Asian-American Bias

ASIAN-AMERICANS tend to be perceived as the ``model'' ethnic group: industrious, over-achieving, yet bound by a commitment to family and tradition that in many cases sets them apart. That's a stereotype, however, that makes many Asian-Americans uncomfortable. It overlooks the challenges - such as language difficulties, poverty, and alienation - faced by some Americans of Asian background. But one factor seems increasingly evident in scores of US cities: Asian-Americans are no longer hidden minorities. Indeed, spurred by rapid immigration during the 1970s and 1980s, Asian-Americans constitute perhaps the fastest-growing segment of the overall US population. To just walk through large parts of Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York is to be reminded of a stroll through old Saigon, Manila, or Shanghai.

It is not surprising, then, that rapid population change has created social friction in some communities. A few years ago there were stories of attacks on fisherman from Southeast Asia in the Gulf of Mexico. Unfortunately, such incidents haven't ended, as noted at a recent conference at Manhattan College in New York.

A number of speakers pointed out that Asian-Americans are increasingly targets of physical abuse, in part because of economic frustrations regarding business competition from Japan and South Korea. Some Asian-American shopkeepers have found themselves harassed - because they often go into communities where established local merchants have difficulty making ends meet. And some Asian-American young people have become the prey of youth gangs.

One of the strengths of the United States is its rich diversity of peoples. The Asian-Americans, whether first-generation families or families whose roots in the US go back many years, are making a grand contribution to their homeland. Crimes of bias, whether against Asian-Americans or others, must not be tolerated.

Share this story:

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK