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Racism Towards Asian Americans History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

Asian Americans are a group of many races and nationality put into one. Racism towards Asian American’s is never talked about. People only focus on the discrimination of African Americans and the Hispanic Americans. You may have heard about the slave trade but most likely not about the Exclusion Act of 1882. In this paper you will learn a little about the Asian American movement, what kind of jobs Asians usually had, how they were discriminated and how the Japanese were discriminated. All Asians have different culture and histories but they all share one common ethnicity.

Not many people actually know that “The Asian American civil rights movement began in the late 1960’s, during the politically charged era of the African Americans civil rights movement…” (The American Civil Rights Almanac 188). According to the American Civil Rights Almanac, the Asian movement was the first time in history that different ethnicities came together to form one ethnicity (188). The interesting thing was that many Asians like the Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Cambodians and so on all form the Asian ethnicity while many of them have had history of war against each other. As stated in the American Civil Rights Almanac, “The movement’s participants were, by and large, college students from middle -class homes. Most of the activists were of Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, or Korean ancestry.”(188).

The types of jobs that Asians had depended on the how much English they spoke, were they lived, and when they got here. As found in the American Civil Rights Almanac, many of the first Japanese immigrants lived in Hawaii and worked on sugar plantations (152). “New York’s Chinese lived among African and Irish Americans, and substantial number of Chinese married Irish women. Chinese in California lived mainly in rural towns in mining and agricultural counties of the state before naturalism drove them into San Francisco and Los Angeles.”(Okihiro 324). According to the Dictionary of American History, the Vietnamese has very little skills and they couldn’t speak English this meant they had to have blue-collar jobs. Later when the internet started to get popular Vietnamese Americans participated in the dot-com industry (Lieu 471). Many Asians who didn’t know how to speak English worked in, “…niche service industries such as nail salons enabled many Vietnamese immigrants with low English proficiency and few skills to become lucrative entrepreneurs. Likewise, Cambodians found the proprietorship of doughnut shops, another semi-skilled and labor- intensive enterprise, to be financially rewarding.”

Asians were discriminated by people and laws. Many Asians were wounded or murdered by racists. According to the Asian American media, Discrimination towards Asians started around the mid eight-teen hundreds and then Africans demanded their rights Asians saw it as an opportunity to demand right as well. “Passed in 1882, the Chinese exclusion act prohibited the immigration of Chinese laborers for ten years. The law, which repudiated the 1864 Barlin game treaty promising free immigration between the united stated and china, was one in the succession of laws produced by a national anti-Chinese movement.” (Chin 157). “The Scott act of 1888 excluded all Chinese laborers even those holding us government certificates assuring their right to return.” (Chin 157).

The Japanese were on of the more discriminated groups. According the Asian American Media, “They inherited much of the new prejudice directed previously against the Chinese, especially as the Japanese moved from internment farm laborers to become owners of farms and small businesses.” Laws passed in early nineteen hundreds stopped Japanese from becoming citizens and some laws later tool away their right to own land (Asian American Media).

“American as a whole in the 1930’s was a place of little tolerance towards people of color.” (Asian American Media) So there was no surprise that when rumors that the Japanese were spies caused panic (Asian American Media). “During World War II allies and citizens of Japanese descent were forced to leave the west coast of the United States and relocated to internment camps.” (Hugo 44)

After many years of discrimination Asian Americans are finally getting equal rights the Asians got their rights and went throw many obstacle courses to get them. Asian Americans are now a proud ethnicity. Asians now share school and jobs with many races and ethnicities.

Black, Hugo. “The Court’s Decision: The Mass Evacuation of Japanese Americans is justified.” Civil Liberties and War. Ed. Jamuna Carroll. Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2006. 44-49. print.

Chin, Gabriel J. and Diana Yoon. “Chinese Exclusion Act.” Dictionary of American History. Ed.Stanley I. Kutler. Vol.2. New York: Charles Scribner’s sons, 2003. 157. Print.

“Civil rights of Asian Americans.” American Civil Rights Almanac. Ed.Philis Engelbert and Betz Peschenes.Vol.1.Detroit: Gale group, 1999.141-195.Print.

Lieu, Nhilt. “South East Asian Americans.” Dictionary of American History. Ed.Stanley Kutler.Vol.7.Newyrk: Charles Scribner’s sons, 2003. 470-472. print.

Okihiro, Garry. “Asian Americans.” Dictionary of American History. Ed. Stanley I. Kutler.Vol.1.New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2003.322-325.print.

“Pearl Harbor & WW II.” Asian American Media. Web. 28 Oct. 2010


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