An Inconvenient Minority: The Ivy League Admissions Cases and the Attack on Asian American Excellence

Kenny Xu. Diversion, $27.99 (288p) ASIN B08MQN8J6D

Misbegotten diversity initiatives penalize Asian Americans for their meritocratic success, according to this provocative yet unpersuasive debut from conservative commentator Xu. Contending that the social advancement of “the Asian American community” in spite of historic discrimination “directly challenge[s] the Leftist narrative of minority victimhood,” Xu claims that Asian Americans have been left out of conversations about “diversity, equity, and inclusion” because they suffer from persistent stereotypes and lack the kind of “cultural capital” necessary to make their struggles visible to the mainstream. He delves into Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, a lawsuit alleging that the university uses a “personality score” to discriminate against Asian applicants; profiles Asian tech workers who were passed over for promotion because they were stereotyped as “robotic” and lacking in “management know-how”; and examines attempts to “correct” the predominance of Asians in prestigious magnet schools by eliminating standardized tests. Xu raises intriguing questions about the place of Asian Americans in U.S. society, but his bitterness toward the “woke liberal leftist elite” overshadows his more eloquent case for preserving the American dream of achievement through hard work. This one-sided screed misses the mark. Agent: Andrew Stuart, the Stuart Agency. (July)