The Real Problem When It Comes to Diversity and Asian-Americans

Source – http://time.com/3475962/asian-american-diversity/

The lack of Asian leadership in tech sheds light on a larger issue: Asians are excluded from the idea of diversity

Years ago… they used to think you were Fu Manchu or Charlie Chan. Then they thought you must own a laundry or restaurant. Now they think all we know how to do is sit in front of a computer.

It was 1987 when Virginia Kee, then a 55-year-old a high school teacher in New York’s Chinatown, said the above words. She was one of several Asian-Americans who discussed the perception of their race for TIME’s cover story, “Those Asian-American Whiz Kids.” The cover story would elicit small-scale Asian boycotts of the magazine from those who found offensive the portrait of textbook-clutching, big-glasses brainiacs. To them, the images codified hurtful beliefs that Asians and Asian-Americans were one-dimensional: that they were robots of success, worshippers of the alphabet’s first letter, study mules branded with their signature eyes.  read more ……

 

time

Liberation of Dachau by Japanese Americans 552nd Field Artillery Battalion 442nd RCT April 29th 1945

522FABNliberatecamp

 

by Nihomachi Outreach Committee San Jose

(This article is reposted with permission of NOC.
Please visit their site by clicking on the link above)

The war in Europe was coming to a close as the Allies raced across Germany to Berlin. Elements of the US 7th Army chased the remnants of the German army retreating into Germany. Among the fastest moving units was the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion a Nisei (Second generation Japanese American) unit that was originally attached to the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The 442nd won the most decorations for any American unit for its size during WW2. The unit would win 7 Presidential Citations (5 while rescuing the Lost Texas Battalion in France 1944), 20 Medals of Honor (America’s highest decoration for valor) and over 9000 Purple Hearts (decorations for wounds suffered in combat). The 522 had a reputation for having the fastest and most accurate fire in the US Army. They were hand picked by Gen. Eisenhower (Commander of Allied Forces in Europe) to help lead the attack into Germany.

The 522nd liberated several of the sub camps near Dachau and actually opened the main gate at the Dachau concentration camp. Some 5000 survivors of the Dachau concentration camp were liberated by elements of the 522 on April 29th 1945.

Dachau was established in 1933 as the Nazi regime rose to power. The infamous camp was in 12 years of existence with some 206,000 prisoners .Dachau had some 30 sub camps (smaller forced labor and/or POW camps) located near adjacent towns. It was the site of mass exterminations, executions, and death marches. Some 5000 inmates were liberated mostly Jewish, Russian, French, Polish civilians and Allied POW’s.

The Story of Sgt. Oiye

On April 29th 1945, Staff Sgt. George Oiye was member of a forward observer team (patrols to search for targets for artillery to shoot ) for artillery battery C leading the 7th Army racing into Germany. Elements of the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion were spread out over a 30 mile radius. They had orders to destroy military targets in Munich and to demolish the headquarters of the dreaded SS. They also had warnings to be on the look out for top Nazis such as Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun (Hitler’s mistress). They chased the retreating German units,captured and disarmed them. According to 522 records they were the first Allied unit to reach Dachau.

Unintentional Liberators

“We weren’t supposed to be there” said Oiye. Since they were spread out over such a wide area (30 KM) and Dachau was so big they simply ran into it. Japanese American soldiers shot the lock of the main gate of the outer perimeter fences. Then opened the barbed wire gates of the infamous crematorium the site were thousands of Jewish prisoners bodies were burned into ashes. The building had tall smoke stacks and large ovens with bodies smoldering still inside. Prisoners were often gassed or died of the harsh slave labor conditions at Dachau.

“A Hard Thing”
Oiye explained his reaction to visiting the infamous camp: He was mainly on the muddy roads out side the camp when it started to snow. “It was very cold and he saw the prisoners shivering. Some were in very bad shape,”emaciated, sick, diseased, bugs crawling on them and dying” He recalled the stripped suits they wore and some had no shoes. Oiye and his fellow soldiers gave the prisoners their extra gloves, bed rolls, and food. His reaction to the prisoners: “we were not prepared to deal with coming across a concentration camp.” “We came across by accident and were not prepared. It was a hard thing” He remembered that he ” felt bewildered, then angry and fearful. ” Oiye explained the sense of guilt “that mankind had transgressed so far…. the worst case of sin I know of.”

“War was one thing but that kind of treatment of mankind; thats is not normal” Oiye stated. Some of the 522nd soldiers found ladies handbags made of human skin. He could remember seeing “intricate” tattoos on these handbags. Gloves and lampshades were also found to made of human skin. Other soldiers reported that dozens of prisoners that were horribly tortured and murdered.

 

read more …………

Asian-Americans and the ‘model minority’ myth

Source: The Korean Herald – http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20140126000336

Previews of Amy Chua’s forthcoming book, “The Triple Package” (co-written with husband Jed Rubenfeld), detonated a social media uproar among Asian-Americans. Many were infuriated by the New York Post’s report that Chua, the self-styled Tiger Mom, was identifying eight superior “cultural” groups in the United States: Jewish, Indian, Chinese, Iranian, Lebanese, Nigerian, Cuban and Mormon. For Asian-Americans, the problem is about another Chua production that seems to perpetuate the “model minority” myth and, in particular, the notion that Asians are culturally ? even genetically ? endowed with the characteristics that enable them to succeed in American society.

Before the mid-20th century, the Tiger Mom did not exist in the national imagination. Instead, Americans believed that Chinese culture was disgusting and vile, viewing U.S. Chinatowns as depraved colonies of prostitutes, gamblers and opium addicts bereft of decency. Lawmakers and citizens deployed these arguments to justify and maintain the segregation, marginalization and exclusion of Chinese from mainline society between the 1870s and World War II. Those efforts were more than effective: to have a “Chinaman’s chance” at that time meant that one had zero prospects.

There is danger in offering culture as a formula for success, because our ideas of culture are hardly fixed. The history of Americans’ views about Chinese immigrant behaviors shows that “culture” often serves as a blank screen onto which individuals project various political agendas, depending on the exigencies of the moment.

During World War II, white liberals agonized that racism was damaging the United States’ ability to fight a war for democracy against the Axis powers. Many felt that the Chinese exclusion laws, which had barred migrants from China from entering the country or becoming naturalized citizens since the 1870s, risked America’s trans-Pacific alliance with China against Japan. A coast-to-coast campaign emerged to overturn the laws. The Citizens Committee to Repeal Chinese Exclusion recognized that it would have to neutralize deep-seated fear of “yellow peril” coolie hordes. So it strategically recast Chinese in its promotional materials as “law-abiding, peace-loving, courteous people living quietly among us.” Congress repealed the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1943.

In the 1950s, journalists, social scientists and policymakers recycled this fledgling idea, circulating it further and wider as they groped for a solution to what they perceived as a national juvenile delinquency crisis. The New York Times Magazine emphasized that Chinese youths displayed “unquestioned obedience” toward their elders, while Look magazine celebrated their “high moral sense.” U.S. Rep. Arthur Klein of New York praised his Manhattan Chinatown constituents for their “respect for parents and teachers,” “stable and loving home life” and thirst for education.

 

READ MORE >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The Deceptive Data on Asians

Source: Insider Higher Ed June 7, 2013

By
Scott Jaschik

When Harvard University issued a news release last month about the freshman class it had just admitted, the announcement included information about the racial and ethnic make-up of the newly admitted students. Asian-Americans, the release said, would make up 20.9 percent of the class. Native Hawaiians were grouped with Native Americans, and together those two groups would make up 2.3 percent.

When the College Board released its most recent report on SAT scores, racial and ethnic breakdowns were provided. In one category — with impressive mean scores — were Asian, Asian-American and Pacific Islanders.

Both examples (and there are many more easily to be found) suggest Asian-American academic success. But a report released Thursday calls for the end to such data reporting. It is time to disaggregate data about Asian-American students as much as possible, says the report, issued by the Educational Testing Service and the National Commission on Asian-American and Pacific Islander Research in Education. The failure of most schools and colleges to do so has resulted in key problems facing Asian-American groups being “overlooked and misunderstood,” said Robert T. Teranishi, associate professor of higher education at New York University and principal investigator for the report, during a news briefing.

Aggregated data “conceals significant disparities,” Teranishi said.

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/06/07/report-calls-end-grouping-asian-american-students-one-category#ixzz2VWH4xYjx
Inside Higher Ed

 

 

read more …………

 

AAJA Launches Retrospective on Vincent Chin, Pivotal Struggles in Asian American History

AAJA Launches Retrospective on Vincent Chin, Pivotal Struggles in Asian American History

AAJA Launches Retrospective on Vincent Chin, Pivotal Struggles in Asian American History

Online Resources Are Part of AAJA’s MediaWatch Program, Which Aims to Hold News Media to Standards of Accuracy and Fairness in Coverage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwired – Jun 3, 2013) – The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) launched today an online retrospective on Vincent Chin, a Chinese American whose tragic fatal beating approximately 31 years ago spurred a pan-Asian civil rights movement.

The new online content, which can be accessed via AAJA’s website, features a timeline of discriminatory actions against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), including Chin’s death on June 19, 1982, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Japanese American internment from 1942 to 1944.

The webpages also highlight additional resources (e.g. books, videos and articles) on the Vincent Chin case, as well as AAJA resources to improve fair and accurate coverage of AAPIs including AAJA’s MediaAccess Guide and the AAJA Handbook to Covering Asia America.

To access the online retrospective, visit: www.aaja.org/vincent-chin/

Chin, a 27-year-old Chinese American man, was killed in Detroit days before his wedding by two autoworkers who thought Chin was Japanese. At the time, many Americans blamed Japan for crippling the U.S. auto industry.

“The brutal attack of Vincent Chin marked a pivotal civil rights moment in the history of Asian Americans. Unfortunately, 30-plus years since, hatred and negative stereotypes toward many minorities are still prevalent, reminding us that our struggle for equality isn’t over,” said AAJA National President Paul Cheung.

“AAJA’s MediaWatch was established to make sure our community is being covered fairly and accurately. Although as Asian Americans we often have a cultural upbringing different from that of other Americans, we share many of the same struggles and successes. As journalists, we must inform the public of the truth and share the stories of our nation,” Cheung added.

The online content was made possible with funding from the Ford Foundation. University of California Hastings College of Law Dean Frank H. Wu, a renowned expert in AAPI civil rights issues, also contributed to this project.

AAJA’s MediaWatch program also encourages the public to report questionable coverage of AAPIs by news organizations. For more information, visit the AAJA MediaWatch page.

The Asian American Journalists Association is a nonprofit professional and educational organization with more than 1,500 members across the United States and in Asia. Founded in 1981, AAJA has been at the forefront of change in the journalism industry. AAJA’s mission is to encourage Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) to enter the ranks of journalism, to increase the number of AAPI journalists and news managers in the industry and to work for fair and accurate coverage of AAPIs and their issues. AAJA is an alliance partner in UNITY Journalists for Diversity, along with the Native American Journalists Association, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association. For more information about AAJA, visit www.aaja.org.

Contact:

AAJA Executive Director

Kathy Chow

(415) 346-2051

KathyC@aaja.org