It is well known that Asian immigrants have flooded the US. The Chinese for one, is one of the top nationalities with the highest number of migrants over the past year. They came with different motivations but some, students, children of Chinese businessmen were brought here by their parents and not from their own will. Though living in the states has several advantages such as better job opportunities, higher pension and access to a bigger market, there are also setbacks that are evident in everyday life.
Double consciousness is a term used for people who were raised with two or more cultures involved because of mixed heritage. Because there is more than one existing culture in one’s life, it can be in conflict with each other and can, later on, put a person in a situation where he would have to compromise one culture over another. Say for example, in the Asian culture, children are only expected to leave home when they get married. On the other hand, the American culture is inclined to approve of children 18 years old and above to live on their own. No one is right or wrong in this case but being raised in a multicultural family may put one in conflict and with his or her beliefs. Even discussing sensitive political issues such as the US-China economic competition and the Nanking Massacre, are not something that mix-cultured individuals will be comfortable in discussing.
They say that America is the land of the free. It aims so much to embrace diversity but just like any other good advocacy, there will always be the opposition. Whether in the most obvious way or the subtlest ways, the minority still faces discrimination. To say that an act is only discriminative if it’s directly attacking the person is naïve, and discrimination has been even more complex than that. The mere expectations from a particular rise and lack of open mindedness that they can be one thing and not the other could be in itself labeled as discriminative or racist. If say for example an Asian kid has poor grades in Math, he then defies the stereotype and people would tend to question this scenario as if his personality has already been predetermined by society.
Because of multiculturalism, there is this sense of belongingness that is longed for by Asian Americans. There seems to be a question on where they exactly fit in, and the dilemma is this: if this person stays with a group of fellow Asian Americans, they could be labeled as timid and closeminded to people around them. As for the other option, if this person decides to mingle with people that are either American or Asian, they still do not quite fit in because he/she is not exactly like them. In the end, this person is inclined to question the certainty of his identity.
It’s definitely not easy but these individuals continue to adapt to their surroundings, understanding that these hurdles exist. At the end of the day, understanding is key. This will, later on, turn to sensitivity that will show respect for all kinds of culture, whether this kind or that or both. In addition to respect, is even a greater appreciation of diversity and how this molded the people that live in this nation today. This is what most people believe makes America a great nation, how it has embraced different cultures and understanding that people from a different race are still one with America. And though the battle with discrimination still exists, efforts to resist continues to give hope to the minority.