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Opinion

Readers React: Republicans will have to do more than oppose affirmative action to win over Asian Americans

Editorial: A collision of values: Does Harvard cheat Asian-American applicants?
Harvard has been accused of systematically discriminating against Asian American applicants.
(Dreamstime / TNS)

To the editor: Your publication of John Yoo’s op-ed article, “Asian Americans need to wise up and end our blind loyalty to the Democratic Party,” makes me feel ashamed to be a reader of the L.A. Times.

Affirmative action is the oldest, most worn-out of political tropes that conservatives drag out to bait Asian Americans when nothing else will work. Am I, the son of a Chinese immigrant, supposed to believe that the Republicans represent my best interest based on this flimsy argument?

You really think that Asian Americans will just overlook Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions’ inhumane treatment of innocent migrant families at the border and forget that we are the only ethnic group to have ever been legally barred from emigrating to the U.S.?

Yoo’s arguments are as worthless as the “torture memo” writer’s morals — if he has any left.

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Tracy Lam-Hine, San Francisco

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To the editor: Yoo has it wrong as it relates to Asian Americans and their party affiliation in California. The overriding characteristic of their party registration here is independent. As a former elected official, I have found Asian American voters to consider the individual running before their party affiliation.

Yoo is also wrong relative to his stereotyping of affirmative action support by Asian Americans being “race based.” That horse has long since left the barn because the courts have ruled that exclusively raced-based admission and quotas are unconstitutional. Yes, many of us are in favor of diversity because we have seen and participated in the fight to open the doors to institutions that had been closed to people of color, women and others.

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Yoo’s biggest misunderstanding is his belief that the U.S. is a meritocracy. The U.S. is a democracy, where we must be concerned about how everyone is doing rather than just ourselves. It’s an imperfect democracy, but we need to keep trying to make it work better for us all.

Warren Furutani, Gardena

The writer is a former Democratic state assemblyman, L.A. Unified School District Board of Education member and Los Angeles Community College District trustee.

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To the editor: Yoo’s opinion is based mostly on the belief that affirmative action in college admissions hurts Asian Americans. But the majority of Asian Americans still support affirmative action and recognize its value in education and employment contexts.

I think Asian Americans will continue to vote on a broader array of criteria than simply affirmative action. For example, polls have shown that healthcare and education are among the top issues for Asian Americans, two issues on which the Democrats are far, far better than the Republicans.

Also, the GOP has shown that it opposes the “family reunification” factors that have paved the way for Asian Americans to immigrate. It is also led by a president who has referred to brown people coming to the United States as “infesting” our country, as if they were vermin.

Yoo is right about one thing: Asian Americans do not “belong” to the Democratic Party, which must make a concerted effort to appeal to them if it hopes to win their votes.

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Daniel Mayeda, Culver City

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