Two Chinese American organizations protesting against Harvard University’s affirmative action policies ahead of its trial reportedly ended up in a physical altercation when one group allegedly prohibited the other to bring materials that support Donald Trump.
The event, organized by the Chinese American Alliance (CAA), saw more than 300 Asian Americans call for an end on the university’s consideration of race in admissions, which allegedly favor Black and Hispanic over Asian applicants to maintain campus diversity.
Chinese Americans for Trump (CAFT), a group of conservative volunteers, were permitted to join the event but only if participants left Trump-related paraphernalia at home, members told NextShark.
“CAA said that CAFT could come, but they didn’t allow us to bring Trump-related hats and banners,” Zhu told NextShark. “David got upset that they did not allow our freedom of speech, so he ordered two 10×40 banners.”
“We were all there for the same cause, but CAFT just supported the president within the cause.”
According to CNN, the Trump administration has been separately criticizing Harvard’s affirmative action policies based on complaints of more than 60 Asian American groups. In late August, it backed the Students for Fair Admissions (SFA), the group conservative activist Edward Blum founded when he filed the case against Harvard in November 2014.
“The record evidence demonstrates that Harvard’s race-based admissions process significantly disadvantages Asian-American applicants compared to applicants of other racial groups — including both white applicants and applicants from other racial minority groups,” the Department of Justice said in court papers.
“The evidence, moreover, shows that Harvard provides no meaningful criteria to cabin its use of race; uses a vague ‘personal rating’ that harms Asian-American applicants’ chances for admission and may be infected with racial bias; engages in unlawful racial balancing; and has never seriously considered race-neutral alternatives in its more than 45 years of using race to make admissions decisions.”
Zhu, a former CAA member herself, said that it has “some people” who support Trump, but the group as a whole “does not really like” the president. As a result, both parties clashed at Sunday’s protest in Boston.
“I have videos of them pushing us and blocking our cameras,” Zhu said, adding that their group was “completely allowed” by cops on the public sidewalks.
In one video, a lady in red is seen pushing Wang, while Zhu repeatedly screams, “Stop touching us!”
Another video shows a man blocking Zhu’s camera as she demands he leave her alone.
“We were very quiet and peaceful until they started screaming at us and physically assaulting us,” Zhu said. “It’s sad how we are all for the same cause (against affirmative action) yet they bully us and don’t allow us to support the president.”
Zhu said that she distanced herself from the group when members started changing to become Democrats. She also claimed that they threatened CAFT on a group chat if they showed up with Trump signs.
“They basically threatened us,” Zhu claimed. “Also, CAA started spreading a rumor that I’m a Democrat just so CAFT won’t have me on their side of the rally. It’s basically the ‘if we can’t have her, you can’t have her’ mentality.”
“But CAFT knew better. They knew me personally and knew that I’ve helped out with the conservative movement a lot.”
During the protest, Zhu claims she came across one man who supported her back during her time at CAA. “I donated to your cause but you’re now a disgrace,” she recalled him saying.
She also claimed one woman called her “stupid and dumb for being part of CAA” and another man randomly told her, “F**k you.”
Harvard has since denied that it engages in racial discrimination, pointing out that the percentage of Asian American students has actually increased by 29% over the past decade, the Boston Business Journal noted. The group currently makes up roughly 23% of all admitted students, behind Whites (50%) but more than Blacks (15%) and Latinos (12%).
The case begins trial with opening statements from the university and SFA today.
NextShark has reached out to CAA for comment but has yet to receive a response.
Media via Kathy Zhu