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Asian Americans living in the United States face a number of very important issues. They were not properly treated in the United States and were even experiencing racism, such as legislation and gender discrimination, directly or indirectly. Historically, I would like to refer to such issues as examples. Among many important issues, the first is difficulty in acquiring American citizenship for transnational Asian Americans, secondly the unreasonable treatment of Asian women by American soldiers, and finally the unfair recognition of Asian Americans by Racial Triangulation.
First of all, transnational Asian-Americans are in a situation where they have long lived in the United States and are unable to obtain U.S. citizenship even though they consider themselves Americans. For example, a movie called ‘documented’ shows the real world of undocumented immigrants to the United States. Jose Vargas from the movie had followed his grandparents to America since he was young. When he tried to get a driver’s license on DMV as a child, he found out that he was an illegal immigrant. However, he has been doing well living in the U.S. and working in a good job without any problems. After that, he decided to officially identify himself to help illegal aliens like him more professionally. In the process, the film shows a perception of the American towards Asian immigrants. Without causing any harm, immigrants in the United States generally look down on Americans regard them as lawbreaking aliens and criminals. Through this movie, it shows us better how undocumented Americans feel about living as outsiders in foreign countries. In addition, it is an opportunity to understand what the true American definition is and what Americans want to do to the undocumented Americans. Furthermore, as Vargas mentioned, American history, legalization, and citizenship cannot be separated from the history of racism in this country and it shows that it is very unreasonable for transnational Asian Americans.
Second, historically, Asian women have been treated very unfairly by American men. The war bride emphasized women’s dependence on American military men and their links to war, giving them an unreasonable identity of jewelry. American soldiers used Asian women as sexual tools during the war and played with them like toys. Americans who committed such an act have no guilt about it, and Americans rather blame Asian and Pacific Islander women. They refused to admit their wrongdoing, denouncing the women’s morals, class, race, and social position. According to the ‘Beyond the Shadow of Camptown’ by Yuh, the book describes that Asian women serve U.S. military sexual desires in clubs and bars in Camptown (base towns / GI towns). This shows that many Asian women were forced to sell armed sex during the war. However, the U.S. is still not properly compensated or legally treated for Asian women so treated by American soldiers.
Third, Asian Americans are still considered foreigners in the United States. According to ‘the racy triangulation of Asian Americans’ by Claire Kim, this shows the social position of white, black and Asian Americans, the dominant group White puts Asian-Americans ahead of the lower group, the Blacks, However, Asian Americans are said to be foreigners, creating a ‘point’ between white and black Americans. This is very relevant to the idea of partial citizenship, which says Asians in the U.S. are locked in between whites and blacks because they are not ‘Whites’ enough to be considered white, but ‘successful’ enemies that are not considered a minority. Through this, Asian Americans are showing that no matter how successful they are in the United States, they are still considered foreigners by Americans. Asian-Americans were also recognized as ‘unqualified citizens’ and considered very unfit for American life patterns or styles. These facts show that Asian Americans are still not properly treated as Americans in the United States because of their different races.
In conclusion, the three issues mentioned above show that transnational Asian Americans and Pacific islanders are still living in difficult elements of legal citizenship, social status and gender discrimination, and racism. People should be aware that these heartbreaking and sad situations may not be visible to us, but they may still be going on. On these issues, people should be alert and try to make Asian Americans live better lives in the United States.
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