In one of its “Free Speech Friday” columns, a University of Washington student argues that due to a vague “new” politically correct American college atmosphere, Asian students, like other minorities, are not liberated but oppressed.
Tabitha Brown writes that “in addition to the usual bullying,” Asian students “feel restricted from sharing their cultural values and from expressing their views,” and are “constantly subjected to the unfair ‘model minority’ standard.”
However, the author has created a thesis without much of a foundation. For example, Brown writes that in “our current times” Asians have been subjected to racial targeting, harassment, and abuse, and proceeds to note the incident involving Dr. David Dao who last April was forcefully removed from a United Airlines flight for refusing to exit the plane.
(Brown notes that Dao is Chinese-American; however, despite some eyewitnesses noting the doctor was Chinese, he actually was born and raised in Vietnam.)
While there were some accusations of racism made against airline in Vietnam (and China), there is nothing to indicate the actions taken against him, however misguided, were indeed racist in nature. Nevertheless, Brown says the incident “chillingly characterizes the pervading atmosphere of racism against Asian people.”
The causes of such hate crimes are related to the anti-Asian sentiment that is always being channeled, at least at a low frequency, by mainstream America, and which plays itself out in workplaces and on the streets. Since the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 (and earlier), Chinese people living in this country have felt the painful sting of the “perpetual outsider” treatment, despite their impressive contributions to the building of this nation.
The general racist environment being what it is, American colleges and universities, at least, should be guaranteed as safe places for ethnic minorities. Asians who pay to attend institutions of higher learning should be allowed to work hard and thrive, enjoying their academic successes without fear of becoming targets for hate. They should feel free to excel, challenge themselves, learn new things, and share their thoughts and ideas, without danger of physical violence or verbal persecution.
The University of Washington may pride itself on the academic achievements of its Asian student population. When it comes to nation-wide institutional hypocrisy with regards to Asians, however, UW is no exception. While Asians statistically perform well in school (Asian groups maintain among the highest collective grade point averages and test scores of all racial and ethnic groups), they are still poorly represented among University faculty. Just because Asian students earn test scores and grades that compare well with white students’, doesn’t mean the Asian experience at UW should be lumped together with the white experience. The two are markedly different.
Apparently, the “general racist environment being what it is” doesn’t include Asians and Asian-Americans being victims of academics’ theories and philosophies regarding diversity.
After all, groups representing the former have sued to allow their clients to, in Brown’s words, “be allowed to work hard and thrive” and to “enjoy their academic successes” … in spite of educationists’ beliefs regarding”correct” racial and ethnic admissions numbers.