*It’s always interesting when someone gathers the gumption to say something what others’ may be thinking…out loud.
Comedians do it all the time. They take issues that are uncomfortable and put them on blast. They laugh at themselves first, so when you laugh at them, its not as funny or hurtful.
But the issue brought up by the Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice is far from any laughing matter. The Huffington Post article by Christopher Punongbayan blasts Asian Americans who he says “appear to distance themselves from the attacks on African Americans, as though what happens to another community of color has nothing to do with Asian Americans.” Punongbayan says such a “separation is destructive and perpetuates the model minority myth, a racial stereotype deeply ingrained in the American psyche asserting that Asian Americans aren’t like other (read: lesser) minority groups.”
I don’t know about you, but this is huge. Not only is it true, its even more powerful that its acknowledged by an Asian.
The writer does mention that he shouldn’t be so surprised about this “disconnection” because after all, when is the last time you saw an Asian reading anything about the history of black people in this country.
“There is an incredible dearth of education in this country about the history of civil rights. For newer Asian immigrants, there is even less opportunity to learn about this new country they now call home,” writes Punongbayan.
The writer credits the civil rights movement for the rights Asian Americans enjoy today saying, “The first step that we can do to bridge the distance among communities of color is understand our interconnected roots.”
Pointing out that it was tumultuous acts that brought about civil rights laws in the 1960’s, Punongbayan points out that it is in the midst of those acts that the Immigration and Nationality Act was also passed. He points out that nineteen million strong, Asian population in the U.S. “could be the tipping point that shifts the balance of power against white supremacy.”
Read more of his illuminating article at Huffington Post.