ETHN 103 Asian American and Racism Discussion
Respond the following prompt:
Compare and contrast the experiences of at least two different ethnic groups that fall under the pan-Asian identity discussed in any of the units so far in this course. How did these groups confront, challenge, navigate and/or resist systems of oppression. Include a race, class, gender and ethnic analysis through a lens of intersectionality.
There are many cases of ethnic groups facing challenges from Xenophobia people like the ones that Japanese Americans during the 1980s,(40 Dingra,Magalit), and there are plenty of other cases of similar things occurring to other ethnic groups. Even with Xenophobia people many of the ethnic groups were still able to overcome these things. Both Japanese Americans and Chinese Americans both had to face and struggle with that anti-Asian push and the prevention of naturalization of these ethnicities throughout the years. (40 Dingra,Magalit) This is just another case of institutionalized discrimination that ethnic groups faced. Another thing that Japanese Americans and Chinese Americans was the Yellow Peril stereotype which painted any Asian Americans as people that were the opposite of the Ideal westerner. ( 39 Dingra,Magalit) Of course just because some of the things they faced were similar doesn’t mean all of it was the same. Like how a lot of Japanese Americans faced discrimination during the war and then they also had to face the Japanese internment camps and the way that they did to navigate this was to say that they were Americans and did whatever they could to fight it. While Chinese Americans may not have been put in internment camps they faced their own discrimination like being depicted as blacks during 1800s or they had the Chinese exclusion act which was one of the first laws that limited Chinese immigration. The way that Asian Americans overcome the discrimination that they faced was they worked hard in the workforce not only that but they also would hard before they got to the workforce like in schools where they had better household incomes and they ended up doing better in schooling. Asian Americans faced discrimination and were able to overcome that with hard work. Example respond:We see history repeat itself over and over again. It’s disturbing that people till this day are still experiencing racism that comes from irrational fear and ignorance. We especially have seen a rise of xenophobia when Covid began. I also talked about the experiences of Chinese and Japanese people. Both being excluded. Chinese people coming to work and then being seen as a “threat” to white people. Then we see as you said The Chinese Exclusion Act, the first race based exclusion act. Banning Chinese women first and then banned Chinese men. As you mentioned Japanese people faced discrimination that resulted from Pearl Harbor and were put into interment camps. After all the ugly things they’ve had to endure and continue to endure they continue to progress and do so many amazing things.
Asian Americans have a long history in America. The earliest record of Asians in the Americas dates back to the 1500s! The first Asian American communities were established in the 1800s, around the same time as mass immigration occurred from Western and Northern Europe. The first big wave of Asian migration to the U.S. took place in the late 1800s, mostly to meet labor needs in the country. Thousands of Chinese men were recruited to work on building the railroads on the West Coast and hired as miners during the Gold Rush. Japanese and Korean laborers were recruited to Hawaii to work on sugar plantations. South Asian men from the Punjab and Bengali regions came to the U.S. and worked in mills, farms, and railroads. Many were already in the Caribbean British colonies as indentured laborers. After the Philippines became a colony in 1898, Filipinos were recruited first as students and soon after as agricultural laborers in Hawaii and on the mainland. Life was very hard for most Asian immigrants. They faced discrimination, violence, and serious financial difficulties. Because many were brought to America by their employers, they often spent years working to pay off “debts” before being able to make money. They were paid less than white workers and worked the most dangerous jobs. Even though Asian immigrants made up a small percentage of the total number of U.S. immigrants, their presence was met with violence and exclusion. Western states passed laws that restricted where Asians could live and who they could marry. Anti-Asian riots were common in the late 1800s and early 1900s, where white mobs killed many and drove entire Asian communities out of town. In 1882, after decades of anti-Chinese sentiment, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, the first immigration law to prohibit the immigration of ethnicity or race. It also prevented any Chinese immigrant from gaining U.S. citizenship. This law was only the beginning of a string of increasingly restrictive anti-Asian Immigration laws. The idea that Asians are “docile” and “quiet” goes back to the 1800s. Asian men were seen as less “masculine” and described as more feminine. Asian immigrants were also silenced: they could not vote, they were heavily discriminated against, and their survival often depended on employers because of their immigration status.