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Letter to the Editor: Daily Bruin column distorts Asian American views on affirmative action

By Daily Bruin Staff

May 25, 2015 11:50 p.m.

This article was incorrectly categorized as a submission. In fact, it's a letter to the editor.

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to Arthur Wang’s article concerning Asian American opinions on affirmative action. Mr. Wang’s article incorrectly surmises that Asian Americans support affirmative action, based on biased polling and the opinions of left-leaning advocacy groups.

I worked in market research, and I know how easy it is to draw incorrect conclusions based on deceptive survey data. I have written a blog post contesting UC Riverside professor Karthick Ramakrishnan’s conclusions, as did the Los Angeles Times. The 135 organizations that Mr. Wang considers more representative of Asian American views are left-wing advocacy groups. Neither the polls nor the groups Wang cites are unbiased representatives of Asian American opinion.

The affirmative action issue touches me personally because in 1999, I posed as black in my application to medical school – I am Indian-American – and gained admission at Saint Louis University, despite my low college GPA. Affirmative action impacts the lives of thousands of UCLA graduates who apply to graduate schools every year. According to figures published by the American Association of Medical Colleges, if I did the same thing and applied to medical school as black instead of Asian between 2013 and 2015, with my GPA of 3.1 and Medical College Admission Test score of 31, I would have increased my chances of admission from 17 percent to 74 percent.

The undeniable statistical fact is that affirmative action is racial discrimination in admissions against Asians and whites.

The California State Legislature understood that it declined to overturn Proposition 209 because of the opposition by Asian Americans.

Vijay Jojo Chokal-Ingam
UCLA alumnus

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