chapel Hill, UT Austin and is "trying to intervene into" Yale, Hinojosa said, hoping the Supreme Court will throw out affirmative action just four years after they ruled it still legal.
Johnson pointed out that the conservative strategy is to paint affirmative action as a privilege for “ungrateful Black people and Hispanic people” that penalizes other minorities, such as Asians and Arab Americans.
But guest Sally Chen, of the Chinese for Affirmative Action group shot down the whole premise. She said polling shows that 70% of Asian Americans support affirmative action and that only 17% oppose it. She described the plaintiffs as “a small but vocal minority." She also called it “a myth” that Asian Americans don’t benefit from affirmative action, citing her own experience as the child of monolingual working-class Chinese immigrants as an example. Chen said she testified in support of affirmative action in the Harvard lawsuit.
All too often, Johnson added, affirmative action is viewed as a “wedge issue as opposed to a necessary policy to address systematic racism that still exists.”