This was a very interesting read. I’ve read a number of essays where Asian men feel invisible and overlooked. I have not had any Asian friends, but I’ve always felt that in the Asian assimilation process and pursuit of Whiteness, they also picked up racism to their own detriment. It’s a detriment because as you’ve noted in your piece, you’re chasing something you can never really achieve…Whiteness. It seems as though Asian men are just figuring this out, and they are angry at the wrong people. They should be angry at themselves for falling into the Whiteness assimilation trap.
As people of color, it seems your group has not only chosen to align yourselves with a group who will never fully accept you, the group continues to pursue this as if it’s some trophy. They never fully accept anyone except, especially men. Why haven’t Asian men taken inventory of American history to see how they’ve treated other Black and Brown men to determine? In all the getting of knowledge, why does this lesson seem to be fleeting? You’re the same as any other minority group who is too dark or too different to pass as White.
Asian men also fall into the category of immigrant/minority cannibalism. You’re so busy trying to not be associated with other darker races, as if it’s going to get you White bonus points in your pursuit for White privilege and power. You end up isolating yourselves from prospective allies who have far more fighting this battle.
I feel like Asians have worked hard to isolate and disassociate themselves from other unliked/villanized groups like Blacks here in America. We don’t resent you. You ignore us, shun us, despise us, and fail to support us in our social justice fights we just figure we can’t count on you. You often foresake your own history in pursuits of wealth and acceptance.
You’re not recognized because Asians choose to align themselves with people who have perfected the art of determining which groups receive top billing in America, while others are treated like trash. Asian men should take inventory and stop pandering to people who don’t care about you. You should also reach outside of your community and try to ally with other oppressed groups. We have more in common that you’d think. Give folks something to work with. Instead of retreating, expand. Education and being number one can only take you so far. In the end, you’re lonely. It’s time to do something different.
We’d love to have a relationship with you, if you’d allow us in. Whiteness isn’t going anyplace. It will be there when you get back.