Do Asian Americans want 'free stuff' and 'gifts' from Obama, too?
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Do Asian Americans want 'free stuff' and 'gifts' from Obama, too?

Los Angeles : CA : USA | Dec 02, 2012 at 7:40 AM PST
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UCLA has consistently ranked as one of the best universities in the world, but it is no more immune to racist demagoguery than is Ole Miss. According to the campus newspaper, The Daily Bruin, and the Los Angeles Times, someone recently posted a racist, sexist message outside the offices of both the Vietnamese Student Union and the Pacific Islanders Student Association.

UCLA campus cops told KNX 1070 Newsradio that the two incidents seemed to be linked, and that a hate-crime investigation was underway.

Then there is a third incident outside Powell Library. Again, according to the Daily Bruin, a racist, misogynist message was scrawled on a wall that read: "Asian Women are White-Boy Worshipping Sluts."

The missive outside the Vietnamese Student Union looked as though it was done by a texter: "asian women R Honkie white-boy worshipping Whores."

And last year, almost immediately following the most devastating tsunami in Japan's (and Asia's) history, Asian students were singled out in a viral racist rant on YouTube called "Asians in the library." (See attached video.)

Asian American voters favored President Obama over Mitt Romney by 76 percent to 23 percent. Republicans are in a quandary as to these numbers. Asian Americans have demographic characteristics that would seem to make them natural supporters of the Republican Party: By large margins they support low taxes, fiscal austerity and traditional family values, and oppose affirmative action (especially in higher education). These are all Republican mantras and mainstays.

A study done by the Pew Research Center last summer, titled “The Rise of Asian Americans,” summed up the socioeconomic and political position of most Asian Americans:

"Asian Americans are the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States. They are more satisfied than the general public with their lives, finances and the direction of the country, and they place more value than other Americans do on marriage, parenthood, hard work and career success … They are more likely than all American adults to be married (59% vs. 51%); their newborns are less likely than all U.S. newborns to have an unmarried mother (16% vs. 41%); and their children are more likely than all U.S. children to be raised in a household with two married parents (80% vs. 63%)."

According to this study, Asian Americans generally do not rely on the act of voting or seek government solutions to problems or issues that they think they can solve on their own. For them, voting is “expressive” rather than instrumental. That is, they do not vote their interests in the same way that others might. They do not ask, and certainly don’t demand, that the government actually do anything. Thus their overwhelming support for Obama has little to do with his policies and everything to do with him personally. Asian Americans confirmed and affirmed Obama as America’s leader, but they did not and do not expect a return on their investment in him.

Think of it this way: Asian American votes for Obama were a matter of applause for him as an actor on a stage, with them as the audience. They do not seek to direct or produce the play.

And Asian Americans, according to the Pew study, do not feel that racial discrimination is a particularly salient problem for them as a group. There is a high rate of intermarriage between Asian Americans and whites, which serves to confirm their belief that anti-Asian racism and discrimination are only negligible acts performed by atypical Americans, and is not the structural or systemic problem that blacks and browns complain of.

Increasingly, the Republican Party is perceived by all so-called minorities as the party of not just white people but of Southern white people especially. Asian Americans live mainly on the East and West Coasts and in medium sized to large cities. They tend to find Southern white people as culturally alien, especially in the sense that their anti-intellectualism is an immediate turnoff. Southern Republicans tend to be hostile to science, for example, particularly evolution and global warming. To most people, even marginally educated ones, but especially highly educated Asian Americans, evolutionary biology and man-induced climate change are virtually self-evident facts of life.

Opinion:

The old guard, white male ruling class recognizes that it is losing its grip on power in this nation-state. The would-be heirs to that power are on college campuses today, and also fear that perhaps their “birthright” is being taken from them.

White students have to resent the fact that the leaders in all of their “hard science" classes are usually, nowadays and for almost a full generation, Asian students. These Asian students tend to set the grading curve ridiculously high, from a “normal” white student’s perspective.

To rub salt into the wound, now comes word that Asian Americans voted three-to-one for Obama. The Republican parents of many white students insist that Obama is anti-American and is the sole reason for America’s problems, whatever they may be. This attitude is, of course, imparted to their college-age children, and is made manifest in acts of racial animus, again whether at Ole Miss or UCLA.

References:

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-asian-americans-obama-election-20121108,0,2086805.story

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/view_from_chicago/2012/11/why_did_asian_americans_vote_for_president_obama.html

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/view_from_chicago/2012/11/why_did_asian_americans_vote_for_president_obama.html

http://www.voanews.com/content/exit-polls-show-asian-americans-backed-obama-by-wide-margin/1540974.html

http://themoderatevoice.com/167324/asian-americans-vote-overwhelmingly-for-obama/

http://www.nationaljournal.com/thenextamerica/politics/more-than-7-in-10-asians-voted-for-obama-20121108

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"Asians in the Library." (Video: Youtube)
Herbert Dyer, Jr. is based in Chicago, Illinois, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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