We Are Family (by Delia Chung)

DeliapicAs an Asian American in the United States, I would like to explore the problem of stereotypes in the U.S. society. Specifically, as an Asian American in the U.S., I want to examine how the stereotypes about our community impacts the group. The United States is a country known for its diversity in race and culture. When walking on the street of the United States, it is not difficult to see people with different colors of eyes and skins. However, despite of all its diversity and openness, racism does exist in the American society. Ever since the settling of the first immigrants of colors, the whites have been exerting certain power over them.

Annotated Bibliography

Sharke Eunai, Chen Edith. (2013). Asian Pacific American Experiences Past, Present, and Future. St. Louis: Kendall Hunt Publishing. Printed.

This book mainly talks about the Asian American community in the U.S. society. Racism is a problem worth our attention. What is the reason for racism in the U.S. society? Stereotype is probably the root of all kinds of discrimination, racial, gender and educational discrimination. When it comes to the term stereotype, probably many people will feel strange with it. Stereotype can be interpreted as kind of discrimination or prejudice. It is a predetermined impression when we get to know someone. Stereotype is accumulated in social environment and can be passed on to the next generation. But stereotype is not a good way to know people. Time changes but stereotype does not. For example, many first generation black immigrants work as slaves in the United States. But the second and third generation was born here and received higher education. The old stereotype of rude or illiterate black does not suit any more.

Peggy McIntosh, “White Privilege: Unpacking and Invisible Knapsack”. Journal of Anthropology. JSTORE. 2015.

This article explores the problem of stereotypes. As a matter of fact, in nowadays’ American society, races are much more than just races. They have evolved into competing power between different groups. Racial separation has become a reality of the American society. Stereotypes do not change with time and therefore lost the timeliness. Stereotypes are shaped during a long period of time. For example, the stereotypes for Asian American males who work as miners or road workers were generally shaped during the period of the California golden rush. But now time has changed. Many Asian immigrants do not work as cheap labor forces any more. But the stereotypes still last today. This will not help many Americans to know the Asian immigrants very well. In other words, Asians have changed, but stereotypes still remain the same. In addition, stereotypes also cause misunderstandings and conflicts sometimes.

Maria Elena Salinas, “Why They Hate Hispanics”. The New York Times. 2009. Web. 2015.

This article talks about some stereotypes about Hispanics in the U.S. society. When it comes to the term stereotype, probably many people will feel strange with it. As a matter of fact, stereotype can be interpreted as kind of discrimination or prejudice. There is no consensus when it comes to the effects of stereotype. Some people think that stereotype helps people get to know a certain group of people easily. But others maintain that some stereotypes are not true reflections of the facts. The situation may vary from individual to individual. From my personal point of view, stereotype is not a good way to know people since it could not represent the characteristics of each individual.

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From my own perspective, as an Asian American in the United States, I do feel that racism exists in our society. Sometimes the discrimination can be quite invisible. For example, while I am trying to find an internship. I find that many companies prefer white students to other minorities. Racism is a problem worth our concern in the U.S. society. It has integrated into people’s lives. The main cause of racism is stereotype. Stereotypes are not a good way to get to know people. They cannot represent the characteristic of any individual and is not updated with time. They may even cause some social problems such as racial conflicts. To deal with the problem of racism, we have to change our stereotypes about certain group in the first. We should try everything possible to avoid stereotypes and racism. Each individual should be treated based on his personality and characteristics instead of stereotypes.

In the article “White Privilege: Unpacking and Invisible Knapsack”, the author, Peggy McIntosh, mainly talks about her experience about being a brown-skin person in America. The author described her experience of being pulled over by a policeman at night. When she was pulled over, she believed she had done nothing wrong and tried not to be scared. She looked at the police in his eyes and told him that he had done nothing criminal. Then the author began to comment on what the story would be like if she were a black or brown. Colored people had dramatically different experience with policemen. When they were pulled over, they usually faced with difficult conditions. Sometimes the police just did something on purpose to punish them.

In another article “Why They Hate Hispanics”, Maria Elena Salinas introduces more examples about such discrimnation. For example, after the Sep 11th attack, many people with Middle East appearances were mistreated in the United States. But the fact is that many of them are citizens of the United States. They have nothing to do with the terrorism. But they are victims of stereotypes. In many cases, they are mistreated by the American society just because of their appearances. This is not a good thing to the society. It may cause even worse problem such as racial conflict. In a civilized society, nobody should be mistreated as a result of stereotypes.

To avoid such problems in our lives, we should try to get rid stereotypes about certain group of people. Stereotype is not a good way to know an individual since it is the general characteristics of a certain group. At the same time, stereotypes do not change with time and therefore lost the timeliness. Stereotypes are shaped during a long period of time. The stereotypes for Asian American males who work as miners or road workers were generally shaped during the period of the California golden rush. But now time has changed. Many Asian immigrants do not work as cheap labor forces any more. But the stereotypes still last today. This will not help many Americans to know the Asian immigrants very well. In other words, Asians have changed, but stereotypes still remain the same.

Last but not least, stereotypes also cause misunderstandings and conflicts sometimes. For example, after the Sep 11th attack, many people with Middle East appearances were mistreated in the United States. But the fact is that many of them are citizens of the United States. They have nothing to do with the terrorism. But they are victims of stereotypes. In many cases, they are mistreated by the American society just because of their appearances. This is not a good thing to the society. It may cause even worse problem such as racial conflict. In a civilized society, nobody should be mistreated as a result of stereotypes.

Stereotypes are not a good way to get to know people. They cannot represent the characteristic of any individual and is not updated with time. They may even cause some social problems such as racial conflicts. But stereotypes do exist in our society. We should try everything possible to avoid such a situation. Each individual should be treated based on his personality and characteristics instead of stereotypes. Everyone can write a letter appealing to the society to get of racial stereotypes in the society. This is very important. There are many organizations such as North American Asian American Association.

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4 comments

  1. Delia, As always I love reading your writing and seeing things from a whole another perspective. I am still in awe that you can be doing so well with writing in a different language. I am so impressed! Being a white woman I rarely deal with racism here in Oregon and Washington. But when I was living in Hawaii, I was definitely treated as an outsider. Keep sharing your thoughts, and broadening the minds of those that surround you. Good Luck my friend. May the force be with you , always.
    Ruthie Ingebrand

  2. Brianna Ison

    Delia,
    Wow! What a powerful piece of writing you have created! Stereotypes are a huge and growing problem here in the United States. Like Ruth said, being a Caucasian female, I have never dealt with racism here in Oregon. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any stereotypes about us! While living in central California, I was in fact on the other end of the spectrum and whites were a minority. I must say it was weird to feel so inferior. For that reason, I applaud you for going through similar problems!

    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your work this term! It is always eye-opening to read and see things from another person’s, who is from a different culture, perspective on things. I am so incredibly proud of you for doing such a fantastic job in a writing class in a completely different language than you are used to! You will go far in life, not only as a writer but as a person!
    Good Luck sweet girl!

    Bri!

  3. Veronica

    Delia, I’m so glad to see your blog about race. I don’t know what it’s like to be Asian but I do know what it’s like to be Black and deal with stereotypes. People really need to learn how stereotyping affects everyone and breeds hatred and racism. My kids and I go through so much for being Black it’s awful. People fail to realize how their own views are pushed on their kids. Your writing is really powerful. Not only does it stick up for all minorities but it gives new information I did not know about yours.
    I had a student in this class ask how people (minorities) are treated different if they are in the same place. Ignorance is bliss. In my blog I talked about race issues Black people come up against in the U.S… Racism will never go away as long as people don’t open their eyes and recognize their own faults. I to have been judgmental at times based on experience. My whole life here in Oregon I have had racial issues. I pray one day everyone will wake up and see the damage racism is causing. –Thanks for sharing.

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