AsianWeek Statement and Apology

Posted by AC Team on Saturday, 03 March 2007.

AsianWeek's Statement and Apology issued by AsianWeek's Editor-in-Chief Samson Wong.


AsianWeek sincerely regrets and apologizes for publishing New York-based contributor Kenneth Engs column in the issue of February 23, 2007. AsianWeek rejects Engs biased views on a critical segment of American society, African Americans.

While AsianWeek continues to truly believe in diversity of opinion and freedom of the press, we are also very aware that the promotion of hate speech is not appropriate, nor should it be encouraged.

Given that the genesis of the American civil rights movement was borne primarily by the African American community through blood and perseverance, the failing of our editorial process in allowing this opinion piece to go forward, was an insensitive and callous mistake that should never have been made by our publication.
We will be reviewing that editorial process and making any changes necessary to prevent this from ever happening again.

The condemnation of this serious lapse in editorial judgment was rightfully taken by civic and community leaders and organizations, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congressman Mike Honda, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Readers of AsianWeek over the past 27-year history clearly know that we reject any racist agenda. On the contrary, our editorial policy has led the way in interracial and multicultural strength and diversity.

As a publication whose motto is the voice of the Asian American community, we are humbled and overwhelmed at reader response not only chastising our editorial process, but strongly urging our paper to sever all ties to this contributor. We have heard the call and Mr. Eng has been terminated from writing for the paper.

In the future, we will take extra steps to ensure that while diversity of opinion remains a constant pillar in AsianWeek editorial policy, promotion of hate speech of any kind will not and should not ever be tolerated. These steps shall be our ironclad resolve as we start anew in this auspicious Lunar New Year of the Boar.

AsianWeek is the national English-language newsweekly for the rapidly growing Asian Pacific American community. Our mission is threefold.

First, we seek to chronicle the Asian Pacific American experience. From the most recently arrived immigrants to leaders in American society, from life on the streets of Chinatown to deal making in the halls of power, and from achievements in business and academics to influences on pop culture, AsianWeek reports on the people, the events, and the ideas that shape not only Asian American society, but the dominant culture as well.

Second, we provide a national forum on issues important to Asian Pacific Americans. As the only English-language, pan-ethnic national newsweekly, AsianWeek helps to set the agenda for Asian Pacific America. In all of our coverage and commentary, we seek to place news in a context that is relevant to our readers.

Lastly, we seek to involve Asian Pacific Americans in the American democratic experiment. We believe that an informed electorate is the key to a healthy democracy and we aggressively advocate a more active role in the political process. Further, by reporting on the struggles for personal and political empowerment and on the other issues of special interest to our readers, we help to define the priorities of the national Asian Pacific American community and create a stronger political voice among all Asian Pacific Americans.

Samson Wong
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