The racial category Asian lumps together widely diverse groups with no common language, phenotype, or culture who come to the U.S. under vastly different circumstances…
How do you mash together Laotian war refugees and Japanese business investors and come up with an average or mean experience?…
So let’s get it straight. The term “Asian” in the U.S. was chosen by Asian American activists as an alternative to the pejorative “Oriental.” The Oriental is the creation of Europeans for whom the Orient was an object of curiosity and a source of riches to be studied and exploited. In modern times, the study of the Orient, especially in contrast with the civilized world of the Occident (aka Europe), solidified an idea of Orientals as exotic, potentially dangerous Others.
Activists back in the 1960s decided they wanted to reject the label Oriental and call themselves Asian American instead. Subsequent generations of Asian Americans have gathered as a coalition under the Asian American banner in order to resist being treated like Orientals. But don’t get it twisted, the idea of an Asian or Oriental race is a creation of white people, not of Asians."
“reports like this are powerful molders of Asian racial identity, popularizing ideas about Asian traits, capacities (and threats), and, of course, always in comparison with the supposed failures of Blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans.”
fuck. that. noise.
everyone should read the entire response. for reals.