In response to the growing interest in the previous post about Galton Voysey and DealDash, I felt it would be a good follow-up to help readers learn more about the company given the limited information on their actual About Us page.
William Wolfram is the Chairman and Marine Aubrée Antikainen is Chief Executive Officer of Galton Voysey.
How many employees work for Galton Voysey?
Galton Voysey employs over 200 people in total. Their headquarters is in Hong Kong, but they also have offices located in cities like Helsinki, Tokyo, Paris and New York.
What is Galton Voysey’s primary business?
Galton Voysey acquires and develops timeless brands leveraging the power of social media and data. The company has a portfolio of 28 brands. The brands house a wide range of product categories, the largest being chef’s knives, jewelry, leather goods and handcrafted rustic furniture.
What is the mailing address and phone number of Galton Voysey’s world headquarters?
Unit C 27/F & Unit A 17/F
932 Cheung Sha Wan Road
Tesla sucks because not only are they dependent on government subsidies to make their models more affordable in the market, but they also have staff that are unprofessional.
While the sales team at their retail locations are generally professional and competent, I can’t really say the same about their corporate staff. I don’t know if it is because they are always busy or if they’re just millennials but they really like ghosting candidates in job interviews or have job interviews where the majority of time is spent talking about themselves and their projects.
While I admire the company’s founder and efforts to improve the quality of life, the fact their company is incapable of even any sort of professionalism outside of their retail stores is disappointing. On this note, it’s not a surprise Tesla’s various models have product defects and their overall messaging to the public is nothing more than what Elon Musk says or does.
According to glassdoor.com, the majority of employees say the following about the company:
“Watching the company literally change the world” (in 40 reviews)
“Fast paced environment, surrounded by passionate people” (in 65 reviews)
“Fast-Paced, dynamic work environment with employees that are incredibly enthusiastic about what they do” (in 41 reviews)
“Great company to build incredible experience with” (in 40 reviews)
“Tesla is everything you imagine it could be – amazing people doing cutting edge work” (in 31 reviews)
“work life balance needs improvement” (in 125 reviews)
“Long hours with large work load” (in 126 reviews)
“Absolutely NO work-life balance” (in 32 reviews)
“Upper management in my area created a huge lead-by-fear culture where people were threatened to be fired daily” (in 27 reviews)
“Intern Salary was pretty low compared to other interns in the Bay Area” (in 25 reviews)
Going through Glassdoor, the majority of interviews are largely negative with their HR and interviewers lacking any process or professionalism. It’s really heartbreaking to see such a wonderful brand be damaged by their own internal incompetence and dependence on their founder.
Galton Voysey is a platform for building, buying and developing consumer product brands. We are home to 28 iconic brands that we have developed or acquired, and extend our professional expertise to a portfolio of global brands. We believe it makes more sense to test early to validate ideas that work and ones that don’t. This gives our operation and design teams a way to experiment with something tangible, gain experience in the process and reapply their learnings in the next iteration. With a proven network of over 140 factories, Galton Voysey builds brands across a broad range of consumer, lifestyle and home goods segments across Europe, US and the world.
Sounds like a normal private company developing and selling private label goods online leveraging manufacturing resources in the Asia-Pacific region with a startup mentality.
However, what is interesting is the background and the involvement of William Wolfram, the owner of DealDash.com and principle investor of Galton Voysey according to InsideRetail Hong Kong:
As it marks its third anniversary, Hong Kong-headquartered online luxury goods retailer Galton Voysey is recruiting more staff and expanding its presence in Mainland China.
Galton Voysey was founded by 28-year-old French woman Marine Aubrée Antikainen and its biggest investor is William Wolfram, 24, who believed the biggest brands of the next 50 years have not yet been built…
…Galton Voysey believes it is disrupting the global luxury goods market with new and fresh thinking, in many cases helping brands go direct from factory to consumer through their own brand websites.
According to LinkedIn, Marine Antikainen is listed as a co-founder while William Wolfram is both chairman and investor of Galton Voysey. Oddly enough, William Wolfram is not listed on the website and the majority of Galton’s partners are mostly law firms. These are the other companies listed as partners
The Loft Studio, – The Loft Studio does not cite Galton Voysey or its brands as clients. However, it is likely this company produced the photos seem on the company website and for its brands under NDAs.
Vistra – Vistra is a company providing “tailored trust, fiduciary, fund and corporate services”. It is likely they are supporting Galton with various offshore financing and related services.
A partner with a magnifying glass and letters “AI” as its brand logo.
The rest of the website is somewhat vague on their actual work aside from a sizzle reel about the office culture and a press release announcing the company’s 3rd year of existence.
DealDash.com positively describes and endorses products that are auctioned on its
website. Some of these products are sold by companies that DealDash founder William Wolfram is the Chairman of, a fact that is not disclosed to consumers in any DealDash marketing materials. For example, during any 24-hour period, at least 40% of DealDash auctions are for products made and sold by:
There is a clear conflict of interest when a major investor and chairman of Galton Voysey is also selling the company’s brands on DealDash.com, which is also owned by the same person. It is even more questionable when this strong connection is not disclosed to the public.
The Brands Examined
While the brands appear to have quality products when examined at face value, things are not what they seem. Galton Voysey’s marketing team and growth hackers have done a great job promoting these brands with a combination of paid Facebook likes, reviews by vloggers and blogs that are either paid or provided based on free products, compelling brand videos and standard SEO.
Although these brands appear to be private label brands one would expect to find online or at a premium retailer such as Macy’s, the pricing strategy for the various products suggests they should be treated as premium or luxury items, despite the relatively new brand development and limited brand history. What is even more interesting is that these brand have products that have pages of positive reviews without really describing much about the products.
I’ve had three major Galton Voysey brands, Kamikoto, Bolvaint, and The Barrel Shack, submitted to FakeSpot.com, which scans for unreliable or fake product reviews. Below are the general results:
Fakespot has analyzed 8 products and 148 reviews forThe Barrel Shack products.The Fakespot algorithm considers 60.0%of those reviews to be unreliable.
The Fakespot grade is based on reviews of products listed on Amazon with The Barrel Shack as the company name.
When reviewing the websites, it appears nearly all the Galton Voysey brands have the same website layout from Shopify, and relatively limited contact information. The Bolvaint website claims to have an office that is occupied by Patek Phillipe, while the Kamikoto brand doesn’t have a Japanese website, its return address is in a residential area, the brand site is hosted in the USA, and apparently the knives are made in China (which is unheard of for artisanal Japanese knives). The lack of real information behind the brands and brand history is a recurring pattern among the Galton Voysey brands.
While Galton Voysey initially appears to be a private company developing and selling private label brands, it is merely a tool for DealDash.com to promote overpriced products to unsuspecting customers. The fact the William Wolfram is involved in both companies without full disclosure, the limited information available for Galton Voysey, the strange trademarking process for the Galton brands, and irregular product reviews make the entire arrangement extremely questionable if not an outright scam.
Despite some glowing reviews by unsuspecting vloggers and blogs, none of the brands promoted by Galton Voysey can actually justify their prices due to their lack of history, actual reputation, or product quality in certain cases. I would have no issues with their brands if they were actually being produced and sold as private label brands to leading retailers as implied in their mission statement and official interviews. However, the reality is that they are primarily pushed through DealDash.com at inflated prices and placed on Amazon.com and their own brand websites to create the perception they are actual products.
The Asian-American Community is its own Worst Enemy
By Ronald Chiang
I’ve been following online sentiment and Asian-Americans at large seem to be interested in the following:
Issues surrounding ethnic identity
Issues related to systematic exclusion in society
It seems that the majority of Asian-Americans dwell on their identity. On one hand, they tend to do what they can to fit in with the majority population, whether it is just learning to be a monolingual English speaker, studying a eurocentric view of Asian history, or trying hard to fit in.
For whatever reason, many Asian-Americans chose to pursue a monolingual existence with English being their native or primary language. They tend to not like speaking their cultural language (Chinese, Vietnamese, Gujarati) over some misguided attempt to fit in with the majority non-Asian peers in school or because they believe they are superior by virtue of living in the USA.
Then later in life, they lament about having a narrow life experience because they cannot pursue other professional opportunities due to a lack of knowledge in an Asian language or some sense of regret that they’ve compromised themselves.
Like most people, history in the United States for Asian-Americans is taught from a western standpoint often with the general concept that much of the US, Canada and Europe are rich and free while the rest of the world is poor and dependent on the USA for their futures. As a result, enough Asian-Americans grow up believing they are again superior by virtue of living in the United States and develop a tendency to look down on their unamericanized Asian peers.
Again, as they get older and learn about reality being Asian-American, they regret being indoctrinated in such a falsehood and sometimes overcompensate with zealous support of their native country (China, Korea) in such a manner, including but not limiting to nationalism, and apologism, that they make native citizens of those places seem unpatriotic.
Then lastly, like their parents and other immigrants, many Asian-Americans work too hard to “make it” in the USA by becoming financially secure and often compromise themselves to fit in. Some ways they’ve done this is by embracing the Model Minority stereotype, which implies that Asian-Americans will be accepted and fit in American society if they choose to become leading professionals in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) and avoid social issues of “undesirable minorities” like African-Americans and Latinos.
They’ve also persuaded the rest of the country that they do not need diversity programmes like other minorities because they’re superior Model Minorities and they can work hard to go anywhere. In extreme cases, they’ve gone out of their way to support Affirmative Action with calls to minimise Asian students to an absolute quantity in favour of diversity for everyone else (including White students).
Not surprisingly, because of the Asian-American community’s apathy and distance from diversity initiatives and the willingness of their majority to hold back their own community in favour of other groups, American society at large became indifferent to social issues in the Asian-American community ranging from dismissing Asians with personal struggles as “rejects” to simply keeping Asian-American media portrayals to an absolute minimum.
When the Asian-American community complains as a whole, the majority population does not take their calls seriously due to their ongoing claims of being Model Minorities, their willingness to put the interests of everyone else above their own community and their general need to stay inoffensive when faced with major social issues.
While it would be unfair to generalise the Asian-American community, the majority of individuals with such values tend to be those from California living in suburbs with upper-middle incomes, from families with university degrees, and have a misguided sense of social justice that involves letting everyone else benefit at their own expense.
These people are the reasons why no meaningful change has occurred among the Asian-American community due to outlandish fears of being grouped with the other minority groups, which often motivates them to avoid “rocking the boat” and an ongoing misguided belief that conforming to an untrue stereotype is the only way to succeed for a place in the USA.
Also, with the growth of social media and online forums these same individuals that often conform to stereotypes usually overcompensate for their perceived shortcomings by resorting to worshipping, if not cheerleading, events in their families’ ancestral country where they have no actual connection to their daily lives other than their ethnicity and known family history. Examples of this involve Chinese-Americans supporting China’s decision to restrict foreign NGOs or build artificial islands in disputed waters.
Frankly, I am frustrated by all of you Asian-Americans for being walking stereotypes that resort to passive and weak methods to overcompensate for a lack of self-respect and ignorance in their actual history. Moreover, any suggestions that Asian-Americans can improve their standing within the community through self-respect, understanding of their culture (bilingualism, history), and being assertive in society are often dismissed, invalidated and rejected by the majority who believe in conforming for the sake of pleasing others.
With that in mind, I honestly do not expect any meaningful change in the perception and treatment of the Asian-American community by Asian-Americans themselves and by other Americans in my lifetime.
“Why would anyone leave the USA?” wrote a friend on Facebook recently, beside a picture of a beautiful sunset beaming on the Golden Gate Bridge.
“Why does everyone leave the US?” might have been a more pertinent question.
Since my parents moved to this land of opportunity and freedom 30 years ago, my friendship circle has changed countless times, as fellow Asian-Americans move back home after college or leave for the expat life.
The years of pop culture; efficient transport; diverse foods; beaches; socials; and family just weren’t enough to make the USA the One.
Although, obviously, many Asian-Americans do end up staying, why do so many Asian-Americans leave after their parents’ sacrifices? Is there a fundamental reason for this trail of break-ups?
When watching a youtube clip for “Mistresses”, many commenters kept praising Yunjin Kim for her excellent English as a Korean.
Only Yunjin Kim wasn’t a foreigner; she grew up in Staten Island, New York with US citizenship.
“But she’s not an American,” some responded when others pointed out she is American. “She grew up here and her husband is Asian-American,” I argued. Her status, they said, would depend on how deeply she actually connected with American”culture”.
What is an American then, if not someone raised in the US and naturalized?
In the multicultural British capital, a Londoner can be of any skin color, eat any type of food and have a mother tongue other than English. To describe a British-born man with Indian parents, say, as a “foreigner” might well spark a riot.
If a lifetime spent in the US can’t make you an American, if the children you might have here can’t access that identity (at least, not in the eyes of some), perhaps this country – despite the idea of opportunity and freedom that welcomed our parents – isn’t a natural place to call home, after all.
In two days, Americans will unite and celebrate July 4th, full of pride, with parades. Across the ocean, Hong Kongers commemorated July 1st – the city’s Establishment Day since the 1997 handover – in an entirely different fashion: divided, and for many, filled with anger and shame.
On one end, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying stared onto the flags of China and Hong Kong, as the Chinese national anthem is played in the background, and will sure enjoy an extravagant firework display across the Victoria Harbour later that evening.
For Leung, his bureaucrats, and (no doubt) many patriots, July 1st is of as great significance as the Independence Day to Americans. But for all that, Leung has distanced himself further away from people across the aisle, who took the streets of the city under an uncanny storm to show their discontent towards, amongst all things, China’s vision for the city’s political future.
A resolute march
Tens of thousands of citizens went on a protest to support the pro-democracy call to make the next Chief Executive election in 2017 to meet international standards for democracy. The protest, in the form of a march through Hong Kong’s Central district, is an annual event to voice citizens’ mixed demands of democracy, universal suffrage, rights of racial and sexual minorities as well as to show resentment towards the administration in Hong Kong and it’s puppet masters in China.
The number of participants is expected to match or exceed the benchmark set in 2003 when a crowd of 500,000 marched in light of a proposed anti-subversion law, Article 23, combined with the fact that the government handled SARS poorly. Prior to that, 1.5 million gathered sympathising the victims of 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in China during its immediate aftermath.
Turnout this year is proliferated by a recent white paper from China which said that Hong Kong’s autonomy under ‘one country, two systems’ is restricted and comes solely from the authorisation of the leadership in Beijing. This document exacerbated the effects of the city official’s misplaced economic priorities (which are, themselves, shortcoming) and repeated, bureaucratic call for ‘stability’ coupled by words (but not action) of ‘trying hard to forge consensus’.
Change is desperate
Many citizens also feel misrepresented by the parliament of Hong Kong which, because nearly half its seats are only open to a small number of voters belonging to an assigned professional or special interest group, is largely occupied by pro-Beijing legislator. Though even the most outspoken patriot amongst these legislators silent this night and refused to defend Leung’s unhurried political reform on television amidst strong opposition voice.
Leung’s legitimacy is no better than the parliament’s because he was elected by a 1200-small council which makes up for a pitiful 0.017% of Hong Kong’s population. This council is also largely occupied by special interest groups and thus, unlike the rest of Hong Kong, has a strong Beijing-bias; in the most recent 2012 vote Leung received a mere 689 votes because of infighting within the pro-Beijing representatives combined with infidelity reports of his opponent, not because there was genuine competition.
Protesters are numbed by the state’s failure to deliver change which had momentum back in 2012 but fell quickly on its feet due to officials’ successful delaying tactics. Many feel that the government is unable to deliver and consequently their altitude has been radicalised despite the fact that Hong Kong is by tradition a socially conservative city and intolerant towards change, particularly among its large elder population.
Young student groups are among those which are radicalised. Scholarism, led by 17-year-old Joshua Wong, has emerged in 2011 when the group opposed a proposed scheme of ‘Moral and National Education’ which aimed to elevate patriotism amongst youngsters but in its textbooks included bias and often fictitious language that favoured the Communist Party of China.
An uncertain future
This frightened the public and brought politically inexperienced students to the front stage of opposition through speeches and silent protests. Three years has passed that even but when Beijing insisted that the next Chief Executive to be ‘patriotic’ recently, fear of a Communist crackdown reignited. Only this time it is met with an increasingly aggressive crowd.
Growing in number and strength, strong believers of democracy such as professor Benny Tai sponsored a plan of civil disobedience as their last resort if they fail to achieve their goals. Some 10,000 citizens are organising sit-in protest in Central which will cripple Hong Kong’s financial district. The student group Scholarism has planned for a trial run of such occupy movement after today’s protest and they fully expect to be arrested.
It will be a shame if government’s neglect is met with violence and violence is met with arrests in order for progress to be made. The first of its kind, Hong Kong’s ‘one country, two systems’ promised 50 years of autonomy and is designed to make the city flourish economically as well as socially and politically, and act as a shining example for Taiwan – which China wants to overpower under a similar system but has gotten nowhere – and to the world.
America will mark their 238th anniversary of independence on Friday; Hong Kong’s political system is only 17 years old. Yet the city is already exceedingly divided and politicised, and a gloomy future seems set for the three decades ahead.
On Super Sunday, thousands of satisfied fans were able to arrive and leave the MetLife stadium at record time. NJTransit, which had spent months preparing for Super Bowl 48, touted their high ridership numbers as a key indicator of success in playing part to the first “Mass Transit Super Bowl” of its kind.
“This..set an all-time record for ridership, which was previously 22,000 for (the) September 2009 U2 concert,” said NJ Transit spokesman John Durso Jr.
The crowds was in surprisingly good spirits, and they continued the Seahawks and Broncos chanting that had started on the train. Many fans were impressed by the large number of trains and mass transit networks.
“We live in the country,” a Broncos fan said. “We have cars — we don’t use subways or anything like that.”
Surprisingly, despite angry rumors of people fainting, NJTransit assured us that there are no incidents of people fainting or being addressed by local EMT services.
NJTransit said the crowds were being orderly and passengers were being moved out in a “safe and efficient” manner. Dozens of buses were later brought in to help shuffle fans out of the area and ease the congestion.
Thanks to NJTransit, New Jersey and many football fans were able to enjoy a green and safe “Mass Transit Super Bowl.”
“The number of people moved, not only on game day, but in and around New York City, the number of people moved to multiple events, in and out, I think that’s an extraordinary achievement,” said Eric Grubman, the league’s executive vice president of NFL ventures and business operations.
The myth that all Asian Americans are economically successful, and that other races should emulate them.
Due to this myth, many Asian Americans in need are denied access to public assistance programs.
It treats Asian Americans as a monolithic and homogeneous entity by aggregating statistics of several different groups.
The racism that Asian Americans face in society and their achievements in overcoming racism are often understated or ignored altogether.
It promotes divisiveness between Asian Americans and other racial minorities
It’s dehumanizing to base a people’s identity on little besides (often inaccurate) perceptions of high income level and education.
It promotes the notion that Asians are apathetic, apolitical, and okay with the status quo.
It creates even greater expectations of achievement out of Asian-American students, which can be psychologically harmful.
Breaking the bamboo ceiling
Asian Americans are often excluded from executive positions in the workplace or passed over for promotions because of negative stereotypes.
They are less likely to been seen as having leadership potential, charisma, or creativity.
They are assumed to be quiet and complacent, less likely to seek out raises and promotions (not “go-getters” or risk-takers, lacking in confidence).
They are often pigeonholed into certain roles based on stereotypes of being good at math or the “Asian nerd” portrayed in media.
Even American-born Asians are seen, for no reason based on fact, as having weaker English and communicative/interpersonal skills.
Those that try to break these stereotypes are often viewed negatively by the general American population for trying to deny their Asian-ness
Gaining political access and minority rights
As mentioned earlier, Asian Americans are often seen as politically apathetic due to the expectation that they be quiet and accepting, etc.
Likewise, there are fewer policies in place to protect the rights of Asian Americans than other minorities.
Because Asian Americans are relatively recent immigrants, they are less politically established with fewer role models in office.
Asian Americans are often treated as “perpetual foreigners” and unassimilable (“Where are you really from?”).
Many Asian Americans are not citizens, and never apply for citizenship.
Many Asian Americans don’t speak English well enough to feel comfortable exercising their right to vote, hence the push for more multilingual ballots and English language classes.
Asian Americans are far less represented in state and federal government than is proportionate to their population.
Some argue that the US still has racist immigration policies (I don’t know about the extent to which this is true).
Many Asian Americans feel helpless to change the system, and because the community is so diverse, it is hard to organize politically.
Addressing Media Stereotypes
Orientalism in Western art and literature.
The “Asian nerd” stereotype, social awkwardness (this is often the only role available to Asian American men; there are few AA men in television).
Asian Americans as misogynists or otherwise culturally “backward” (every plot with an Indian-American woman somehow involves an arranged marriage, for example).
“Geisha girl” and “China doll” stereotypes; exoticism of Asian women who somehow always fall madly in love with their white colonial oppressors.
Asian American women as submissive and obedient.
South Asians treated as “terrorists” (see baseless accusations against Huma Abedin, for example).
South Asians as call center workers or “job-stealers” due to outsourcing (still reflects negatively on Indian Americans).
Other issues: hate-based violence, these days often targeting Sikhs and others mistaken for Muslims post-9/11; in the past, there has been a long history of anti-Asian violence, extending from the murder of Vincent Chin to the LA riots, etc. Anti-Asian bullying in the military (and possibly schools) has also gotten more attention lately.
NEW YORK, NY – Last year, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed a civil rights lawsuit with the federal government to eliminate testing as the sole basis for admissions to top public schools in New York City, such as Bronx Science, Brooklyn Tech and Stuyvesant, since it discriminated against ethnic minorities. They argued that factors such as school grades, teacher recommendations and personal experience be taken into account, which would make the admissions process similar to university admissions. However, the majority of students admitted to these top NYC public schools are ethnic minorities. They’re Asians.
According to the New York Times, approximately 59% of the students enrolled in the eight specialized high schools are Asian. In 1971, the Stuyvesant High School student body was 10% Black, 4% Hispanic, and 6% Asian with the rest being White but is 72% Asian and around 4% percent are Black or Hispanic in 2012. Based on concerns about the lack of test preparation from minority groups, the city initially offered a free test-prep program to Black and Hispanic students and later to all students. However, it was still an issue because the majority of students enrolled in the public test program are Asians.
The Times article exploring this controversy spent considerable time profiling the Asian students who were accepted into the top NYC high schools. One account was about a son of Chinese immigrants who often sacrificed weekends studying for the high school entrance exam. He rarely saw his parents because they worked long shifts.
Other Asian students profiled came from families that either lived in Third World conditions or emigrated from countries experiencing violence. These families managed to pool their limited resources to ensure their kids had the time and money needed to do well in school and pass the high school entrance exam.
Although the writer made efforts to show these students made sacrifices and worked hard to be in these schools, he also made a point of emphasizing their “foreignness”. In the same article, the writer quoted Jerome Krase, a professor emeritus in sociology at Brooklyn College, suggesting Asian students are culturally obligated to do well since “[They] hold the honor of the family in their hands“, which implies they are different from Americans.
Moreover, the interviews with non-Asian parents were critical of the current admissions process. One parent agreed with expanding admissions to consider more than just the entrance exam results while another parent felt that it was abnormal for students to sacrifice weekends just to prepare for the entrance exam. Despite these criticisms, both parents have children who are preparing for the entrance exam.
While it is true that Asians make up the majority of students in the top specialized high schools in New York City, other groups such as Blacks, Hispanics and Whites also successfully passed the tests. Instead of just profiling Asian students and emphasizing their ‘foreignness’ and their family’s limited links to American culture, the writer should have also profiled Black and Hispanic students who successfully passed the exam to show that success is not limited to Asians.
Interviewing parents of successful Black or Hispanic students would give readers ideas of how non-Asian parents and their children worked around their respective challenges to succeed since they might be more relatable to readers than the Asian students and families profiled in the article. As a result, the article appears to perpetuate the idea that Asians are undermining the perceived character of New York City’s top public schools and unintentionally promoting tensions with other ethnic groups in the city due to their “foreign values”.
Another area the writer should have explored is the root cause for test prep programs.
It is strange that students have to enroll in test preparation programs to prepare for a high school admission exam that supposedly tests students on items they should have learned in the city’s primary and middle schools. If the primary and middle public schools are properly teaching their students, then there should not be a disparity between students enrolled in test prep programs and those that are not since the exam is based on things they should have learned in school.
Sadly, these disparities suggest there is an issue with the quality of public school education in the city, not of the race of students in the city’s top high schools.
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund believes that changing the current admissions process into a holistic process would solve the problems with the current system that allegedly gives wealthier families an advantage due to their abilities to get better test preparation. However, this change would actually harm many poor immigrant Asian families and may not necessarily help the intended Black or Hispanic students in high school admissions.
If the city switches to a holistic approach, wealthier parents would still find ways to ensure their children have the means to join extracurricular activities, enroll in better primary or middle schools for improved grades, hire admissions counselors to develop strong admissions essays, and still send their children to test preparation programs. The less well-off, regardless if they are Black, Hispanic and Asian would still be at a disadvantage in the admissions process just like for university admissions. Most of all, in the midst of this controversy, the status quo for many wealthy families and their children would still be preserved.
Asian-American is a constructed demographic by some California-based Asian-American activists and promoted by the majority group in the US of A. However, a collective Asian-American experience doesn’t exist and never did despite being promoted by vocal Asian activists in an effort to unite the various ethnic Asian groups living in the US of A for greater recognition, greater rights, and greater social mobility.
In reality, ethnic Asians in America are broken up based on their language, nationality and sometimes religion. First generation immigrants separate themselves into their local ethnic communities, and their children partly define their racial identities from their original cultures. On the other hand, descendants of first generation immigrants become disconnected with their ancestral cultures and start to think of themselves are “Americans”. Regardless of generations, many Asian-Americans will make friends outside of their own little cultural group and often feel necessary to compromise their own identity, culture, second language to fit in.
Because there are Asian-Americans who are willing to compromise themselves and their self-respect to fit in, many non-Asian Americans believe that it is more socially acceptable to disparage Asians because they are a “model minority” and will not assert themselves for fear of being excluded in American society. As a result, Americans believe they can get away with producing racist garbage such as the Asian Girls music video and song with excuses that it was done with an Asian model and because they have a “cute” token Indonesian-American as a band member.
I was also told by many White, Black and Latinos that the Asian Girlz video is not a big deal because it has incoherent humour and to just “lighten up“. At the same time, they would change their tune by complaining that the George Zimmerman acquittal is racist and unfair. Despite what some people say, Asian-Americans are expected to tolerate this kind of abuse as they are compliant model minorities while others such as Blacks or Latinos are expected to assert themselves in the face of abuse or racism. This perception in America is simply a blatant example of double standards yet it is somehow accepted in society.
Over time, these ongoing stereotypes give the majority population the impression they can get away with casual racism against Asians and arbitrarily judge Asian-Americans on an abnormally higher standard than other ethnicities. While the racial discrimination is nowhere near the levels of Chinese exclusion and Japanese internment during the 19th and 20th centuries, Asians are still seen as perpetual foreigners or by historic stereotypes.
With all these problems surrounding Asian-Americans whether it is culture shock, discrimination or a lack of clear identity, much of the ongoing dialogue in this so-called community are ultimately tied to racism or identity issues. This is because the core of the Asian-American experience is the ongoing frustration of not being accepted in American society regardless of how hard they try to fit in whether that involves compromising one’s original identity; jettisoning the family’s native language or culture; or screwing over fellow Asians in a misguided attempt to avoid being seen as disloyal towards America. The point is no matter how hard Asian-Americans try, they will never fit in and it is better to be happy with who they are and accept their multicultural background.
Latinos had these kinds of problems for decades and managed to gradually destroy these labels by asserting and actually retaining their dual cultures regardless of stereotypes and without generally compromising to fit in. These problems facing Asian-Americans were faced by Latinos living in America whether they are natural citizens or immigrants and eventually became an accepted and defining part of American society.
While other Asian-Americans claim they have little to learn from the Latino experience because they also face discrimination and because Asians have a supposed advantage via the “model minority” stereotype, Latinos did change America’s perception of being perpetual foreigners to being considered an integral part of American society. Many Latinos have been increasing their presence in media, government, and in the workplace at various levels. They are valued due to their multicultural background, many are functionally bilingual and most of all they are free from the “bamboo ceiling” that keeps Asians from reaching management levels due to ongoing perceptions by Americans that Asians are uncreative, compliant and lack individuality, which they believe is not the case with non-Asians.
Latinos who are US citizens are able to assert themselves and become recognised for being a major economic contributor and voting group in the country. At the same time, I do not see this kind of solidarity among Asian-Americans in the US of A since it has become too easy for US politicians whether they are Democrat, Republican, Tea Party, Racist Party or Green party to divide and conquer the Asian-American community when it comes to elections (eg Taiwanese-Americans support any politician who gives lip service to Taiwan Independence and demonising China, Vietnamese-Americans support any politician who claims to demonise Communists, Laotian-Americans support anyone who claims to care about the overseas or Hmong community, Tibetan-Americans will throw their lot with any politician ranting about evil Chinese Commies or how they love the Dalai Lama, etc).
As long as the Asian community is divided and easily fractured, they will never have a voice in the American government and society at large. Also, Latinos generally assert themselves when they are mistreated or when they receive citizenship, which is not truly the case with Asian-Americans as seen by how Levy Tran took the gig without complaining about the Asian Girlz subject matter or when Marcello Lalopua, the band’s Indonesian member, did not speak out when the racist Asian Girlz song was being produced.
Most of all, many Latinos have learned they will never fit in American society no matter how they tried ranging from passing as white or abandoning Spanish as their second or foreign language. This is why many of them maintain a working knowledge of Spanish or express pride in their multicultural background unlike many in the Asian community. I still see the heavily Americanised Asians distancing themselves from the less Americanised Asians and labelling them as FOBs, weirdos, or Unamericans or becoming ignorant of their parents’ culture.
At the same time, I’ve also seen some Asian-Americans gravitating towards other Asian cultures that seem more popular than their own home cultures such as Chinese or Filipino-Americans learning Japanese and Japanese culture to the point they know more Japanese culture and history than their own or to the point Japanese becomes their second language instead of Chinese or Tagalog. This also applies to Asian-Americans who lean towards Korean culture or try to integrate themselves into the Korean-American community when they are not and never will be Korean.
I don’t see Cuban-Americans or Chicanos trying to pass themselves off as Puerto Ricans; or Colombians knowing more about Mexican culture and history than their own. I also don’t see many Latinos railing against other Latinos who recently moved into the US of A as FOBS or outsiders.
This is why it is would be better to look at how the Latino community went from being seen as perpetual foreigners to being considered part of America rather than dwelling on Asian-American frustration in a cultural bubble. It’s time Asians in the US learn from them and their struggles and victories to benefit the Asian-American community and to stop dwelling on these issues in a bubble.