Asian-Americans Can Blow Up America’s Racial Quota System. Will They?

Anyone who follows coverage of racial politics in America will notice how often Asians are elided in opinion surveys, and how often they are portrayed in an incoherent and nakedly instrumental manner. Mother Jones, for instance, emblazoned the headline “Silicon Valley Firms Are Even Whiter and More Male Than You Thought” over a story disclosing that Google’s workforce was 60 percent white (less than the share of white people in the general population) and 34 percent Asian (nearly six times greater than the share of Asians in the general population). Asians aren’t seen as a “real” minority—nobody has them in mind when they speak of minorities, and thus the hiring of many Asians does not count for those in pursuit of “diversity.” This exclusion has been formalized into the bureaucratic euphemism “underrepresented minority,” which means “minorities who are not Asian.”

A lawsuit filed by a white recruiting manager at YouTube last week alleged that the company imposed unlawful quotas for hiring black, Hispanic, and female candidates while ceasing to hire white and Asian males. The quasi-monopolistic tech behemoth is now being sued for discriminating against women, men, conservatives, leftists, and white, and Asian males, even as it is also being sued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for failing to turn over data on its diversity numbers. Asian-American advocates took to social media to decry the use of Asian-Americans as a “wedge” against those seeking diversity, yet again adopting the oddly reflexive deference to all such pushes for “diversity” that explicitly intend to increase the number of “underrepresented minorities” at the expense of Asians. Gaze at this pattern of events long enough, and you can glimpse the vulnerability of the system of tense compromises that have structured the American racial compact since the 1990s.

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