“The View” co-host Sara Haines argued that affirmative action is “downright racist” against Asian Americans during a discussion of the Supreme Court affirmative action cases on the talk show on Wednesday.
The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) heard arguments on Monday related to cases regarding the race-conscious student admissions policies at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina.
The talk show hosts discussed the cases in which the plaintiffs allege that Asian American students face discrimination resulting from affirmative action initiatives after playing Justice Clarence Thomas’s remarks during their oral arguments.
“I’ve heard the word diversity quite a few times, and I don’t have a clue what it means,” Thomas said. “It seems to mean everything for everyone.”
Co-host Sunny Hostin argued that the case against Harvard is “intellectually dishonest,” as she pointed to statistics that show “the majority of Asian Americans support race-conscious admissions.” She also noted that Edward Blum, the president of Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), the organization that brought one of the lawsuits against Harvard before the Supreme Court, is a conservative activist.
“He claims to be a champion of Asian Americans. That is not true. He claims that affirmative action harms Asian Americans. That is not true. He first started with white women. That didn’t work. Now he’s trying with Asian Americans, I think that is going to work,” Hostin said. “The next attack is on LGBTQ-plus rights, and the next attack is on voting rights, and they’re all before the Supreme Court. So I think what we need to do is recognize this for what it is. This is a right-wing attack on our rights. And it’s a concerted effort.”
Haines contradicted Hostin and said that while she has a point, it “does not disrupt the fact that there is a personality rating that Asian Americans are having trouble with in regards to a cultural difference.”
In 2018, a lawsuit claimed Harvard consistently rated Asian American applicants lower than other racial or ethnic groups on traits such as “positive personality,” likability, courage, kindness and being “widely respected.” The lawsuit claimed that Harvard systematically discriminated against Asian Americans in violation of civil rights law.
“I wouldn’t even say it’s discriminatory — it’s downright racist,” Haines said. “They’re judging them on a personality score. And if you went on just test scores, which, by the way, people think high school grades first, then standardized test scores, 43 percent of these elite institutions would be Asian.”
“So, the problem with the civil rights movement was to say don’t discriminate against race because discriminating hurts a race. Fixing it with the same discrimination is going to hurt some other race,” she added.
However, co-host Whoopi Goldberg argued that was not what happened and suggested that they “adjust” the standardized test and not end affirmative action, noting that the bigger picture of the designed procedure is “to help people who would not normally be able to get in.”
Hostin also argued that taking race out of admissions was already a “failed experiment,” citing Proposition 209, which had plunged the population of Black and Latino students by “nearly half” at the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of California, Berkeley.
“The point you’re touching on, Sunny, is important,” Haines replied. “Justice Brown said in her explanation, aren’t other things taken into consideration, like if you’re a parent, if you’re a vet, if you’re the first one to go to college. She was even bringing up that diversity is different.”
In reference to Thomas’s comments, Haines said, “I think what he’s saying is, ‘Is this diversity only racial diversity.’”