In Past History…

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AUTHOR: BENNETT

In past history, various minority groups have faced racial prejudice as well as experiencing being at the bottom of the social hierarchy. While these groups lived in the U.S., they came up against pressure to assimilate in the American society or dealt with scrutiny in their social and public lives. Both past and present times, people of Asian ancestry have faced many complications in Western society regarding their social and labor position and the stereotypes constantly going around them.

After the passage of the Immigration Act of 1965 and the correlated growth of Asians entering into the country has led to a surge of stereotypes towards them. Asian Americans “…are best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the U.S …”. Among them, more than 4 million are of Chinese descent, as studied by PewResearch. The Asian Advantage by Nicholas Kristof, claims that Asian Americans have an advantage in contrast with other ethnic groups to thrive in society and proposes “that the age of discrimination is behind us”. He supports his claim by writing “try particularly hard to get into good school districts, or make other sacrifices for children’s education.”. Despite the fact achieving well in school is an beneficial success for a teenager’s, it does come with its drawbacks. Stereotypes like being Chinese and good at math are considered ‘positive’ and can develop a burden of stress at the expense of enjoying childhood.  

Every since Chinese immigrants began arriving in America, they primarily worked in hard labor jobs like farming, railroad construction and eventually in the service industry. In the early years of Chinese immigration, life was cruel, which of included brutality and opposition from the Whites living in the west coast at the time because they believed that the Chinese could not be assimilated into their society. The numerous reasons these immigrants came to America was for a new life, citizenship as well as jobs. In mid 19th century, it was the peak of the California Gold Rush, where huge quantities of gold were being discovered. Despite being not included in the Naturalization act of 1790 at first, which denied citizenship to Indians, slaves, free blacks. This act disallowed minorities to have no say in society and little rights. A century later, the U.S. enacted the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 that restricted Chinese immigration to the country. This was later permanent with the Geary Act of 1892. It was not until the Immigration Act of 1965 in which considerable amounts of Asians began to immigrant to the U.S. This also happened against Japanese immigrants. During WW2, citizens of Japanese ancestry were jailed and put in internment camps for nearly two years. Majority of them were American citizens and ordered to leave their homes until the end of the war.

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