Race Outside of the Ferguson Case


Liz Lin analyzes the influence of Asian Americans on the topic of Ferguson. She argues that few Asian Americans talk about the subject or even participate in the effort of the case. Furthermore, she talks about the advantages and disadvantages of being Asian American. Although her article is about Asian Americans, her ideas also reveal the disadvantages of being hyphenated Americans in America. Asian Americans are advantaged because they are generally described as hardworking and smart. However, they are disadvantaged because they belong to neither the American or Asian side.

More importantly, Lin highlights the definition of race in her article. Lin, a professor and a consultant states, “Race is complicated for us. On one hand, we’re disadvantaged in many ways.  We’re perpetually seen as foreigners, as people who don’t belong here…Multiple laws have been passed to exclude us from immigration and citizenship” She suggests that hyphenated Americans are always considered foreigners despite assimilation to America or naturalization. The second part of the quote ties back to readings in lecture that talked about immigration exclusion acts. The article proposes the question: Does race matter outside of the case? Is race an issue in the protests and other events of the Ferguson case? 


The American Melting Pot and Racism



In Schoolhouse Rock: “The American Melting Pot”, the idea of America is that anyone from anywhere can fit in because everyone is welcoming. You can be whatever you are and America at the same time, meaning that you can preserve a part of your own culture. However, a recent incident in San Francisco completely defies the idea of America being welcoming and accepting of other races and cultures.

This incident is about a tour guide who makes a racist rant about Chinatown while on tour with a group of English speaking tourists. In her defense, her rant was supposed to be satirical. The tour guide replied to the news reporter, “My intention was to talk about the neighborhood and not to address the people in any way that would incite harm against them”. It would have been understandable if her purpose was actually to entertain her tourist and tell them about Chinatown. The woman is just doing her job. Of all things she could have addressed about Chinatown (history, architecture, stores, etc.), she chose its people. She proceeded to say, “When you come to America you gotta assimilate a little bit, and here in America, we don’t eat turtles and frogs”. That is when it became offensive. Whether that statement is stereotypical or factual, it counts as a part of Chinese culture because food itself is always a part of any culture. Although assimilation is a part of fitting into the melting pot, no group should be judged by the preservation of their own culture or by their ability/inability to adjust to America. Even the tour guide herself admitted that it was a “personal jab” at Chinese people.

The saddest part about this video is not the fact that she humiliated an entire culture and race. The worst part is that she was applauded for it. As a tour guide, is it not her job to make a place seem appealing? In what way does her rant make Chinatown appealing? Does it make America welcoming in any way? Imagine yourself on this tour, what would your reaction be? Is racism ever justified?