For years America, has attempted to liberate themselves from the perception of racism, although as a country we have progressed and have been able to overcome some of the prejudice perceptions against the “minorities”, there are things that remained culturally linked to the pass. In a year where things seem to be taking a step back when it comes to racial tensions and inequality it is very important to realize that this is, in fact, something that has been part of our history.The foundation of the United States is based in the ideology that whiteness is the reflection and representation of a superior entity. For years, many minorities, the Chinese included have been forced to assimilate into the social norms of the Americans in order to coexist. This idea of repression is supported by Wendy Rouse Joreau in her article The Limits of Dress: Chinese American Childhood, Fashion, and Race in the Exclusion Era:
Sucheng Chan, Gloria Chun, and Haiming Liu argued that children growing up in the early twentieth century often rejected the old-fashioned customs of their immigrant parents, favoring Western, not Chinese, traditions. However, the painful realities of racism thwarted their eﬀorts to assimilate into mainstream American society and enjoy the full beneﬁts of citizenship. Some children from this period chose to seek opportunities in China. Yet many more remained in the United States and struggled to establish an identity borne of both cultures. (454)
Wendy’s statement is rephrasing and analyzing Chan, Chun and Haiming’s theory of assimilation and repression. This statement is indeed reiterating the idea that many Chinese Americans neglect and reject their Chinese Identity in order to become part of the collective. Although most felt short in their attempt as racism and the constant prejudice play and still manage to be an imperative factor in the way our society perceives the people with immigrant backgrounds. Appearance seems to be a predominant factor in the search for identity and self-acceptance, if we really pay attention to the statement we will realize that prejudice and racism are just a derivation from the things that seem to be perceived as different or unusual. This statement encompasses all of these factors as it establishes the fact that many Chinese Americans find themselves captured between two cultures that seem to find it hard to accept them as part of their own.
When we talk about racism and segregation we often think about blacks in the era of slavery. The truth is that segregation and oppression was not limited to just one sector of our demography, it, in fact, embraced many ethnic groups who seemed to challenge the archaic and misogynistic views of the United States. Exclusion is also a derivation of racism, it serves as a blocking point between immigrants and the social establishment of a country. When we talk about immigrants in the United States we often find ourselves talking about a demography that is constantly being denigrated, humiliated and depicted as unable to conform to their new forms of life. Such is the case of the Asian American population whom for years have been depicted as beasts who lack the human understanding to adapt to western traditions and customs. The sad reality of immigrant communities are forced to forget their identities and roots to fit, and be accepted in the American society. As the upcoming generation we must redesign the structure of our societies and embrace the origin of our cultures.