A Revealing Vote on Anti-Asian Bias

The Senate passed a hate crime law last week that grants states and municipalities grants to increase incident reporting and orders a Justice Department review. The vote was 94-1. But this bipartisan vote obscures a sharp partisan political difference on anti-Asian bias that was exposed when the Democrats defeated a Republican amendment to end discrimination in higher education.

The GOP amendment was a single sentence. No college, it said, “can get federal funding if the institution has a policy or practice that discriminates against Asian Americans in hiring, reviewing applicants, or admitting them.”

All Republicans voted for the amendment, sponsored by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. Democrats voted against, 49-48.

Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono said ahead of the text that the amendment is “a transparent and cynical attack on longstanding regulatory guidelines designed to increase diversity”. She means elite college policies that have been challenged in court by Asian American students for being fined upon admission.

Ms. Hirono appears to find it “cynical” to take seriously the language of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the constitution, which prohibits racial discrimination. The amendment would certainly have passed if the text had replaced “Asian Americans” with a different minority. However, there was not a single democratic vote.

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