Book Review: ‘An Inconvenient Minority’ by Kenny Xu
“The Attack on Asian American Excellence and the Fight for Meritocracy”
Legal Insurrection readers are likely familiar with Kenny Xu, a true investigative journalist who has covered the Students for Fair Admission (SFFA) v. Harvard case since its inception.
Most recently, Kenny prepared a piece for our website that provides an uncompromising, intelligent analysis of how social justice activists are using “equity” to compromise the foundations of the American justice system.
Kenny has also completed work on an outstanding new book that blends his experience with the Harvard lawsuit with the toxic Critical Race Theory policies promoted by progressives. The book, An Inconvenient Minority: The Attack on Asian American Excellence and the Fight for Meritocracy, is slated to be officially released July 13.
While Kenny does focus a good portion of the book on the Harvard case, that material is really a springboard to a more fascinating and important look at Asian Americans in today’s society, especially through the prism of Critical Race Theory. He demonstrates how Asian Americans, both native and immigrant, are now dominating the nation’s technical fiends and are critical to the modern American workforce. However, personality-based parameters, diversity programs, and racialist employment guidelines are being used exclude them from enjoying the highest ranks of money, power and position.
An Inconvenient Minority is full of facts and figures, but presented in a very engaging way that helped underscore the strength of the case being made. I must admit that until reading this book, I had not fully appreciated how university diversity programming was being implemented to protect the privileged, white, progressives whose children directly benefited from revised admission policies.
One of the most gripping portions covers how New York Mayor Bill de Blasio worked to eliminate the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT), which is taken by students in grades eight or nine who want to enroll in one of New York City’s specialized high schools. Asian Americans, who were being admitted through merit after studying diligently, were accused of “gaming the system.”
During hearings to promote the change, concerned parents waited for hours to comment after all the race activists had a chance to speak. Kenny covered the experiences of Yiatin Chen, one of the leaders of the group opposing de Blasio’s SHSAT cancel campaign (which, fortunately, proved unsuccessful).
“The elected officials started calling up these groups,” she remembered—and video footage of the public hearing confirms. “[Social justice activist and 2021 Mayoral candidate] Maya Wiley . . . [and] diversity groups . . . started talking about racial equity and social justice and nothing else.
“At around 2:30, the crowds started thinning out. The media and cameras were being packed up.” The diversity groups were given full attention.
But Asian parents continued to wait their turn on the sidelines. They were facing what so much of American culture had historically levied upon Asian Americans since their entrance into this country: invisibility, rejection of their voices, dismissal of their desperate wishes to contribute to a society they travelled ten thousand miles to reach.
Yiatin continued: “It wasn’t until 5:30 [that] they started calling up regular parents. The whole room was basically empty except for . . . Asian parents, other parents.
Another revelation is exactly how Big Tech (Goggle and Facebook especially) use Asian Americans talent to make billions, yet fail to reward them with promotions and an appropriate cut of the profits.
Asian Americans have really become a sort of unfun topic in Silicon Valley corporate life. In fact, they embarrass the diversity-obsessed gurus at Google and Facebook.
One would think that diversity and inclusion, now the dominant cultural ideology in progressive epicenters like Big Tech, would benefit Asians. But as with that assumption about elite colleges, one would be wrong.
Asians are not considered “diverse” in the progressive tech world— despite unequivocally being a racial minority as only 6–8 percent of the total American population, and yet representing 40-some percent of the world’s population by heritage.
In fact, Asian Americans represent 41.8 percent of Google’s workforce. Yet in Google’s 2020 Annual Diversity Report, sponsored and written by Chief Diversity Officer Melonie Parker (yes, these are well-compensated, professional positions in modern corporate life, with average salaries close to $127,000 a year, according to Glassdoor), Asian Americans are barely mentioned. Instead, the report comments on Google’s “increase[d] representation for women globally,
and for Black+ and Latinx+ employees in the US.
Kenny then demonstrates that, based on profits and contributions, Facebook software engineers should be earning $3 million a year. However, because of the HB1 visa program and other methods of manipulating employment, these employees earn $150,000 to $500,000 annually.
One last note: Kenny writes that he failed to get an internship because he came off as too alpha during the personality portion of the interview process. I am sure glad he is a fierce fighter, because we need everyone we can get as we battle against racialism.
An Inconvenient Minority is powerfully and passionately written. Yet, it is also engaging and entertaining. I give it 6 stars out of 5…the 6th star being for being on the frontlines of this battle as well as not turning the book into just a collection of blog pieces.
I strongly recommend anyone with an interest in fighting against Critical Race Theory read “An Inconvenient Minority”.
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Will America suffer brain drain as a result of CRT and similar horseshit?
Certainly not among Democrats. There is no brain to drain in those who do not have one to begin with.
America has long benefited from attracting the best and brightest, being the land of opportunity. The point I was making is that is likely to stop, and that the flow of the best and brightest will likely be people leaving America.
Sounds like every Massachusetts state “public hearing” on new and useless gun oppressions that I ever attended. The cameras come in, Sarah Brady, Cheryl Jacques, Dianne WIlkerson, and Mumbles Menino get to make long speeches with no time limit; the cameras pack up; all the astroturf in the collectively-colored tee-shirts get up to board their buses, along with most of the hearing committee (the Democrats); and only then do the actual citizens get their chance to speak, until closing time is (quickly) announced.
The only fond aspect of those memories is that out of all the names I mentioned above, the ones who aren’t dead were forced to resign in disgrace.
FACTS BLM / MEDIA DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT
BLM and other race-baiters scream “INSTITUTIONAL RACISM”. But they NEVER want to compare the Black and Asian minority experiences because it exposes the lie of their racist narrative.
Look at the history. About the same time that Affirmative Action started 50 years ago, Asians started coming to America in large numbers. In fact, blacks had many advantages over Asians because most Asians were poor, spoke little or no English and most had little or no formal education.
Today, Asians are so successful that Harvard and other top schools do all they can to limit their enrollment with every irrational excuse they can come up with. Meanwhile, they struggle to find enough black admits who will make through to graduation after 4 years of high-level study. And Asians are arrested at 1/10th the rate of whites, while black are arrested at 10x the rate of whites (excuse the use of rough estimates for ease of illustration). Blacks say they are arrested more because of racism. So does that mean Asians are arrested less because cops prefer them 10x more than whites? Of course the reality is that one race ACTUALLY commits more crimes. This is not to say race is not a factor at all – just that it is unlikely to explain the orders of magnitude difference.
Why did one minority succeed so much with zero AA – while the other still struggles despite a major boost from AA ? This is a sociological study that none of today’s Professors and PhD’s want to conduct and no Progressive wants to know these answers.. And none of the editors and big media companies want to publish so that the public can be informed. In fact, if you look online – you see many woke attacks on such comparisons to pre-empt any such real investigation.
Perhaps it’s because it would reveal inconvenient truths such as the extent to which CULTURE MATTERS That Asian culture supports education while black culture is anti-intellectual. Perhaps its that Asian culture respects police while black culture admires the “gangsta” admires those who disrespect the police.
If culture is the real issue – no amount of government handouts and lowered admission standards will solve it. It really requires black people to own the problems within their community and to change their culture from within. In fact, government programs may actually be harmful by perpetuating this cultural disconnect. Surely, avoiding the true causes and blaming whites does not help the black community or anyone else.
Another factor that is avoided is the fact that blacks never assimilated in the way other immigrants did. The never felt the need to conform and to adopt new culture norms as most immigrants do. This may be one reason for the persistence of problems in American society. Woke historians want to write books about 1619 and blame every problem on racism. The carefully avoid looking at non-racial historical reasons for the difference in the black experience compared to other immigrants – such as the assimilation issue stated above.
Unless there is an open and honest discussion of the issues – racial problems will persist and race-baiters will be the only ones to benefit. Obama and others keep saying that we need to “have the difficult conversations” – but they and all the other Progressives purposely avoid any discussion tat doesn’t fit their preferred narrative. There is a lot to learn from the comparison of Asian experience and Black experience and we should be studying it and learning from it – not sweeping it under the rug.
“Why did one minority succeed so much with zero AA – while the other still struggles despite a major boost from AA ?”
Because some people learn to excel at the game, while others bitch about the rules.
Culture is a huge part of the problem. I suspect that poor culture is driven by lower intelligence. I would be interesting to compare culture with people from all races with similar IQ. I am going to look for a study making that comparison.
This and other examples demonstrate the lack of intellectual rigor within CRT/Equity. The proponents seem stuck in time. They refuse to acknowledge the very real legal and societal differences between 21st century USA and pre 1964 USA.
The one point I do agree with is the idea of slavery as our Nation’s original sin. Many of the founders were torn, they acknowledged the evil but didn’t act to eliminate it immediately or set a future date to end the institution of slavery.
That original sin was atoned for in the blood and destruction of our civil war. 600,000+ dead, many more injured, ECT. The post civil war amendments 13, 14 and 15 didn’t immediately set things to right. The long journey to realize the aspirations of the founders vision; all men are created equal, took another 100 years before we created and enforced our modern civil rights laws.
IMO, the proponents of CRT/Equity plainly refuse to acknowledge the fact that ‘race’ based discrimination has been unlawful for more than 55 years. Longer than I have been alive.
Why do they refuse to acknowledge the facts? IMO, they are rebels without a cause. The want to be agents of change, to make the world a better place. They were born several generations too late. The era of the civil rights movement to achieve that change has already occurred and they weren’t participants.
So they invented CRT/Equity as a way to compensate. Unfortunately many elites and near elites have fallen victim to their siren song. Why? These people are in many cases, the product of an economically privileged upbringing.
Their parents were college educated working in high paying jobs. In many cases they are the third consecutive generation to be born into elite or near elite households. They understand that they individually are privileged. Their peers at their expensive and exclusive prep schools are privileged. Their entire social network is privileged.
Unfortunately they confuse their economic and social status network privilege with ‘racial’ privilege. Why wouldn’t they, after all their network and peer group is predominantly ‘white’. They project their own situation and their misplaced guilt onto every other ‘white’ person.
The are grifters, looking for unearned gain, that is why. They are entitled, in large part because we let come to believe that they could get away with demanding more.
Which, in turn, explains the abject terror on the part of the d/progressive. They went too far too quickly and too publicly.
They haven’t secured victory with this CRT/Equity nonsense but acted as if they had. Their overreach here along with Rona overreach has created an awakening.
They have imperiled all their policies and all their grifts. Average workaday people have seen behind the curtain. It can’t be unseen.
The resentment and anger of the average person is being harassed to resist and fight the d/progressive ideology. All of them.
Backlash is going to be spectacular, IMO.
Sounds like a book I need to put on my reading list.
I’m looking forward to reading Mr. Xu’s book. He is a truly fearless and laudable journalist, committed to exposing the totalitarian Left’s lies and hypocrisy.
When my youngest son was preparing to graduate from high school, the State of California announced that the SAT scores of graduating seniors would be adjusted along racial lines.
That is, whites got zero adjustment, mexicans got points added, blacks got more points added, and asians got points subtracted.
My son’s girlfriend, of Vietnamese extraction, still managed to get into her first choice California college.
The State of California legislature and education, all drawing State salaries and overwhelmingly members of the Democrat Party, are all racist as hell.
Unfortunately in a Republic you get what you vote for.