HomePoliticsBiden expresses pride in the new directive disaggregating AANHPI data

Biden expresses pride in the new directive disaggregating AANHPI data

By Yunfei Liu

President Joe Biden said Tuesday night he is proud of the new directive disaggregating data among Asian Americans and Pacific Islander groups.

His speech highlighted the 30th Annual Gala of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS), a non-profit dedicated to increasing AANHPI participation and representation in politics and raise public awareness. 

“If our government doesn’t really see the difference between Korean Americans distinctly from Filipino Americans. I don’t know how can they address the needs of each community. ” Biden said at the Gala.

The directive, released in March, requires federal agencies in the United States to provide options for AAPI ethnicities on forms and to eliminate outdated language in their guidelines.

“All of you represent a simple truth: There is no singular Asian American Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander identity. The diversity of culture and breath of achievements that has shaped and strengthened the fabric of our country.”

During the event, Biden and the House Democratic Leader, Hakeem Jeffries, both talked about several Democratic agendas, including AANHPI small business, Roe v. Wade, the ban on assault weapons and student loan relief. 

Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies 30th annual gala
By Yunfei Liu

This Annual gala is the largest gathering of AANHPI elected officials and government appointees at all levels, according to APAICS. Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), who won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Gala, referred to the gala as the well-known “Asian Prom”. 

Numerous House representatives such as Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), Jill Tokuda (D-Hawaii), and Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), as well as AANHPI elected officials and leaders in other fields, were also present.

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  1. According to the Federal Register, it is still a single lump category of “Asian”. The only noticeable change is a new category for “Middle Eastern or North African” (previously part of “White”).

    There was a mention for “collection of additional detail beyond the minimum required race and ethnicity categories for most situations…when useful and appropriate”. But there is nothing that specifically mentions recognizing different Asian ethnicities/races (or Pacific Islander ethnicities/races) or which situations they will consider the breakouts. This means it probably won’t happen because Asians are seen as a monolith who are supposed to be invisible.

    If Biden wants to claim credit for recognizing the different Asian races in data collection, then he needs to make sure that the text and direction is there to guarantee it happens.

  2. European ought to be used instead of white people.
    The number of ethnicities in Asia is large ans diverse.
    Also many uses of Asian as a descriptor in discussions
    often means Chinese.

    • Europe is not a race. It is geography and nationality. What about the people of different races who were born or have citizenship in a European country? Aren’t they Europeans too? By trying to interchange “European” (or any European country) and “White” as synonymous only reinforces the hate-based perception of who BELONGS in Europe and who should “go back to where you came from”. This is the same core problem in the USA.

      But if the reference to “White” is offensive or objectionable, people can use the term “Caucasian”.


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