Are Filipina/os Asians or Latina/os?: Reclaiming the Anti-Subordination Objective of Equal Protection After Grutter and Gratz

01 January 2005

In this piece, I explore two avenues of political action - self-identification for affirmative action purposes and longer-term solutions to educational inequity - in an attempt to develop a coherent and effective post-Grutter and Gratz strategy for promoting equal educational opportunities consistent with the demands of equal protection. I use the experiences of Filipina/o-Americans as a vehicle for exploring these issues. I hope to show that diversity as the underlying goal of affirmative action fails to capture the core of modern equal protection jurisprudence implicit in Brown v. Board of Education and Loving v. Virginia: that treating all races equally requires that policymakers take steps to undermine white supremacy - that the cornerstone of equality is the elimination of subordination. After Grutter and Gratz, we would do well to recover and lift up that anti-subordination ideal, and I contend that Filipina/o-Americans are particularly well-positioned to lead a coalitional effort toward that end.