“The Equal Protection of the Laws . . .”

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The Asian American Legal Foundation (“AALF”), based in San Francisco, California, was founded to protect and promote the civil rights of Asian Americans. Americans of Asian origin have a particular interest in promoting racial equality. With a long history in this nation, they were for much of that history viewed as faceless members of a “yellow horde” and denied access to school, jobs and other opportunities—just because of their race.

Asian Americans have contributed significantly to this nation’s jurisprudence establishing the “race neutral” treatment that Americans of all races and ethnicities today take for granted. Many of the key federal court cases establishing that under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution all Americans enjoy the “equal protection of the laws” were brought to vindicate the rights of Asian American. We believe that it is a proud heritage.

The battle is not over. Despite the advances our society has made with respect to racial equality, discriminatory treatment of Asian Americans is again resurgent. Today, though, instead of open hostility, the tools are “racial balancing” and “diversity” schemes at all levels of state and local government. These programs, some of them well-intentioned, again view individuals as faceless members of a “group.” Again, individuals are denied access to education, jobs and opportunities solely because of their race or ethnicity.

The Asian American Legal Foundation is at the forefront of the fight to vindicate the individual rights of all Americans. It stands for the principle that individual rights are paramount, and that only the strict application of the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection will protect the right of Asian Americans and of all Americans to live in a open, pluralistic society, free of persecution.