Oh yes, it's true. A group of fancy researchers have now said it: Asians face race discrimination in government business contracts. A UCLA study found that Asians get the fewest local, state and federal contracts through government minority business programs. The study, commissioned by the Asian American Justice Center, focuses on San Francisco, Chicago and Atlanta to get a picture of what happens in metropolitan areas and national trends. The researchers told the Northwest Asian Weekly that they also found that:
-- Korean Americans have the highest self-employment rate among Asian Americans, but they still do not earn as much as their non-Latino white counterparts, even after controlling for education and other characteristics. -- Controlling for other factors, race still affects differences in self-employment rates, earnings potential, and incorporation rates. -- Racial discrimination has created a significant barrier for Asian Americans to enter social networks, where contracting deals often originate and close.
The issue of race discrimination against Asian business owners runs so deep that in 2003, they were excluded from Chicago's Minority Business Enterprise program, run by the state of Illinois. The reason? There wasn't enough evidence to conclude that Asian business contractors really do face racism. After a series of testimonies and quantitative data put together by advocacy groups and researchers, the program finally agreed that there really is racism against Asians. Shocker! The study will be released in the next couple of weeks.