In the midst of “Linmania”, the rise of Jeremy Lin to stardom in the National Basketball Association, we are seeing people promoting humor about Asian Americans, specifically in the case of Jeremy Lin being Chinese, but we are also seeing the ugly tone of racism rearing its ugly head.
The fact that Asian Americans of all nationalities are high achievers academically is causing resentment among other racial and ethnic groups, which in itself is a sign of racism by people who have themselves experienced racism.
And of course, whites who are uncomfortable with the growing diversity of America’s population are alarmed at what this means, although hopefully, the number with such feelings is miniscule. But face the facts, that there are those who are nativists and racists and join paramilitary organizations determined to keep America’s white Christian population in control of the future.
But it must be recognized by all Americans that the growing role of Asian Americans of all backgrounds is the reality of the future in this nation.
While smaller in numbers than Hispanics and Latinos on one hand, and African Americans on the other hand, the Asian American population is rapidly growing, and will be an influential part of America long term.
The average American is certainly not aware that Asia is the largest continent with THIRTY percent of all land on earth; that Asia contains SIXTY percent of the world’s people; and that six countries have EIGHTY percent of all the population of the continent (China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Japan); and that if Pakistan and Bangladesh had not separated in a civil war 41 years ago, the combined Pakistan would be larger than Indonesia.
The future of the world is in Asia, and the defense and economic growth of America is based on what happens in Asia, as well as the growing Asian population in America. No wonder Barack Obama has said that our focus must be on Asia in the future, not the Middle East as the priority, as it has been, even though much of the Middle East is actually in Asia. But he is referring to East and South Asia, where the major population countries exist, not West Asia, also known as the Middle East.
And remember that our wars in the past century have focused on Asia, with Japan the enemy in World War II; North Korea and China in the Korean War; North Vietnam and China in the Vietnam War; and the Soviet Union, a Eurasian power our enemy during the Cold War years. And wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are also Asian wars, although not technically in East or South Asia.
So we must as a nation learn more about and understand Asia, and specific nations and cultures in Asia, and understand the role and significance of Asian Americans in our country’s future.
There is no room for the kind of discrimination visited against the Chinese and Japanese in the past, as well as generalized nativism against Asians of all backgrounds that expresses itself even today, and even with the success of Jeremy Lin. It is time for enlightened understanding for our country’s economic future and security and safety!