A Revealing Vote on Anti-Asian Bias

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The Senate passed a hate-crimes bill last week that gives grants to states and localities for more reporting on incidents and orders a Justice Department review. The vote was 94-1. But that bipartisan vote obscures a sharp partisan difference on anti-Asian bias laid bare as Democrats defeated a Republican amendment to stop discrimination in higher education.

The GOP amendment was a single sentence. It said no college “may receive any Federal funding if the institution has a policy in place or engages in a practice that discriminates against Asian Americans in recruitment, applicant review, or admissions.”

All Republicans voted for the amendment, which was sponsored by

Sen. Ted Cruz

of Texas. Democrats voted it down, 49-48.

Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono said on the floor that the amendment was “a transparent and cynical attack on longstanding admission policies that serve to increase diversity.” She means elite college policies that have been challenged in court by Asian-American students for penalizing them in admissions.

Ms. Hirono apparently thinks it’s “cynical” to take seriously the language in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Constitution that bars discrimination by race. The amendment surely would have passed if the text had substituted another minority group for “Asian Americans.” Yet it did not get a single Democratic vote.

Republicans and Democrats both want to monitor and deter crimes motivated by racial bias. But only one party last week was willing to protect the prerogative of institutions to discriminate systematically by race.

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Appeared in the April 26, 2021, print edition.

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Newsrust - US Top News: A Revealing Vote on Anti-Asian Bias
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