In seismic six to three and six to two rulings, the Supreme Court struck down the use of affirmative action practices in the college admissions process. The justices heard two separate legal challenges over how Harvard University (a private institution) and the University of North Carolina (a public college) decide who to admit. The high court ultimately decided along ideological lines that both violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
It didn’t take long for the media and left, including former First Lady Michelle Obama, to speak out against the decisions. Some have even gone so far as to accuse the Asian students who brought the cases of being tools of white people. On Monday’s show, Megyn was joined by Mark Steyn, host of The Mark Steyn Show, to discuss the SCOTUS affirmative action rulings and the hysterical reactions.
‘Mask for White Privilege’
In a piece published Sunday, NRP claimed “affirmative action divided Asian Americans and other people of color” and said there was “no evidence of anti-Asian discrimination” in the college admissions process. It argued that the cases that made it to the Supreme Court were organized by a group called Students for Fair Admissions, which was founded by Edward Blum who is white.
The article and accompanying audio said Blum initially tried to legally challenge race-conscious admissions in 2008 with white students. When that failed, NRP alleged, Blum was “looking to cast a new face in the role of affirmative action’s victim” and “this time it wouldn’t be a white one.”
Affirmative action activist Jeff Chang told NPR that Blum and his group “pitted Asian Americans against Black and Latino communities using both real issues and false narratives, to end policies that had helped diversify college campuses.” That ultimately “radicalized” Asian Americans and led to them acting “as this sort of mask for White privilege.”
Janelle Wong, director of Asian American studies at the University of Maryland, said the “myth” of Asian Americans as a “good minority group” has “been used historically to undermine other non-white groups pressing for justice.” Ultimately, the NPR piece purported that “the promise of proximity to whiteness and power has radicalized some Asian Americans on the right.”
NPR was not alone in its positing. Megyn quoted articles from The New Yorker that explicitly state Asian Americans have allowed themselves to become tools of the right and whites. “That is their latest position – that they were smart enough to get into Harvard but too dumb to realize they are political pawns of the whites,” she said.
What’s Behind the ‘Naked Racism’
Both Megyn and Steyn found the stereotyping to be staggering. “I can’t get over the naked racism here towards Asians,” Steyn said. “This is like the old racist gag from however many decades ago… ‘all Chinese look alike,’ ‘all Chinese have the same boring personality’… it’s amazing.”
If you don’t believe that, Steyn suggested you look at the data. He pointed to a study from Duke University that found that if Harvard (one of the two institutions whose admissions processes were being debated before the Supreme Court) admitted students purely on academic achievement, some 52 percent of the student body would be Asian and 37 percent would be white. “That’s how it would go on meritocratic admission,” he noted. “So, this attempt from the rubble of the Supreme Court decision to reconstruct a coalition of the minorities… Asians, on a meritocratic basis… would actually have the majority of places at Harvard.”
Megyn said the emphasis on education in Asian cultures is something to be praised, not punished. “There is something in Asian culture, which is to be admired, that dedicates itself [to education],” she shared. “Parents – rich and poor – are committed to education, to studying hard, to pushing academics, and that’s to be applauded.”
In Steyn’s view, the higher education system shouldn’t have needed the Supreme Court to rule that affirmative action policies are discriminatory. “It appears as, ‘Oh yes, [Asians] have fantastic big brains, they can play the cello brilliantly… but, let’s face it, they all bore the socks off us,’” he concluded. “They’ve got away with that for the entirety of the twenty-first century at American universities, and it’s absurd that it takes nine judges on some court to tell them, ‘Actually, this is totally racist and you shouldn’t be doing it.'”
You can check out Megyn’s full interview with Steyn by tuning in to episode 580 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.