Asian-Americans in the U.S. Historical and Political Essay

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Asian-Americans in the U.S. Historical and Political Process

Analyze Ronald Takaki's examination of the impact of race, class, and gender upon Asian-Americans from the beginning of World War II through the 1990s. How did this period affect the status of Asian-Americans as "strangers" and why does Takaki refer to "strangers at the gate again" and the need of Asian-Americans to break silences. According to Takaki, what are the future trends for Asian-Americans in the 21st century? What would you add to his projections?

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Ronald Takaki's extensive studies based on the ethnicity and multiculturalism in the history of the United States were destined to make the public, especially the young minds, aware that the diversity America is so proud of becomes a problem as long as the present dismisses old issues like discrimination based on race, gender or class and places them into a drawer not to be open very often. The average citizen, the general public needs to be kept informed about the evolution of the American society in its entirety and narrow mindedness has to be fought by all those who do not wish to give their country a chance to return to bad practices such as discrimination. Although the United States have become one of the most democratic countries in the world, promoting anti-discrimination laws and closely guarding their spirit, one is aware that discrimination of any kind has not been eradicated. Among others, the Asian-Americans have come a long way, but they still represent an ethnic group that has not finished struggling to earn its place in the American society, competing with the old views of the supremacy of the white race in this part of the world.

Essay on Asian-Americans in the U.S. Historical and Political Assignment

Their appearance makes them easily distinguishable. In the 1930s, a confused older white American woman who would ask a second generation Japanese-American girl where she had learned English so well would be regarded as nothing out of the ordinary, and looked at with hope for the next generation of white people. On the other hand, in the 1990s, the same question a forty-year-old taxi driver from Norfolk asked Takaki, who was on his way to a conference about multiculturalism, made the latter realize for a hundredth time that no matter how many hundreds of years had passed since his ancestors came to this continent and helped build this country, as long as the non-Asian-Americans knew few things about the history of the Asian-American immigrants and their contribution to the United States, he will be doomed to hear it over and over again.

In the introduction to his book, Democracy and Race: Asian-Americans and World War II, Takaki reviews the statistics related to the American immigration laws for Asians since the late 19th century until the 1990s. Numbers show that the Asian immigrants were representing a half of the total number of immigrants in the 1990s (Takaki, 9). Since the immigration laws have changed starting with 1960, in favor of the Asian immigrants, the thirty years between 1960 and 1990 have shown a substantial increase in the numbers of the studies population, with about 7 millions of the total population being Asian-Americans (Takaki, 9). The author names the origin of those that form this mass of Asian-Americans in order of their percentage, as being: Chinese, Filipinos, Japanese, Asian Indians, Koreans,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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