Ying Ma and the American Ideals PAC, for which she serves as president, were recently featured in a column in The Wall Street Journal. The Journal highlighted the PAC’s mission to promote equal rights and its recent endorsement of Congresswoman Michelle Steel in her competitive race for reelection in California’s 45th congressional district. At the time that this column was written, the PAC was named Equal Rights for America.
Read excerpts below.
“In a key California House race, the Republican and Democratic candidates have each accused the other of anti-Asian racism. That may not be surprising in a district where the Los Angeles Times says Asian-Americans enjoy a slight plurality (37%). What is surprising is that the candidates accusing each other are Asian-Americans.
“The Republican is Michelle Steel, who was born in South Korea after her parents fled communist North Korea and spent part of her childhood in Japan. Her campaign accused her Democratic opponent, Jay Chen, of racism after he appeared to poke fun at her accent during a campaign stop in April. (English is her third language, after Korean and Japanese)….
“But so far there’s been almost no coverage of another issue of particular concern for Asian-Americans—officially sanctioned racial discrimination against Asian-American college applicants.
“Enter Ying Ma and the new Equal Rights for America PAC. Though not specifically an Asian-American political-action committee, its leadership includes Asian-Americans veterans from the successful NO on 16 campaign in 2020 in California—which beat back an effort to repeal language in the state constitution prohibiting race preferences. These veterans include Ms. Ma and Betty Chu, a former mayor of Monterey Park.
“‘We picked Michelle Steel for our first endorsement because she is a firm opponent of race discrimination and her opponent is not—even though he is Asian-American himself,’ Ms. Ma says. ‘We expect Michelle’s victory to be very clarifying on this issue.’
“Like Ms. Steel, Ms. Ma is also an immigrant from Asia. She was Larry Elder’s communications director during his run against Gov. Gavin Newsom in last year’s recall election. The year before, she was also communications director for the NO on 16 campaign. That effort also included Ward Connerly, the former University of California regent who led the original 1996 fight to ban race preferences in the Golden State. He is now chairman of the PAC’s advisory committee.
“‘While racism is not extinct in America, the system is no longer racist, and policies that embrace bigotry masquerading as social justice are not the solution,’ he said in a statement announcing the Equal Rights for America PAC.
“Ms. Ma says she founded the PAC to uphold one principle: equal treatment for all. That covers a lot of ground these days, including opposition to critical race theory. But probably the most pressing concern today is the pending Supreme Court cases over admissions at Harvard and the University of North Carolina. These cases have helped drive home to many Asian-Americans that they are now on the losing end of the equity agenda—with their kids denied entry over less-qualified applicants because elite schools think they already have too many Asians….
“Ms. Steel has spoken out against Harvard, and she and Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) led 80 colleagues to file a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the plaintiffs in these suits, Students for Fair Admissions. In 2016, by contrast, Mr. Chen appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show, where as both an Asian-American and Harvard alumnus he defended the university’s use of race. All through the interview, Mr. Chen avoided answering Mr. Carlson’s direct question about whether Harvard’s race discrimination against Asian-Americans is wrong….
“‘Too many of our elected representatives claim to be against anti-Asian hate but then support Harvard’s race discrimination in admissions,’ she says. ‘We’re not going to let them get away with it any more.'”