Do You Really Love Chinese Food? (Part 2)

Do You Really Love Chinese Food? (Part 2)

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Last time, I talked about how America only welcomes the "sweet deal" among immigrants. This week, I'll show you how this is the case.

Ever since the 1960s, Asian Americans, the “model minority”, have represented such a sweet deal that Americans prefer. As Keith Osajima, the professor and director of the Race and Ethnic Studies program at the University of Redlands pointed out, around the 1960s, Asian Americans were praised as the hard-working, responsible, and rule-abiding ethnic group, elevated from other more “troublesome” ethnic groups, like African Americans. This step was more purposeful than coincidental.

Asian Americans were not always the “model minority.” However, when America recognized them as the “model minority”, this minority group started to exceed the other minority groups. They are awarded better education and employment compared with other ethnic groups.

America is essentially using Asian Americans to show other minorities how minority groups should properly behave – politically silent and ethnically assimilated, as summarized by Robert G. Lee, an associate professor of American Studies at Brown University. If other minorities can behave as “graciously” as Asian Americans, if other minorities can assimilate as well as Asian Americans, they can be successful as well. The point is: Americans privilege assimilation instead of, as most of them, claimed – diversity of immigrants.

Even though Asian Americans are seemingly thriving in America, they are still discriminated against. Research has shown that even though Asians generally have higher education and are better paid, they are still paid less than their nonminority similarly qualified counterparts.

If America is really the land of opportunities and if America really welcomes immigrants as they claim, why discriminate against the “model minority” in the workplace? Why even bother naming them the “successful model minority”? Because America only wants immigrants to serve, but not gaining real power in the society.

Americans want immigrants to assimilate so that things are easier and American values, instead of other cultural values, will be endorsed. If one minority group is awarded for more successful assimilation, others will be likely to follow the lead because everyone wants to survive and thrive. At the same time, situations for not well-assimilated immigrants are much worse.

For instance, Hispanic immigrants, generally seen as resistant towards American culture, have significantly lower socioeconomic status, and the more recent immigrants among them (i.e., less assimilated) have lower occupation status than others. Yes, America wants hardworking immigrants, but it does not necessarily welcome cultures different from its own.

Now, one may question, how exactly does America promote assimilation?

After all, setting a model does not necessarily force one to change. It starts from language, the manifestation and the culture itself. It is essential for cultural identity, especially for immigrants who are situated in a different language environment. Their languages may be the last thing connecting them to their cultures.

If America truly welcomes immigrants with their unique cultural backgrounds, immigrants should be allowed to keep their cultural identity (i.e., at least speak in their mother tongues).

However, this does not seem to be the case. Kari Gibson, a legal fellow at Public Law Center, summarized twenty-one cases in which the employers are forced to speak only English at their workplace. He also included judicial opinions at state or federal levels. The general settlements were upholding the English Only Policies.

However, the fact that these policies existed and were executed until courts intervened showed Americans’ unwelcoming attitudes towards immigrants’ cultures. The employers may need to speak to their employees in English for convenience because they can only speak English. Yet, it is unnecessary to require the employers to only use English in the workplace and even punish them for using their native languages.

In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court still has not given explicit opinions on English Only Policies, and lower federal courts also have not widely accepted the unlawfulness of such policies. Such silence says America’s systematic encouragement of assimilation at a policy-making level.

A similar story happened in the education system as well. Of course, teaching immigrant children English is important for them to live in America, where English is the common language. However, proper education should respect immigrants’ cultures as well, instead of imposing English-Only policies.

During the nineties, the English-Only Movement started in California and swept through the rest of America. Supporters of this movement argued that immigrant children should be taught in English-only environments, otherwise (1) existence of other language speakers can threaten the unity of America (i.e., similar to Canada where French and English are both official languages because of Quebec), (2) these children will not actively learn English, and (3) they will suffer in terms of education and social integration. It sounds like this English Only Movement has the welfare of immigrants at heart and tries to help immigrants succeed.

However, the research done by Amado M. Padilla, professor of psychological studies at Stanford University, has debunked all these claims, indicating that English Only Movement cannot be justified.

The minority groups in America, with histories different from Quebec residents, are in a subordinate position. Thus, they feel compelled to learn English quickly and are ashamed for being unable to speak English.

Even the Spanish speakers, who are perceived as the most resistant immigrant group, generally shift to speaking English within one or two generations. Also, English immersion education programs actually lead to lower achievement in life, while Bilingual education programs can improve cognitive performance and psychological developments.

All the “advantages” of the English-Only movement are in fact invalid. Yet, 28 out of 50 states in the US still have English-Only policies. The purpose of these policies is obvious – make everyone speak American English regardless of their backgrounds. In other words, the true reason behind this movement is to assimilate immigrants and their descendants so that everything is easily digestible for America.

Of course, systematic public policies are not the only way in which immigrants were pushed to assimilate. Come back next week to see how pop culture undeniably played an important role in the process as well.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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We Can't Get Rid Of All Our Guns, But We Can Regulate Bullets

We won't take away all your guns. We'll just make sure the things that do the killing - the bullets - won't get into the hands of the wrong people.

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Nearly 400 million civilian-owned firearms are in the United States, and the gun debate is more prevalent than ever.

The question we always hear is whether or not we should be further regulating our firearms. What is often left all too forgotten, is that it's the bullets that do the killing, not the guns.

Regulating the sales of guns themselves is, of course, very important. However, with so many guns already in the possession of Americans, regulating the sale of guns themselves can only do so much.

Bullets differ in weight and velocity, but many can shatter bones and leave gaping wounds. They are obviously extremely destructive, but they are as easy to purchase as a pack of gum in many states. In these states, large retailers are selling bullets, and bullets can also be bought online. No questions asked.

In 2013 it was reported that about 10 billion rounds are produced in the U.S. every year, however, there are far fewer producers of this ammunition than there are producers of firearms, making the ammunition industry easier to regulate.

The idea of regulating bullets is not only doable, but it is far more likely that it will gain support from Americans then would banning all guns. The Gun Control Act of 1968 required all retailers to log ammunition sales and prohibited all mail-order purchases, however, this was lifted by President Reagan.

Today, it would be very possible to implement similar regulations. Strict control of the production and sale of outwardly dangerous bullets would be simple with the use of technology and due to the fewer number of producers of bullets than of firearms.

In states like Massachusetts and New Jersey, it is required that you have a license or permit to purchase bullets. This is a common-sense law that should, and can, be enacted nationwide.

We have two extremes to this gun debate; banning all guns or keeping what people see as our Second Amendment right.

Debates, protests, and fighting over this topic has gotten us little to nowhere. Yet, what we keep forgetting is that we all can agree on something; we all just want to feel safe and protected.

Common sense control of bullets is a sort of middle ground that reminds us as Americans that what we need the most is safety in our country, while also feeling like our rights have not been infringed upon.

We won't take away all your guns. We'll just make sure the things that do the killing - the bullets - won't get into the hands of the wrong people.

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