Friday, April 18, 2008

Blogging From The Left Lane: Do Asian Americans Exist Anymore?

Anyone who knows me well knows that I lean left. Sometimes, I lean so far left that I end up doing a cartwheel and land on my feet upright. It's a little trick I learned while attending The School of Hard Knocks where I earned a masters in Street Smarts and, later on, a Ph.d. in World Wide Survival.

On the serious tip, I'd like to start a conversation on this blog about Asian Americans and politics. Since I've been following the election campaign, I've noticed that no one seems too concerned about Asians in this country. I never hear the candidates address this particular group, and it doesn't seem as if the politicians are trying very hard to get the so-called Asian vote. Perhaps, there isn't one.

Nor do the pollsters ever include this demographic in their reports. We hear, ad nauseam, that such and such percentage of blacks are voting for Obama, or that such and such percentage of whites are voting for Clinton. But never, ever, do I read any statistics about APA's as a voting bloc.

In November of 2006, I wrote an article for about APA's and voting. During my research, I was very surprised to learn how many different Asian American political groups and organizations exist. Yet, if one reads only the mainstream news, one would conclude that Asian Americans don't become politically involved.

What has caused this attitude to develop? Some say that APA's have become so assimilated into white American culture, that they are now seen as "honorary whites" and not as a separate group of people. Would that necessarily be a bad thing? Isn't that what people of all ethnicities want? To be able to just blend in with the dominant majority, and not have to stand apart as a race which often leads to discrimination?

Or, is there a price to pay for being invisible? Other than a plethora of Asian American women TV journalists, I don't see a preponderance of Asian faces anywhere in American media. Do you?

You tell me. Drop me a comment here. I would really like to know what Asian Americans think about this idea that they've blended in so well that they longer exist as a subculture in America.

Your Hip Hapa,

1 comment:

fusen said...

konban wa, yayoi-san.
I had this very discussion with a couple of friends a few nights ago. When they stated that Obama is representing (from the onset of his campaing)his biracial heritage (speaking about his mother who is white, but did he actually said he is running on biracial platform or even claiming that identity?), hence he is able to be fair and can speak and understand the specific situations and conditions of people of color in US (and maybe abroad). To that I said, "what year is this again? It is 2008 and we are still talking ONLY about Black and White? What happened to the Asians and other people of color?" Is he really positioning himself as a biracial candidate? Really? I would love for him to win, yes I do, but let's keep it honest. Give credits where they're due, and leave grandiosity & dementia to psychiatry, shall we?