Asian-Americans Are Not Only Not White, They Are Not Really “Asian”
I agree with the general thrust of Eugene’s post yesterday, in which he describes the phenomenon in which “white” has come to mean “relatively successful as a group,” with “Asians” often being described, implicitly or explicitly, as white because they are deemed a socioeconomic success.
But I would like to add a more radical critique, which is that lumping together people whose recent origins range geographically from India to the Philippines is itself not very useful, and that if we need to gather statistics about, or discuss, “Asians,” at most we should be discussing the attributes of various national (and better yet subnational, though getting such statistics is difficult) groups, rather than “Asians.”
The Asian American category includes people descended from wildly disparate national groups, who do not have similar physical features, practice different religions, speak different languages, vary dramatically in culture, and belong to groups that sometimes have long histories of conflict with one another. Various subgroups of Asian Americans have differing levels of average socioeconomic success in the United States —Indian-Americans, for example, on average have significantly higher-than-average incomes and le
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