What are some prominent Asian American issues?

If you’re referring to the political and social issues that Asian-Americans face today, these are a few that come to mind:

Combating the “model minority” stereotype

  • 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.

Osama bin Laden is Dead

My father had colleagues working in the World Trade Centre before they were brought down in 9/11. He told me stories about how one colleague survived because he was late to his commute while another literally ran for his life as the towers collapsed, only losing a shoe in the process. My father never did mention what happened to the rest of his coworkers.

Fastforward to May 2011 with Obama announcing the killing of Osama bin Laden by American special forces. From news reports, bin Laden was killed by headshots in his custom mansion along with his family and some associates in Abbottabad, which is about 60km from Islamabad, Pakistan. Initial reaction was a sense of closure, but most Americans used this as an excuse to revel in a military kill mission.

The victims of 9/11 should feel relief knowing that bin Laden is dead given his attack and the grief it caused in America.  Bin Laden’s death was well-deserved in the same sense as a death row inmate being sentenced to die by a firing squad. In a prison execution, the victims or the victim’s families tend to feel a sense of closure, relief, and sadness that the criminal is dead but will live knowing it doesn’t change what had happened. However, when bin Laden was confirmed to be killed, the 9/11 victims were finally at peace, while the rest of the country, which was indirectly affected by 9/11, was celebrating as if they all won the lottery and a major sports championship.

The images shown in New York City and Washington DC had people climbing polls, cheering and chanting “USA! USA! USA!”. Somehow this mindless celebration seems to be in poor taste given that Americans were angered when foreigners celebrated 9/11 and the fact that bin Laden’s death is a Pyrrhic victory knowing that it took almost 10 years, nearly a million lives in collateral damage, and the deep financial costs from invading two countries.

Watching the domestic reaction to bin Laden’s death was almost unreal. The people I saw on TV were either drunken college kids who were just children when 9/11 happened and grew up with nothing but sensationalised accounts of terrorism and with no real emotional connection to the real tragedy. While the other group on TV were mostly out-of-state tourists, who also did not have a real connection to the people in NYC, showing their misguided patriotism by gloating around Ground Zero and Times Square. This type of behaviour towards Osama’s death sends the wrong signal to the world and really shows the trashier side of America (if shows like “Jersey Shore” and “Real Housewives” weren’t enough). It’s only a matter of time before this behavior is unfairly compared to the mob mentality in the Muslim world by California liberals and critics outside of America.

I simply find it sad that a country used to be looked up as a moral and honorable society has fallen to such a dumbed-down existence.  It’s nice to see happy Americans post Toby Keith videos online and chant “USA” but this changes little except closure for 9/11 victims. For me, I really won’t feel real closure until I see a verified photo of his corpse knowing that the government has been misleading the world since the War of Terror started.  His death will only have meaning if it gets American troops home, ends the PATRIOT ACT, and brings back the quality of life that sounds mythical in our current situation. Unfortunately, bin Laden has succeeded in weakening America with attacks designed to restrict freedom, spread terror to the Muslim world, and reduce American society into reactionaries.

With all this in mind, only the 9/11 victims were the real winners from bin Laden’s death while others will use it to advance their petty agendas.

Posted from WordPress for Android

Decisions tomorrow and intellectual bankruptcy

As everyone is aware, tomorrow is election day. During the midterm elections, many may have the knee-jerk reaction to punish the President and his “allies” in Congress.

Truth-be-told – the economy is in much better shape now than the day Obama took office. While his term hasn’t been perfect, things are dramatically better than during Q4 2008 when he was first elected to office, and Q1 2009 when Bush left office. The economy is growing, the stock market has improved, and while huge deficits are amounting, deflation remains as much a concern as inflation, at this point.

The housing market is still in bad shape, to be sure, but TARP has proven to be a success and GM and Chrysler are posting profits. In Oct 2008, an economic Armagedon was hitting America. Today, America is coming off the ropes and with some sweat equity, will be back.

That said, if you believe that Obama is the devil, a Kenyan born citizen, a Muslim, a Marxist, or a Socialist – you need to look up the definitions of these words, and get back to me. This isn’t for you. Chances are you are insane and need to seek serious mental help, or be put on very high doses of Haldol.

We, as citizens, have a civic duty every election day. We must vote not only for what is in our own best interest, but the best interest of the country as a whole.

What no politician in American will admit to you is that this country has been “sold out,” starting the day Ronald Reagan became POTUS and Free Trade and the mantle of supply side economics became the “laws of the land,” so to speak. NAFTA, CAFTA, and other free trade agreements have destroyed and eviscerated the very engine that created the middle-class in America.

The manufacturing jobs in America are not coming back. If you’re not a professional in this country, or if you aren’t born into a family of money, chances are, you’re not moving “ahead” in life. Your children will almost certainly have a worse standard of living than you did as corporations seek to continually move off-shore to save pennies, and create the never-ending race to the bottom. Education is no longer the marker for success. There are plenty of people who attended Universities, who have higher levels of education than did their parents, who due to rising tuition costs, lack of health-care, etc. will undoubtedly be worse off than their parents.

No politician in America will tell you that. Chances are, you will make about 30% on average less per year, inflation adjusted, than your parents did unless you are a professional of some degree or have a specific trade. So, rather than going to college for 2 years to drop out, push your family members or kids into trades. Become plumbers. Electricians. Machinists. Take jobs/positions that can’t be sent off-shore.

We have had politicians in this country lie to you for the past 30+ years. There is no such thing as a tax cut, just like 5+3 doesn’t equal 6. A tax cut without subsequent cuts in government spending only represents a tax shift.

Anyone who believes in this fallacy about cutting taxes, absent cuts in spending, has been duped.

This means that a tax cut combined WITH HIGHER government spending ONLY guarantees that taxes in the future will need to be higher unless the government wants to perpetually run deficits. This of course, carries the burden of higher inflation and interest rates, which will crowd out private investment, and act as a tax on ones disposable income.

Conservatives love to talk about generational theft. How Obama’s high spending is stealing from your grandkids. Again – if you look at the last Bush budget and the last Obama budget, federal spending isn’t the cause of the change in the deficit. The cause is simply an issue of revenue – meaning – that not as many taxes are being collected because of the huge amount of job losses from 2007-2009.

This has been the game of the Republicans/conservative movement for the past 30 years. They talk about cutting taxes, but NEVER deliver on promises to reign in spending. The past Republican administration saw an increase in farm subsidies, defense spending, and spending on Medicare Part D – a NEW ENTITLEMENT. This came from a man who conservatives had wet dreams about until Hurricane Katrina hit.

I have asked numerous movement conservatives and even emailed Republican congressional candidates about what they plan to cut in the government.

The only answers I have gotten are that they want to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and they want to slow the rate of spending or try to eliminate the Department of Education.

Imagine that. Let’s say you are in a lot of debt in your house. You and your spouse talk about ways to cut your debt and eliminate your credit card balances. Let’s say you spend $175 a month going out to dinner. Well, if you want to get rid of your debts, a good way to start would be to eat in. Eat out less. Don’t buy expensive clothes. Cancel your HBO subscription. Don’t get your nails done 3 times a month. Those are all valid ways to get rid of your household debt. If you spent $175 a month eating out, would you say that a good way to save money would be to buy deodorant on sale because that may save you 40 cents a month, while continuing to spend $17 a month on HBO and $175 a month eating out? No. Of course you wouldn’t.

The budget deficit this year is 1.3 trillion. Eliminating the deficit via fiscal austerity, which usually means cutting government spending, will be tantamount to taking an axe to your arm. Moreover, it will throw the economy into a depression if you simply eliminated the deficit by cutting spending.

Taxes will need to go up. But, how much will they need to go up, and on who.

The Democrats are campaigning on raising taxes only on the rich. There is probably not enough money to only soak the rich unless we can implement a real progressive tax in which those earning more than 1 million a year pay in excess of 40% as a top marginal rate. The Democrats and the Republicans, those who aren’t idiots, likely know this.

Taxes will likely have to increase on everyone.This is the worst kept secret in Washington.

But, most importantly, we are in dire need of entitlement reform in this nation. And, while both parties know this, AND THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY SHOULD BE PUSHING THIS, neither is.

Why – because the Republican base is composed of old senile people who are on Medicare and SS who don’t realize that smaller government means LESS BENEFITS FOR THEM. Once they start to have their benefits cut, they will simply vote out their Republican lackeys who will do the same as the Democrats; buy their votes with more government goodies.

At least the Democrats make no fucking bones about wanting to utilize tax-payer money for increases in social services and welfare.

The Republicans/conservatives are supposed to be against this.

And sadly, even though I’ve offered my vote up for sale, for just a pittance of an educated response, I get that the GOP wants to cut 1/1000 of the federal government’s budget to help eliminate the deficit.

It’s almost shocking to me how stupid they think I am, but judging by those who have voted for their candidates and been duped by this, maybe I’m the one who is stupid for thinking I could get a coherent response.

Unless one wants to talk about cutting SS, Medicare/Medicaid, defense spending, or payments on the debt, one is not serious about deficit reduction.

Do you think all of those Republicans who come from rural districts and represent agricultural states are going to vote to end agricultural subsidies 70-90% of which go to Big Agra companies which have PROFITS in the millions/billions each year?

Surely nobody reading this is that naive of a fucking sap.

I hate Medicaid/welfare leeches as much as anyone. It sickens me every time I look at my paycheck to see how much the government steals from me and wastes on people who have little-to-no desire to improve their own lives.

It also sickens me to see how capital is considered the superior of labor and how deregulation has twice in America’s history nearly destroyed capitalism, one time contributing to WW2, and how the conservative party cheer-lead military operations in Iraq, a country we had 0 business invading and occupying for what will soon be longer than US forces fought in WW1 and WW2 combined. This war cost will cost the treasury close to $4 trillion when all is said and done. $4 trillion for what. At least the stimulus money was spent in America. Money was used in Iraq to bribe politicians, pay off Sunnis from joining Al Queada, and pay for the building of bridges in Iraq that would only be blown up weeks later by IED’s. Talk about the inefficiencies of government.

The Democracts are far from perfect. They have helped to create a sense of entitlement in ghettos across the nation in order to pander to race hustlers that continually spoon feed illiterates that people are held down because of the system and that if only we throw more money at these people that they can rise up.

But, the Republican leadership and conservative movement is 100% intellectually bankrupt. They say they favor small government, but apparently to them, this simply means selling more and more government bonds to the Communists to ensure that the Paris Hilton’s of the world inherit their parent’s wealth to buy more Ferraris.

Why can’t a single Republican get on a microphone and have the balls to say, “I want to cut SS transfer payments by 3% each of the next 5 years for people with incomes over $40,000”?

As it stands, no serious person, with a functioning cerebrum, can vote for such nonsense.

It is intellectually bankrupt to say that you support less intrusive government and then go out and vote for someone who wants to criminalize abortion, prohibit gays from serving in the military, continue the drug war, and simply cut taxes while raising spending.

This really is like a train-wreck from the Twilight show.

On Nov. 2nd, I urge you to vote for the “socialist.” At least then, you get what you vote for.