AACE Denounces the New York City Department of Education’s Anti-Asian Rhetoric

By | June 12, 2019

For Immediate Release

June 12, 2019

Livingston, New Jersey: Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE) strongly condemns a recent “pro-diversity” workshop held by the Department of Education (DOE) in the New York City for its school administrators as anti-Asian, hypocritical, and insidiously divisive. Essentially part of the city’s $23 million anti-racism initiative, this panel was organized by the Center for Racial Justice in Education (CRJE) in late May and paid for by the New York City DOE at a steep price tag of $400,000 to promote a false narrative of a racial-advantage hierarchy which provoked racial divisions.

Under the veneer of “racial equity”, this mandatory training seminar condoned ignorant and inflammatory statements by CRJE presenters who targeted Asian Americans as beneficiaries of white supremacy and minimized the Jewish-American experience as irrelevant. By pitting minority groups against each other, this DOE-sanctioned workshop was deeply racist and filled with hostilities toward Asian Americans, Jewish Americans and white Americans in the city.

At best an anti-bias attempt that went overboard, this panel represented a blanket dismissal of the irrefutable fact that Asian Americans have been discriminated against and victimized throughout most of our nation’s history. From the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act to the Japanese-American Interment during the World War II to rampant anti-Asian discrimination in today’s college admissions and K-12 education, Asian-American communities have suffered unjust burdens of outright racism and implicit biases. In the city’s specialized high schools that use the standardized admissions test, for example, over 60% of the students come from a family qualifying under federal anti-poverty guidelines for free and subsidized lunch and over 70% are minorities. If anything, we are far from “white supremacy”. This particular narrative that put Asian-Americans students at the top of the racial hierarchy as beneficiaries was ungrounded.

Furthermore, adopting a bogus “white privilege exercise” that rated attendants’ “whiteness” signified the seminar’s presumptuous tone of identity politics and politicians’ dirty trick to divert public attention from where they have fallen short of. The DOE of New York City has consistently failed black and Hispanic students: under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s watch, math and English proficiency rates among black and Latino students from grades 3 through 8 are less than 50% of performance levels among Asian and Caucasian American students.

AACE president, Mr. Yukong Zhao said: “It is a shame for the Department of Education of New York City to sponsor such an anti-Asian event. The department should concentrate efforts on improving the K-12 education for black and Hispanic children, which is the #1 issue that needs to be addressed. It should stop playing games of political diversion, scapegoating, and entrenching the racial divide among the city’s diverse population. AACE thus urges the New York City’s Department of Education to fulfill its constitutional duties: to be truly inclusive and to serve all the city residents including Asian Americans!”

Asian American Coalition for Education

Ms. Swann Lee, telephone: (617) 906-6380, email: swanleeca@gmail.com.
Dr. Wenyuan Wu, telephone: (786) 393-8028, email: admin@asianamericanforeducation.org.

About the AACE: www.asianamericanforeducation.org
Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE) is a non-political, nonprofit, grassroots national organization, the proven leader in fighting for Asian-American children’s equal educational rights. On May 15, 2015, the founders of AACE united 64 Asian-American organizations and jointly filed a civil rights complaint with the Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to request that they conduct investigations into Harvard University’s discriminatory admissions practices against Asian-American applicants. As the largest joint action taken by Asian-American communities over the last few decades, this complaint is now being investigated by the Justice Department. Over the years, we have advanced the cause of equal education rights for the Asian-American community.