Racism: why & how
Racism is often created by the "Haves" to deny the "Have Nots" the chance to share power, good jobs, and good properties. All have two common features:
1) to deny power, good jobs and good properties to the discriminated, and
2) to justify the denial to "Have Nots", a persuasive negative stereo image about the "Have Nots" is created. It grossly exaggerates a perceived weakness of the discriminated.
Every race or group, with individual exception, has unique cultural mores. The unique mores of the "Have Nots" are grossly esaggerated and made into a universal weakness for all in the "Have Nots."
Here are two examples.
[A] 144 years after the declaration that "all men are created equal," white women were NOT allowed to vote. Reason? "Women are too soft-hearted and soft-minded to make hard political decisions." Today, having political figures like Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice, people see through the fallacy of such stereo negative imaging.
[B] At the time of the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882), Chinese were considered to be of such low human quality, a law was passed to not let Chinese emigrants to the US. It was the only law against letting a specific race into US in American history.
During that period, the Chinese were called "children of darkness," "yellow peril," "pagan, almond-eyed heathens" and "a disgusting scab upon the fair face of society--a putrefying sore upon the body politic*." Today, the above seem so ridiculous.
However, another negative stereo image has been created against us. Asian Ams are "good work horses, but not capable of leading;" "timid even in situations when aggressiveness is called for;" "more loyal to our old countries than to America i.e. perpectual foreigners."
Our Own Ugly
The more things change, the more things remain the same. There are ugly whispers in some Asian Am. communities these days about the "lazy people."
Wake up! Haven't we suffered enough from that we now mouth such non-sense ourselves? Help to stop it whenever and wherever it rears its ugly head. Don't let such pass without a challenge.
Be gentle, however. Some of our merchants in Chinatowns and Koreatowns have suffered from unscrupulous people including youth gangs of African, Chinese and other races eating free food and taking goods without paying. Such incidents have affected their attitude. Tell them to work with 80-20 to rely on the political process to give them the protection of law that they need.
S. B. Woo
President, 80-20 Educational Foundation, Inc.
* A PLACE CALLED CHINESE AMERICA by Diane Marks and Ginger Chih