For years, as government-sanctioned racial discrimination was eliminated in most spheres of American life, race-based discrimination continued to fester in university admissions. However, a case involving alleged racial discrimination against Asian Americans at Harvard and the University of North Carolina, which is now before the U.S. Supreme Court, may finally put a stake through the heart of race-based preference policies.
The plaintiffs in the case charge that Harvard and UNC favored certain minority applicants, such as African Americans and others, while disadvantaging Asian Americans. Not only does empirical data show that these systems discriminated against Asians, the history of civil rights in America underscores the moral bankruptcy of these admissions systems.
At Harvard, Duke University economics professor Peter Arcidiacono examined two decades of admissions data and found that Asian Americans had the highest combined score for standardized testing and high-school performance. Yet, Asians had the lowest admissions rate.