Even when white men are logically the culprits, Asian men can end up in the Assimilationists’ crosshairs.
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It is the product of a mindset that has never mentally left the childhood home, where overbearing immigrant parents enforced an oppressive Asianness that made it hard to fit in with mainstream society.
Thus, the moral Polaris of this ideology is not justice or equality, but rather, assimilation. Naturally, narratives like are handpicked and promoted in a symbiotic exchange between the cultural gatekeepers who seek such storylines and the Assimilationists who can offer them.
At an interdisciplinary conference in 2004 sponsored by the Center for Ideas and Society on my campus, I presented a paper on how internalized racism undergirded many Asian American women’s accounts of romantic preference for White over Asian American men (Pyke 2010).
My research sparked the anger of two visiting Ethnic Studies scholars who argued that the topic of internalized oppression denigrated the Asian American respondents as mere “dupes” and that I ought to consider the “politics of knowledge.” They further suggested I focus my analysis on resistance instead.
Any challenges to this system are dutifully attacked by good Assimilationists themselves, who operate as antibodies that seek and destroy any threats to the host. Pyke, a sociologist who has done extensive research on Asian internalized racism, noted the fierce resistance she received from fellow academics when making her presentations on this topic: I learned our collective ignorance was no accident but the result of a taboo on a topic dubbed a “dirty little secret” (hooks 1995; 2003; Russell, Wilson, and Hall 1992).
It was only by violating the taboo that I became aware of its full force.
The lazy and predictable response is to label all Asian male complaints as no different than alt-right sentiments.
Such a response repeats the time-honored Asian American political tendency to leech off other social justice movements (in this instance, all the admirable work done exposing and fighting the alt-right) .
And their fear of replacement can be seen from their chants (“You/Jews will not replace us!