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Asian American Experience - Essay Example

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no. Date Asian American Experience An Asian American is any American of Asiatic decent. In 1965, the United States government passed the Immigration Act of 1965, which saw an increase in Asian population in the United States…
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Asian American Experience
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Asian American Experience

One of the major problems faced by Asian Americans is racial segregation. According to Takaki (474), most Asian Americans had to accept low paying jobs to enable them feed and clothe their families. This is because they were regarded as second-class citizens and white-collar jobs were reserved for Americans of American decent. He also adds that the media was a major contributor to the discrimination against Asian Americans. Takaki cites the separation of news segments broadcasted by media houses, in 1986, on the achievements of Asian American students. Questions as to why Asian American students were doing so well in school were asked. Magazines also contributed to this minority myth; for example, one of the leading magazines in the United States had an article that described the Asian Americans as an impressive minority. Takaki (474) explains the myth of the model minority in which, he cites a college magazine as having published an article in which it referred Asian Americans to as a “model minority”. Consequently, there has been an increase in racially provoked incidents, sometimes violent ones, against Asian American students. Takaki gives the example of an incident, which occurred in Detroit in 1982, whereby, a Chinese American youth named Chin was brutally murdered. Chin had gone into a bar to celebrate his upcoming wedding, when two whites insulted him and a fistfight broke out. They later used a baseball to crush his skull and he died. Astounding though is the fact that, although the two were charged with manslaughter and sentenced to three years imprisonment, neither has ever spent a night in prison. The economic diversity of Asian American citizens has been a worrying factor. Takaki (502) argues that differences in the social standings of Asian American communities have caused suffering to some of the Asian Americans. Although the Immigration Act of 1965 brought many elites to the United States, it also brought in many refugees seeking better life. This means that the Asian American community is a bipolar one, having the educated professionals and the needy group. Judging, however, by the notion advanced by the media, that most Asian Americans are prominent and intelligent people, many feel obliged to conform to this stereotype. The government often neglects groups such as the unemployed, the elderly and the farm laborers. Social services such as access to medical services and schooling for this needy group are often unavailable. The Asian American community is seen to exemplify the American dream, to the extent that President Reagan, in 1984, perceived the Asian American population as America’s utmost success story (Takaki). President Reagan stated categorically, that all Americans were descendants of the immigrants chasing the American dream. He added that America’s economy needed the hard work and honesty of the Asian Americans to continue thriving. The wages of most Asian Americans are not at par with those of the ordinary Americans. According to Takaki (612), the mean personal income of whites in 1980 was equivalent to that of the Japanese provided the latter had more education and worked for longer hours. This is in spite of the fact that a large percentage of Asian Americans lived in high cost areas such as New York, California and Hawaii, as opposed to a small number of whites. In contemporary America, the Asian American is located in the secondary sector in the labor market, where wages are minimal. Asian Americans a ... Read More
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