Re: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

by Roger Clegg

Speaking of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the Chronicle of Higher Education has an opinion piece in the current issue that complains about lumping the two together. It’s a tragic ”misclassification,” you see, because while Asian Americans may be overrepresented (and thus not deserving of preferential treatment), Pacific Islanders are underrepresented (and thus do deserve preferential treatment). But as I (admittedly predictably) say in my post on the CHE website:

Here’s a wild idea: Let’s give no preferential treatment to ANYONE on the basis of skin color or national origin!

That seems an especially attractive – indeed the only tenable — course as America becomes increasingly a multiethnic and multiracial society, and where individual Americans are themselves more and more likely to be multiethnic and multiracial (starting with our president).  As the article shows, it also avoids the problem of having to decide how to subdivide different groups:  Perhaps Latinos as a whole are “underrepresented,” but not Cubans or not Chileans; or perhaps whites generally are “overrepresented,” but not Ukrainians, unless you further subdivide Ukrainians by religion, in which case some of them are overrepresented and some are underrepresented and some are represented just right; etc.  Judge people as individuals, and dispense with the bean counting.

By the way, and just out of curiosity, into which category do Japanese Americans fall? Also, the Taiwanese?


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