Asian American History

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Nowadays, United States is often associated with the term “melting pot”, which refers to the assimilation of immigrants who were initially heterogeneous with their own distinct backgrounds. Corresponding to that fact, racial discrimination has been significantly reduced within “melting pot”, in which people gradually understand the differences between them without aversion. However, back in the past, many Americans conceived of Asians as strangers. They were not willing to understand and embrace the biological and cultural differences that set Asian immigrants apart from Europeans and early Americans.

Coolie trade, which brought numerous Asian immigrants to the United States as indentured laborers, resulted in numerous stereotypes of Asian immigrants. Even though the coolie trade ended, the stereotypes persisted despite the fact that Asian immigrants came to the United States as free laborers and harbored their own aspirations to prosper as citizens. Usually, the stereotype toward Asian Americans associates with their biological features. For example, in excerpt called “Mistaken Identity” from Henry Kiyama’s graphic novel, in which an American woman solicited an educated Japanese boy to serve her, it is shown that Americans tended to generalize Asian Americans as cheap sources of labor, by lumping various ethnic groups into one similar racial group based on their shared biological features.

The cultural differences between early Americans and Asian immigrants affected the early American view point toward Asian immigrants. For instance, Samuel Gompers subtitled his article Have Asiatics Any Morals? and explained how wives were secluded under surveillance while husbands were given freedom. This fact could be considered immoral according to the standard morality of Caucasians but it is natural if understand Confucianism values, in which male was valued as head of the household and naturally more important.

“For many years it has been impossible to get white...
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