Asian Americans and the Pursuit of Unhappiness

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Washington Monthly


Asian-Americans, Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), affirmative action, suicide


A debate rages about Asian American students and affirmative action in higher education. A group called the Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) has sued Harvard, alleging that the university’s race-conscious admissions policy discriminates against highly qualified Asian American applicants. It does this, they say, by holding these students to a higher standard compared to all other racial groups and rejecting them at a disproportionate rate.

What remedy do they seek? The end of affirmative action.

While Asian Americans are being hailed as a model minority and the embodiment of the American Dream, young Asian Americans are silently suffering. The source of that suffering? The very things that people are touting about Asian Americans—their academic and career achievements. For many Asian Americans, the pursuit of the American Dream is a nightmare.


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This article was reposted in Cleveland-Marshall College of Law's Your Witness blog on December 7, 2021.