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Asian Racism in America


Asian American refers to persons having origin from the countries located in the Far East, South Asia, or the Indian subcontinent such as China and Korea (Shen and Chen 311). Though in different forms, anti-Asians racism has persisted from the time of the arrival of Asians in America. The major forms of racism practiced by the Americans against the Asians are prejudice and acts of discrimination (Shen and Chen 311). These vises are perpetuated by both the American government and its individual citizens.

From their arrival Asian Americans have been denied equal rights, many are subjected to harassment and hostility while several of their rights are revoked. The justice system has also been bias to the Asians with many being imprisoned for no justifiable reasons. Many Asians have also been physically attacked and murdered with no appropriate measures taken by the judicial system which has ever ruled in favor of the whites.

While the attitudes regarding race have improved, racism and nativism continue to affect the same way as was the case in the 19th century. Research has shown that the Asian Americans have been the most targeted for hate crime and violence from Americans. Such acts of racisms have been used against the Asians even when they are innocent. They have been the major targets of various acts of severe hostility. Asian Americans are also stereotyped as being weak and powerless thus receiving many acts of victimization (Shen and Chen 312).

Racism and Justice

Though for sometime it was thought that the population growth of Asian immigrants could bring lasting solutions to racial problems facing the Asians, it has resulted into new sets of problems (Ancheta 23). The anti Asian laws has been manifesting in three different forms. The first form has been the federal neutralization laws that have been imposing racial barrier on Asian immigrants seeking United States Citizenship. Second are the federal immigration laws which limit the migration of Asians from Asia and Pacific Island countries. Last is the state and local laws discriminating against the Asians which make the process of legibility for citizenship more difficult for them (Ancheta 23).

The lack of transparency in the American justice system has also been continuing through the numerous denial of Justice against Chinese and Japanese immigrants. The Asians have found it difficult to claim equal treatment to land ownership, citizenship and other rights both in states and federal court. Like in the early times when Asians were turned away many times and denied a chance to testify in courts, today such practices still exist though not practiced much openly (Shen and Chen 311). Some scholars have also noted that the most infamous episode of anti Asian racism was the unjustified imprisonment of the Japanese during the World War II. This was done solely on the basis of the ethnic ancestry. To date the United States is still vigilant about what goes on in Japan (Shen and Chen 317).

Racism and segregation

In the 1930s racial segregation was practice openly.  Asian Immigrants had limited chances of obtaining services from Americans’ theatres, hotels, and restaurants. Some areas were even demarcated as white only areas. Asians were always confined in areas with no or limited services. Segregation has also been witnessed in the ease with which one can secure a house (Shen and Chen 315). This has continued to date with various landlords turning the Asians away simply because, “no Orientals are allowed” in there houses (Ancheta 22). This has led to residential and commercial enclaves named after Asian countries. The examples of such names which exist to date are Chinatowns and Little Tokyo’s developed which were majorly as a result of segregation (Shen and Chen 315).

The question of racism is still important today because there is still much of racial intolerances in America taking almost the same forms as in the past. However, two major forces have been identified by scholars to be the main determinants of today’s American’s racism against the Asians. These include the influx of the Asian Immigrants into the United States and the economic rivalry of Japan. The term Asian American that is used to date in is also itself Eurocentric as it is an externally imposed label. It distinguishes in a discriminative way, some US citizens fro others on the basis of race and not culture.

Another form of racism which still exists is in the labor sector. The Chinese were often subject to harder labor and dangerous tasks. Asian women also faced severe forms of subordination performing marginal economic roles such as manual work and cooking.  In some situations, Asian women often relegated themselves as prostitutes and cheap laborers. To date there has been reluctance by the Americans to respect the Asian women (Yoo and Chen 735).

Another form of racism is Ethnic violence. This resulted from the passing of several acts of discriminations against the Chinese migrants. The worse form of discrimination was Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. The act targeted the entire Chinese ethnic group banning them from going to America for whatever kind of reason. This is a symbol of legacy of racisms directed against the Asian community (Ancheta 21).

The Chinese have also been the targets of murder with the murder of Vincent Chin in 1982 remaining as racial legacy. He was beaten to death by two white men who blamed him for the recession. The criminal justice showed a lot of biasness in handling the case sentencing the murderers only to two years probation (Ancheta 22). This case triggered the Asians Americans to form a multi-racial coalition to demand justice in the case. They organized rallies and protests, circulated petitions, and engaged the media. These resulted into a form of solidarity among the Asians that still exist to date. A number of Asian American community organizations and coalition were formed. The organizations were to monitor how the Asian Americans were treated and to spearhead the fight for justice.

Racism in learning Institutions

Various forms of vandalism are continuously being witnessed in American Universities and collages. Acts such as anti-Asian vandalism including such threats as rape and death threat, and stereotypes have been common even in the recent times like that witnessed in Stanford University. Such injustices are made worse by reluctance of university officials to respond. The authorities are also still reserved in allowing Asian American and other racial/ethnic studies program (Ancheta 23).

Another aspect of Racism legacy is in the adoption of Asian children by the American Parents. Large numbers of couples in the US are increasingly looking to Asia for infant children for adoption. There has been concern by Asians that the adoptees may loose the Asian identity and sense of ancestry. However, child adoption has led to the active acceptance of the importance of race and racism in America. It has also led to the reduction of concern about the color. Reports have shown that many Asian adoptees continue to enjoy many privileges from their non-Asian adoptive parents (Ancheta 23).

In conclusion, the Asian Americans racism has had both the negative and positive legacies both to the Americans and to the Asians. For example, Asians Americans now have the have the opportunity to use their transnational ties networks to make meaningful contribution to the American economy. The foreigners are finally being seen as an asset rather than a liability.

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