Maybe you don’t know this, but the insults you hurled at my family get to the heart of the Asian-American experience. It’s this persistent sense of otherness that a lot of us struggle with every day. That no matter what we do, how successful we are, what friends we make, we don’t belong. We’re foreign. We’re not American. It’s one of the reasons that Fox News segment the other day on Chinatown by Jesse Watters, with the karate and nunchucks and broken English, generated so much outrage.
My parents fled mainland China for Taiwan ahead of the Communist takeover. They came to the United States for graduate school. They raised two children, both of whom went to Harvard. I work at The New York Times. Model minority, indeed.
Yet somehow I still often feel like an outsider.
And I wonder if that feeling will ever go away. Perhaps, more important, I wonder whether my two daughters who were with me today will always feel that way too.
Asian-Americans are not likely to feel more at home than white people do in China, non-Japanese do in Japan, non-blacks in Africa, non-Mexicans in Mexico. It’s not complicated.
Michael Luo never bothers to make a case that America needs Asian citizens. What is good for America does not concern him. America is just something to be used. It has no specific people, unlike China or Japan or Taiwan. America is just a trough for him to feed from, the purpose of America is to serve him, his concern is about making America more user-friendly for his kind, and so his article is all about his hurt feelings.
As Maj. Kong says: “Anti-Semitism is as natural to Western civilization as anti-Christianity is to Jewish civilization, Islamic civilization and Japanese civilization.”
As one professor put it: “American Jews want to maintain a distinct identity and on the other hand want to be fully integrated into broader society and don’t want the distinctiveness to come at a price.”