The University of California is figuring out that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders don’t all look the same.
UC is increasing the number of Asian Pacific Islander racial and ethnic classifications that potential undergraduate students can choose from on their application forms from eight to 23.
Collecting more data and breaking through the model minority myth — the stereotype that all Asian Pacific Americans get straight A’s and get into Berkeley — is the reasoning behind the change.
On the surface, it seems to be a logical move. But judging by some of the comments posted with an Inside Higher Education article about the change, anything with race and education touches a nerve.
Some of the comments:
If you are going to shape a data form for Asian-Americans with that much specificity then why not have the same level of specificity for people of African, European, and Latin descent (to name but a few cultural markers)?
They (and those who lobbied them to make these changes) are looking for backdoor methods for implementing affirmative discrimination while sidestepping state laws.
See no race, hear no race, speak no race and the obsession with race will disappear.
It’s almost comical, but people have a right to their opinions.
This post can also be found on Hyphen magazine’s blog.