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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The Trump Presidency Is Over

Say hello to President Mike Pence.

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Remember this date: August 21, 2018.

This was the day that two of President Donald Trump's most-important associates were convicted on eight counts each, and one directly implicated the president himself.

Paul Manafort was Trump's campaign chairman for a few months in 2016, but the charges brought against him don't necessarily implicate Trump. However, they are incredibly important considering was is one of the most influential people in the Trump campaign and picked Mike Pence to be the vice presidential candidate.

Manafort was convicted on five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failure to file a report of a foreign bank account. And it could have been even worse. The jury was only unanimous on eight counts while 10 counts were declared a mistrial.

Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer, told a judge that Trump explicitly instructed him to break campaign-finance laws by paying two women not to publicly disclose the affairs they had with Trump. Those two women are believed to be Karen McDougal, a Playboy model, and Stormy Daniels, a pornstar. Trump had an affair with both while married to his current wife, Melania.

And then to no surprise, Fox News pundits spun this in the only way they know how. Sara Carter on Hannity said that the FBI and the Department of Justice are colluding as if it's some sort of deep-state conspiracy. Does someone want to tell her that the FBI is literally a part of the DOJ?

The Republican Party has for too long let Trump get away with criminal behavior, and it's long past time to, at the very least, remove Mr. Trump from office.

And then Trump should face the consequences for the crimes he has committed. Yes, Democrats have a role, too. But Republicans have control of both chambers of Congress, so they head every committee. They have the power to subpoena Trump's tax returns, which they have not. They have the power to subpoena key witnesses in their Russia investigations, which they have not.

For the better part of a year I have been asking myself what is the breaking point with Republicans and Trump. It does not seem like there is one, so for the time being we're stuck with a president who paid off two women he had an affair with in an attempt to influence a United States election.

Imagine for a second that any past president had done even a fraction of what Trump has.

Barack Obama got eviscerated for wearing a tan suit. If he had affairs with multiple women, then Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell would be preparing to burn him at the stake. If they won't, then Trump's enthusiastic would be more than happy to do so.

For too long we've been saying that Trump is heading down a road similar to Nixon, but it's evident now that we're way past that point. Donald Trump now has incriminating evidence against him to prove he's a criminal, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller is just getting started.

Will Trump soften the blow and resign in disgrace before impeachment like Nixon did? Knowing his fragile ego, there's honestly no telling what he'll do. But it's high time Trump leaves an office he never should have entered in the first place.

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Beto O'Rourke Is The Future For The Democratic Party

Democrats need a new voice, and now they have him.

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As a self-professed progressive, the 2016 presidential election was one of the darkest days of my life. Every day I wish that the election had turned out differently. But if there's a silver lining, the Democratic Party has almost completely reinvented itself and has a chance to move forward.

Barack Obama was an amazing leader for the party for a decade. Hillary Clinton was arguably the most-flawed candidate the modern-day Democratic Party has ever nominated, and she lost to the most-flawed Republican ever nominated. So now the Democrats need someone to look up to and lead the way past the regressive presidency of Donald Trump. That man is Beto O'Rourke.

O'Rourke is a representative of Texas's 16th congressional district, which covers the city of El Paso. But right now people in the political world know him as the guy who is running against arguably the most-hated man in the Senate, Ted Cruz. Former House Speaker and fellow Republican John Boehner once said that Cruz is "Lucifer in the flesh."

Cruz prides himself in being hated by Washington politicians, but hatred from his current colleagues could come back to bite him. "If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you," said Lindsey Graham, Republican senator from South Carolina.

If O'Rourke wins in November, he'll take down Cruz, who is one of the most powerful and influential Republicans in Washington despite being hated. And it could launch Beto to even higher office someday.

Even if he loses to Cruz, Beto has an extremely bright future ahead of him because he's just what the Democratic Party needs right now. He's young, passionate, communicates extremely well and is a perfect representation of what the face of the party should be.

This year, O'Rourke has been setting an example of how Democrats should run their campaigns. Beto has traveled to every single one of Texas's 254 counties. Ever since the Supreme Court's decision on Citizens United v. FEC (2010), Democrats have pushed for campaign finance reform, and O'Rourke is leading by example with his campaign. Beto has taken $0 from Political Action Committees (PACs). All of his money comes from individual donors. Cruz has taken PAC money, but O'Rourke still holds a significant advantage in fundraising.

O'Rourke in his campaign emphasizes that Texas has among the highest immigration populations in the United States, but the senators from Texas, Cruz and John Cornyn, do not accurately represent the diversity of the state. O'Rourke has separated himself from Cruz by speaking out against the proposed border wall and the separation of immigrant children at the border.

I'm not from Texas, but I'm just as excited for this senate race as I was when Doug Jones won in my home state almost a year ago. Beto O'Rourke has an opportunity to make positive change in our country and actually bring people together. If he doesn't win in November, Beto should make plans for 2020 because he can become the face of the Democratic Party.

If you'd like to learn more about, join, or donate to the campaign, here is a link.

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