Is it time for Asian Americans and Latino Americans to ask to be considered “white”?

This article might seem provincial and mostly irrelevant to non Americans and maybe it is. But for Asian Americans and Latino Americans this is an increasingly important subject.

Indians and Indian Americans love the Clintons . . . including conservative Indians, and Republican Indians; but a line from Hillary Clinton’s speech in Mumbai has an eerie uncanny feel to it:

“You know you didn’t like black people getting rights, you don’t like women, you know, getting jobs, you don’t want to, you know, see Indian Americans succeeding more than you are.”

It is no secret that Asian Americans massively outperform caucasion Americans based on every available socio-economic statistic; including divorce rate, out of wedlock births, academic performance, mean and median income, mean and median wealth, rate of committing criminal offenses, incarceration rates, unemployment rates during recessions (unemployment rates during economic booms are similar), entrepreneurship.

These well known facts represents the greatest fear Asian Americans have. How to prevent a major anti Asian American xenophobic racist jealous backlash similar to what Jews are currently experiencing?

Has the time come for Asian Americans, Arab Americans, Muslim Americans and Latino Americans to ask to be considered “white” for all legal, affirmative action, business and secular purposes? Of course all academic, US census, DOJ tabulation of granular statistics for legitimate purposes should continue as is; and every American has the right to practice any global culture and faith they choose.

Many “darkies” and “minorities” are too afraid of the wrath of the post modernists to bring this up, and maybe they are right to be.

Of course massive racism, oppression, exploitation, bigotry, sectarianism, violence against a community often aids said community economically. For example if not for massive racism, oppression, exploitation, bigotry, sectarianism against Chinese Indonesians (3%) over many generations; would Chinese Indonesians still own 70% of Indonesia’s wealth? The same might be true of ethnic Chinese minorities in Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Philippines, Malaysia, India, Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa. The same might also be true of Jewish people around the world. Or of Indian ancestry communities all over the world, or of Marwari Indians, or of Lebanese ancestry communities all over the world.

But this economic achievement is not necessarily for the right reasons. Sometimes people are so afraid of a future holocaust against their community that they become successful no matter the cost, including quality of life. Not that this massive socio-economic success helped German Jews in the 1930s. This searing example is the greatest nightmare of “darkies” and “minorities” all over the world.

“The evil eye” or jealousy is one of the deadliest sins in almost every if not every religion in the world; but also one of the subtlest and toughest to address. In the long run is there anything that can be done to avoid widespread global use of the phrases “Asian privilege” and “Asian supremacy”?

What are everyone’s thoughts?

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Razib Khan
6 years ago

1) half of latinos check white for their race on the census (different from hispanic/latino)

2) those latinos who are “white-presenting” code-switch all the time to take advantage of their whiteness. though they sometimes adhere to “person of color” when advantageous. i find it pretty annoying as a lejit brown person.

6 years ago
Reply to  AnAn

This is deeply disturbing. Universities displaying polit buro level diabolical strategies was never something I thought would happen. But I guess enough money and lack of accountability can produce such outcomes.

Tim Lynch
6 years ago

Conservative pundits and regular right leaning folks have been pointing out the economic achievements of Asian Americans for decades as proof that progressive arguments concerning white privilege and economic disparity based on skin color are ridiculous. Another great example, seldom mentioned these days, are the boat people. Refugees from South Vietnamese arrived in this country with nothing yet had worked their way into the middle class (and beyond) in one generation and did so in the face of real racial hostility from the lower classes of all colors. Yet another example is the economic and academic accomplishments of Africans who immigrate to America which are light years ahead of American born blacks.
Indian and Chinese American males are already considered white dudes by elite universities as well as giant tech companies like Google, Apple and Facebook. When you look at the electoral map and note how much of it is red you should understand that in the vast majority of America there should be no fear of racism, bigotry or jealousy of Asians; the right is not the source of racial quotas, identity politics, bean counting or overt racism. These will only be problematic if the country turns into a one party system run by democrats. And that is inevitable if we allow open borders and chain migration to continue because Hispanic migrants vote overwhelmingly for democrats and believe (at around 80%) in big government. They also use social welfare programs at significantly higher rates than native born Americans.
I live in South Texas where whites are a distinct minority, in my county we comprise between 3 to 5% of the population depending on the month (Winter Texans are generally retired blue collar whites who migrate to numerous trailer parks in the area during the winter months). In South Texas a significant number of high status Latino’s marry whites (this applies to both genders) and the distinction between Anglo and Hispanic is rarely noted – it’s no longer an issue.
It is my belief that Asian’s who come to this country and excel in the hard disciplines of STEM, high tech and medicine have nothing to fear from the native born population unless the radicalized democratic party, with its race based hysteria, identity politics and divide and conquer racial tribalism gains national prominence. I don’t think it will happen but if it does we will be in for a rough ride.

Xerxes the Magian
6 years ago
Reply to  Tim Lynch

Yes I think there is such extensive intermarriage between Asians & white people that American is “devolving” back into two ethnicities, White & Wakandan.

I think that’s what has hurt Wrinkle in Time. Rather than make a poignant film, Ava DuVernay (love the surname) went out of her way to make a statement ..

Of course I’m seeing the US from the trans-Atlantic prism..

DJ Elliott
DJ Elliott
6 years ago

How about we just loose the hyphenated BS and be Americans?

The divide and rule concept of the DNC is so obsolete – it illustrates how out of touch the old farts of the Democratic wing [home of the KKK and the Confederacy] of the Democratic-Republican Party is…

Xerxes the Magian
6 years ago
Reply to  DJ Elliott

Requoting Teddy Roosevelet:

“There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all … The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic … There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.
I do believe that the racial rhetoric coming out of the States is getting a bit heated.”

I do think the age of the Nation-State is coming to an end; I see the right-wing populism as sort of a last gasp by a dwindling majority but what do I know?

6 years ago

I think a lot of Arabs already think of themselves as “white” and that is what they check on the census. I don’t know that the majority population would think of them as white though.

The average South Asian (Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi) cannot pass for white. Persians probably could.

Regarding “hyphenated Americans”, I am Pakistani-American (born in Pakistan but lived most of my life in the US). I am loath to have to give up either aspect of my identity.

6 years ago

I think the ‘South Asian’ activist and academic community in the US is not a very admirable one. What is most terrible is the way they piggyback on the genuine problems of Black Americans due to centuries of institutionalized discrimination to push forward their own ethnocentric programs. The idea here is to deploy Black Americans as a bulwark, this despite the reality that far more White Americans (even proportionally) marry, work with and live together with Black Americans, than these South Asian descendants of erstwhile landlords and British Raj bureaucrats.

I think the underlying reason is the desire of overcoming the sheer instrumentality of their parents immigration to the developed world. This is expressed as an impatient desire to somehow rewrite American history to claim their place in American history, instead of letting such a place develop naturally over generations.

6 years ago
Reply to  AnAn

South Asian Americans are very racist (sorry to say). The worst nightmare of many Pakistani immigrants is that their child marry a black person. Marrying a white is still ok (though most in the community would prefer their child marry a Muslim).

Why should Pakistan accept immigrants from India? India also only wants non-Muslim immigrants. Pakistani Hindus are seen by Modi as “our own people” but Pakistani Muslims, not so much. Similarly, Pakistan had a policy whereby people came over freely until sometime in the 1950s and became Pakistanis. After that, I think some treaty was signed with India and some nationality law was passed. Now, I think almost the only way to become Pakistani is to marry a Pakistani. These are the consequences of religiously defined states, but that’s a topic for another day.

6 years ago
Reply to  AnAn

Pakistan was founded as a homeland for the Muslims of British India, not for all the world’s Muslims. It is not Israel, to which all the world’s Jews can make “aliyah”. I think Pakistani immigration policy reflects this. From 1947 until some time in the ’50s, lots of “Muhajirs” came from India and settled in Karachi. I don’t think they had too much trouble becoming Pakistanis. Pakistan and India made some treaty regarding population exchange and naturalization (I’m not an expert on these details).

As Slapstik jee said on another thread, Pakistan needs to let go of “musalmanoon ki chuhdrahat”. I quite agree with this. We have 200 million of our own citizens (muslim and non-muslim) to worry about. The fate of the rest of the world’s muslims should not be our primary concern.

As for the US, I am a fan of legal immigration. My parents stood in line, followed the rules and then became Americans. I am not a fan of illegal immigrants (whom we are now supposed to call “undocumented”) except for those who were brought as children. They didn’t make the decision to cross illegally and the US is the only home they have ever known. This is an interesting debate happening within the US now.

6 years ago
Reply to  Vikram

Why should we not have a place in American history? I moved to the US when I was 5 years old. It’s basically my home. It’s probably different for those who come for higher education. For example, my parents spent their entire lives in Pakistan and only went to the US for graduate school. They identify strongly as Pakistanis or “desis”. For me, however being American is at least 50% of my identity.


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