What a day I had, but first. . . what is an Asian, anyway?The Census Bureau defines a person of the Asian race as “having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.”
Whoa! That's a whole lot of people. In my experience, they don't see themselves a single entity, though. Filipinos, for instance, aren't high on the Vietnamese. And you know what the Japanese think of the Chinese. What is it they call them?
Most people, however, refer only to East Asians as Asians. And they are a very diverse group.East Asians is a term used for ethnic groups that are indigenous to East Asia, which consists of China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, and South Korea. The major ethnic groups that form the core of East Asia are the Han, Joseon, and Yamato.
Every time I hear or read the use of the word "Asian" in the press, I wonder how long it will be before they make any distinction. We love to group people, but it really isn't so very effective in understanding them.When the phrase Asian American was created — in 1968, according to activists and academics — it was a radical label of self-determination that indicated a political agenda of equality, anti-racism and anti-imperialism. Asian American was an identity that was chosen, not one that was given.
Over the last 50 years, however, as people of Asian ancestry in the United States have grown in number and diversity, the term has evolved — raising new questions of who is included in Asian America, what it stands for and if it’s still relevant.
“If you were to ask most people who are Asian American, ‘Describe your race or ethnicity,’ they would say, ‘I’m Japanese American,’ ‘I’m Thai, Cambodian, Filipino.’ Very few of us would start out by saying, ‘I’m Asian American,’” Daryl Maeda, a professor of Asian-American studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder and author of the book, “Rethinking the Asian American Movement,” said (link).
As usual, I am over my head here and should stop. But it seems to me, using the term "Asian" is worse than saying someone is "African" as it hinders thinking about true diversity. The press has me thinking that most Asians work in massage parlors. And we know that's not true. They work in laundries, too, right?
O.K. I always have to be a smart ass. Apologies to the Woke.
I'm thinking about deleting all of this, and starting over and telling you about my day, but I think I'll save yesterday for tomorrow unless something happens to me today which will lead me to a dilemma of riches. Truly, nothing spectacular happened yesterday other than I had a few conversations, something that hasn't happened much in the past year. No, nothing really happened at all.