You cannot travel far into the world of HBD thinking without seeing the moniker NAM. This is a shorthand way of saying non-Asian Minority. What makes Asians so special that they need their own description?
Even though there are no Asians in my library, this non-Asian non-Minority blogger investigates.
The reason to separate out Asians from other minority groups is that their performance tends to be so different. While Blacks and Hispanics tend to fall behind Whites in education and employment, Asians tend to equal or surpass them. Whereas Blacks and Hispanics tend to partake in more crime and delinquency than Whites, Asians tend to be more law abiding. In short, they cast doubt on the minority-status causes bad outcomes.
Unlike Jews, Asians are a visible minority. There is no guessing (“hmmm, is that name Polish or Jewish?”) whether they are non-majority or not. Their visible outsider, not-one-of-us, difference should make them easy targets for the discrimination that holds other outsider groups back. The only problem is, that there is no problem; Asians perform well at school and college, tend to find employment, have higher than average incomes, and have fewer problems with law enforcement. It seems that, in the United States at least, minority status itself does not necessarily lead to bad outcomes.
While most “polite” discourse tends to lump all non-White groups into the catch-all “minority” classification, HBD discussions recognize the mirror-image outcomes between Asian and non-Asian, and thus the “non-Asian” prefix to mark out this atypical minority group.
Of course, Asian is a broad, and imprecise, category but is generally assumed to include: Chinese. Japanese, Korean, and some (less than intuitively, perhaps) Indians. I am not sure if that list is correct or complete, I know that NAM might not include all of those who might qualify as Asian (i.e., from the Orient) and may include some that do not.
[I am sure readers will correct me]
Academic Yellow Peril
An interesting related issue is, complaints of Asian students crowding out White ones because Asians score higher on tests such as SAT or ACT. The result is that Asians receive college places above their proportional share of the population. Such complaints bring forth cries of a double standard. After all, the complaints go, Whites rail against affirmative action, so why should they complain when the system promotes better students.
While mostly a who-whom question (college places are a zero sum game), there is a reasonable and logical answer too. Success at college (and many other endeavors) requires some minimum talent or intelligence, after this there are returns to talent or brains. However, those above-threshold gains are much lower than the return to meeting the baseline. Higher test scores do not guarantee better college performance; they merely describe the likelihood of a student completing the course.
Many White students who lose out to Asians are probably fully capable of completing the course. The argument against affirmative action is, that by lowering admission requirements for certain groups, they admit those who have little chance of completing the course in reasonable time or without unreasonable assistance. The slightly higher (I do not believe Asians out score Whites by huge margins) Asian scores do not necessarily mean better graduates, but affirmative action does exclude many capable students so as to admit those with a lower chance of graduating (I believe affirmative action scores are considerably lower).
In any case, the who-whom version is perfectly sensible and does not need the bulwark of a logical explanation; college places are a limited and valuable resource, so “irrational” arguments make sense – it is always better to be the who not the whom.