Hard work shouldn’t cause discrimination

As we celebrate Independence Day this week, some Americans will reflect not just on the political significance, but also on our ideals as a people. One of them is that individual initiative is rewarded.

Not really, as Asian Americans in some places have learned. Hard work and dedication by some of their young people is being viewed as unfair, somehow, to others.

New York City has become the poster child for that attitude. There, city officials have decided that academic talent shown by Asian-American students applying for admission to special high schools designed for such achievers should not be rewarded.

Too many Asian American youths have gained admission to the schools by doing well on admission tests, say Mayor Bill de Blasio and others. Some other criteria should be used to ensure more children from other minority groups get into the schools, they add.

Understand this: New York City schools do not discriminate against any minority group. Asian-American students applying to the special schools create their own advantage.

Telling them it somehow is unfair is, of course, blatant discrimination directed at them.

New York City is not alone in such discrimination. Others, at both the public school and higher education levels, have the same policies. So the message to Asian Americans this Fourth of July is that this is a land of opportunity for those who work hard — sometimes.