June 25, 2012
For immediate use
Inquiries contact: Professor Paul Ong (pmong@ucla.edu)

Press Release: "Scholars Nationally Challenge 'Highly Biased' and 'Damaging' Pew report on Asian Americans"

Scholars from across the nation have issued a statement challenging the controversial report on Asian Americans that was recently released by the Pew Research Center.

The researchers, who are affiliated with the Asian American Pacific Islander Policy and Research Consortium (AAPIPRC), a national organization of four leading university-based Asian American research centers in New York, Massachusetts and California, write that, "While there are merits to the Pew report, the selection of what information to present and highlight is highly biased, and the framing and interpretation of the analysis are incomplete and implicitly misleading and damaging for Asian American communities.

"We believe it is important to acknowledge the many accomplishments made by Asian Americans, but not at the expense of a fuller understanding of the diverse, complex and nuanced reality."

"The publication," write the scholars. "presents overly generalized descriptive and aggregate statistics, fails to critically explain the causes and limitations of observed outcomes, and falls short of examining tremendous and critical differences among Asian ethnic groups.

"We echo the comments by many Asian American scholars, advocates and lawmakers who point out how the study could lead policymakers, the media and the public to draw conclusions that reflect inaccurate stereotypes about Asian Americans being only a community with high levels of achievement and few challenges.

"There are many educational, economic, and health disparities, among others, facing our diverse communities. The selection of included populations leaves out some of the most distressed groups; consequently, the studied subjects are not representative."

The scholars provide numerous concrete examples to illustrate the inaccuracies and biases of the Pew report such as how income levels should be properly calculated and analyzed.

The statement was submitted to Pew by Professor Joyce Moy, Director, Asian American/Asian Research Institute at the City University of New York; Professor Lois Takahashi, Director University of California Asian American Pacific Islander Policy Multi-campus Research Program; Professor Paul Watanabe, Director, Institute for Asian American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston; Professor David K. Yoo, Director, UCLA Asian American Studies Center

It was prepared by Paul Ong, Melany De LaCruz, Chhandara Pech, Jonathan Ong and Don Nakanishi.

The complete statement of the Asian American Pacific Islander Policy and Research Consortium can be found at aapiprc.com.