Ask the world’s largest search engine for the definition of “Asian American,” and Google will incorrectly tell its billion-plus users that “Asian Americans” are “chiefly” East Asian. It’s no surprise, then, that when most people think of Asian Americans, they think of East Asian Americans who live somewhere like California while practicing piano and drinking a lot of boba . Others may think of the hundreds of thousands of Chinese students who come to the U.S. each year to attend American schools while driving high-end sports cars. Still others might think of “hordes” and “waves” of people “flooding” the shores of America – all yellow and all the same.
In reality, the majority of Asian Americans are from South and Southeast Asia, and in particular, Filipinos are the fourth-largest immigrant group after Mexicans, Asian Indians, and Chinese. Even Asian American activists and organizations forget these basic facts, as they sometimes select causes and organize events with only East Asian Americans in mind.
Advancing Justice – Los Angeles (AAAJ-LA) held a press conference moments ago to announce that lawyers with the group will represent two Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) high school students who wish to present their support of race-conscious affirmative action admission before the Supreme Court if and when the justices hear arguments next year about an anti-affirmative action lawsuit filed against the school by Edward Blum, the architect behind Abigail Fisher’s earlier failed attempts to dismantle affirmative action before the Court.
The two AAPI high school students represented by AAAJ-LA are current applicants to Harvard University, and both believe that race-conscious affirmative action is beneficial; AAAJ-LA filed paperwork yesterday to help the students join an existing group of diverse students who will have “amicus plus” status to present their support for affirmative action in a pending anti-affirmative action case, Students for Fair Admissions, Inc v. President and Fellows of Harvard College.
First – I hope you’re registered to vote. If you aren’t registered, you can do so here.
I think it’s really important for us to participate in our nation’s democracy and be part of the political discourse, and voting is certainly an integral part of that. But that’s not the main reason why I think it’s important for members of the AAPI community to register to vote and actually vote.
REGISTER TO VOTE because this isn’t just about you. This is about those who don’t have that right but still deserve to be heard. Your vote includes the voices of our families, friends, and fellow community members who – for one reason or another – are not eligible to vote.
Just because people aren’t voters, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t affected by how people vote. I can’t vote and yet I am affected by policies regarding immigration, education, and social justice. I go to public school and see the influence of voters everyday in the curriculum, the allocation of resources, and the quality of teaching. I am affected by immigration policies, as many of my family members live overseas or are recent arrivals. I am affected by actions of politicians who may or may not believe in climate change and in investing in efforts to promote environmental sustainability.
However, I’m one of the lucky ones because I won’t be ineligible for much longer, as I can register to vote when I turn 18. But what about the millions in our community who aren’t as lucky?