A question that I hope isnt dumb. Where are the Asian civil rights leaders? The voices that call for equality for that community? As general as that is I don’t think I’ve ever seen one. Need there be any? Or are people dandy with the way things are ?
Nah valid question. Something I ask myself all the time and a reason I gravitated towards Malcolm and Martin when it came to civil and human rights, because there’s not a face that represents what I look like. I can’t speak for all Asian-Americans obviously but it seems our communities are really centered around our culture and many are still 1st-2nd gen immigrants and our roots are still connected to those home countries in-terms of importance (where they are a majority, hence PoC being an American-derived term) so its harder to understand the injustices and inequality for many because they’re the majority where they grew up (a big issue of disconnect with me and my sister and the rest of my family). Further more those who are first gen immigrants don’t know much about American history and how deep and brutal it is because they don’t learn about it coming from their native country. It’s really discouraged in some families to speak up and cause trouble (issue of model-minority stereotype ideal of just “accept things the way they are, go to good school, get good job, etc.”). Oppressive colonialism is something many Asian countries have encountered obviously (India-GB, Hong Kong-GB, Vietnam-France, Philippines-US, South Korea emulation of the US, you name it…) and it just becomes a way of life sadly. There’s not many leaders of a revolution like a Ho Chi Minh nor the level of nationwide education on such topics like there needs to be.
As far as Asian-Americans who have been here for many generations, mainly those in California/West coast regions, there’s alot of work being done (Asian-American students @ UC-Davis supporting those in Ferguson for example) today but we’re still a small minority in the country and underrepresented. You actually see many Eastern Asian-Americans helping support Huey Freeman/Black Panthers, and the black power movement in general throughout the ’70s/80s (search “yellow peril supports black power”), Chinese-American rights activist groups form after the ’50s when the Chinese Immigration Act was implemented, Japanese-Americans activists rising up after the internment camps when many of their family members were fighting FOR the US during WWII, and the Asian-American movement in the ’70s after the Vietnam War. Namely my favorite Asian-American face of activism is Yuri Kochiyama (Japanese), supporter and friend of Malcolm X. You just never learn about her in history books, or much about any non-black history/immigrant PoC civil rights activity in any of our government-controlled history books…but she’s so important to the cause of social justice.
Sorry if I seem like I’m ranting alot, it’s just easy for me to talk about.
the real google glass