Thursday, February 13, 2003

Imagine That ...

Though I'm not normally one to highly recommend Andrew's website, someone has started a thread on Asperger's syndrome and Asians. I'm especially amused by the two posters who make comments to the effect of "Yeah I just read a webpage about it and can now authoritatively state that despite it possibly arises due to genetic causes, it has nothing to do with race."

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Attacks on Korean Ethnic-School Students in Japan

Japan Times reports that female students dressed in the uniform of Korean ethnic schools managed by Soren (the formerly Pyongyang-affiliated Korean Residents' Association of Japan) have been attacked while onboard trains. (This mirrors a scene in the movie version of Kazuki Kaneshiro's award-winning 2001 novel Go, in which a group of Japanese guys tries to pick up on a girl in a subway station dressed in hanbok, and threaten her with a knife).

Although the school instructs them not to wear chogori for safety, the children think this is unreasonable," said a 53-year-old woman whose daughter is a second-year student at the high school.

In spite of the danger and the legal and informal discrimination they face from society, Korean-Japanese schoolchildren continue to show an admirable pride in their ethnic heritage. However, ethnic pride may need a better outlet when it expresses itself in the form of solidarity aligned behind leaders who refuse to accept any part of the responsibility for conflict between their own community and the mainstream:

"Biased media reports that fuel anti-North Korean feelings are part of the reason" behind the abuse, Gu [Dae Sok, principal of the Tokyo Korean Junior and Senior High Schools] said.

Anti-North Korean feelings were hardly "fueled" by biased media reports. I think test missile firings and kidnappings might have had something to do with it. And as far as I can find, Soren hasn't issued any statement condemning the North Korean leadership for its actions. They only recently stopped hanging portraits of Kim Il Sung in the classrooms.

Affirmative Action Detrimental to Asian-Americans - Statistics

A common argument among Asian supporters of AA is that university admissions committees seek to admit as many white people as possible, and that only the strong hand of the Federal Government holds them back. Eliminating AA and admitting students based on merit is thus seen as a ploy to increase the proportion of whites at everyone else's expense. However, an New York Times article provides clear evidence of what happens when race is dropped from consideration in admissions policies, even in place of a "Ten-Percent Plan":

After a federal court in 1996 barred the University of Texas from practicing affirmative action, the state began offering admission to all high school students ranked in the top 10 percent of their classes ... the main beneficiaries were Asian-Americans. The percentage of freshmen entering the Austin campus who were Asian-American rose to 18 percent last fall, compared with 14 percent in the fall of 1995 ... As the admission rate of Asian students rose, to 71 percent from 68 percent over that period, the admission rate of whites fell, by one percentage point to 66 percent. So did that of blacks, to 43 percent from 59 percent.
In California, where Asians make up 11 percent of the general population, the gains were also striking after the state ended traditional affirmative action in the late 1990's and adopted a system similar to that of Texas. At Berkeley, the percentage of the freshman class that was Asian-American rose 6 percentage points, to 45 percent, in 2001. Over the same period, the percentage of the class that was black fell by three percentage points, to 4 percent; the percentage that was white dropped by one percentage point, to 29 percent; and the percentage that was Hispanic fell by six percentage points, to 11 percent.

Asian-Americans benefit under race-neutral admissions plans, even under "Ten Percent" plans which work directly against the cultural tendency to sacrifice everything to get your child into as good an elementary school, middle school, and high school as possible.

Media Stereotypes of Asians

Those evil Ice People are at it again, using movies to spread racialized stereotypes of Japanese exchange students as sex maniacs ready to fall into the arms of any local student. Asian-American brothers unite to fight against the exotification and commodification of our women!

Meanwhile, [an area] college student is having a language exchange with a Japanese girl, Ameko, who has just retired from being a geisha. Unsurprisingly, intimacy leads to romance. Ameko tells the college student of a quaint Kyoto custom -- when a boy wants to show his love for a girl, he asks her to share a raincoat with him.

Oh sorry, must have got caught up in all my anger at Hollywood, because there's one detail I forgot to tell you: this quote comes from a Taipei Times article about a new Taiwanese movie "Love at 7-11" from director Teng Yung-Hsing.

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