This Is A Quote That Makes Me Think, And Are Asians The New White?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

From this AP article:

"Without diminishing the seriousness of what happened to the Asian seniors — this has been happening to African-American seniors for a long time," Brown said. "If you move into a community where there is violence, you will be a victim."
Part of where I grew up was in Milwaukee - which according to early Census reports was the most segregated city in the U.S. when it came to the White/Black demographic - and you could feel it too when I was there.

I was privy to hearing some of the most racist conversations out in the open - White People coming up with every imaginable racial epithet you could think of (because they had no issue talking in front of someone who was Asian) - and the quote above made me think for a moment about how hard these situations are that we're hearing about between the Black and Asian communities in some areas.

I remember once telling a friend probably around five years back after reading an article where communities of Black and Hispanic descent were becoming resentful of Asian Americans moving into the same areas that I thought it was interesting because out of everyone, I thought shouldn't these communities be more open to new faces and ethnicities simply because of what they've went through (at the same time understanding what we as Asian Americans have gone through as well)?

You know what my friend said to me (and I call her my Oracle In Training). She said "Yeah, but when you work so hard to get at least something - even just a little - you don't want to give that up - to anyone."

And I couldn't help but think about the above quote in relation to this - and how if this was different - where more media attention was being placed on the matter because it was Asian on Black crime and the above quote was from someone who was Asian American instead, wouldn't I kind of be like "Yeah - but this shit has been happening for a while in the API community and no one's given a damn about it until it started happening to Black People."?

Yeah - I think there's some truth to that.

I think there's a lot of truth to that.

And I wonder about this current situation and the perceptions of it.

Will it - on a whole I'm speaking - make us more divided as communities of color?

Does it add to the perception as I've heard one individual say that "Asians Are The New White." - wrong as that perception may be?

If you look at it from the quote above - as much as I possibly can not being African American - what does it say in terms of racial identity when there is more news focused on an event when the victims are of a specific race and ethnicity where previously there wasn't as much focus?

In a way - right or wrong - does it say that the specific race and ethnicity garners more attention - that in some ways - they are more worthy of news - more worthy of justice - because there's only so much you can print or allow resources too?

I don't know - but I can't help that the question comes to mind.

If anyone thinks though that Asian Americans are in fact the "New White" it only serves to marginalize and effectively wipe out what we as a whole in terms of communities and laws have had to go through - because we don't all have it easy. All of us don't have access to health care. Some of us are in fact one paycheck away from being out on the street.

It's just a matter of fact - but only if you look at the whole community - not what you think the community is made up of.

But at the same time the simple fact is that the following statements do have some validity:

That perception can be reality. That it's easier to know less and think you know more than actually admitting you don't know as much as you thought and actually working to find out what you don't. That you don't care about what's going on in your community until it affects you - and sometimes by then - it becomes too late to do anything about it.

In that way - on all sides - I think we still have a lot of learning to do.

At least that's what I'm going with tonight.