Jason Dinh, Salem High School


What issues of race and ethnicity do Asian Americans currently face today? What role should our community play in addressing these issues?

The immediate response most people would have is “stereotypes.” I look further than that. There is a deeper issue within my community and the community around me that I see, or rather it is what I do not see. It is far and few between that you find someone of Asian descent in the media or heading companies. The few examples of Asians in media I can think of are typically minor roles, and stereotyped to be smart at math, super successful, heavy accents, or martial art masters. Asian Americans are only in the spotlight for being extraordinary and while that’s fine and great, Asian Americans are always pushed to the side for anything short of amazing. Mass media does not normalize Asians. It gives those growing up in America to expect geniuses, highly talented fighters, when really we’re just like everyone else. The notion that was brought up in the 1980’s is that Asians are the “model minority.” But there’s nothing to support us being “model minorities.” Asians are normal people, like anyone else. We all have our flaws. 

Looking in the political spectrum one may find that the Asian population is vastly underrepresented, the majority of public office holders being white males. It’s extremely difficult to find Asians in positions of public leadership. It seems that we are being pushed aside into the tech rooms that are helping to fund and support these large organizations rather and institutions than ever being the face. The argument could be made that Asians are doing so well in America today, but what people have to realize is that for every Asian American with a degree, there’s just as many struggling and poverty stricken. The sample of people who are doing well in America is all that is looked it. There is no coverage on asians being poor and hungry and that’s an issue. There must be something to rectify that. 

The solution is simple really, the execution is what’s difficult. Our community on the largest scale, our world, must recognize that we are one species. While there are numerous of differences in ethnicity and races, we are one species. Until we can act like it there’s no hope for our race long term. We must be willing to help each other out, not shut everyone down. It does not matter the background, as long as people are willing to put forth hard work, effort and make significant contributions to humanity. The world would be a much brighter place if everyone is able to collaborate together. 


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