Statement on the TAAF Grant Read

Statement on the US Supreme Court’s Affirmative Action Ruling

We are dismayed by the US Supreme Court’s decision to prohibit the use of race as a factor in college admissions. This reflects a troubling trend of disavowing the realities of racism and contributes to an educational environment that refuses to recognize structural inequalities. This will pose even greater challenges for students of color to access higher education.

Baseless misconceptions of affirmative action’s effects on Asian Americans were critical to negatively and falsely framing affirmative action as damaging and unfair. Attention to the needs of Asian American students in no way discredits the necessity of affirmative action. As we have argued elsewhere, we reject this rhetoric of racial division and affirm that a diverse and inclusive student body is critical to an educated public. We disallow the further falsehood that advancing racial equity contradicts attention to merit. The notion of merit is the actual myth, for college admissions remains the frequent privilege of those from well-resourced backgrounds. 

Affirmative action has been a significant tool in addressing students’ historic and structural barriers to accessing higher education. In the context of continued attacks on Black studies, critical race theory and academic freedom, we must understand this decision as yet another attempt to disavow racism, undermine racial justice movements, and invalidate the intellectual contributions of communities of color. AAAS continues to affirm its commitment to anti-racism, racial justice and diversity in the academy.  

Executive Board, Association for Asian American Studies