By Vicki Tang
The words “Dude, stop being so Asian” have become typical words in a young Asian American’s vocabulary. However, most people don’t think about what the expression really means. Of those who do, almost no one thinks about its implications.
Being Asian literally means belonging to or having ancestry from the continent of Asia. But that is not the definition of Asian that is being used by the new generation.
The history of Asians in America isn’t a pleasant one. Asian Americans settled in the United States as early as 1750 — in Louisiana. Eventually, the British and Spanish brought slaves from China, India, and the Philippines into South America in 1840. The first large group of immigrants came to California in 1848, lured by “Gold Mountain” (the Chinese nickname for California).
But from the start, Asian Americans experienced discrimination ranging from the Foreign Miner Tax and the Chinese Exclusion Act to being given the most dangerous and dirtiest jobs working on the transcontinental railroad. They were paid only 60 percent of what European immigrant workers were paid. Read the full story