The cultural psychology behind the attack on Asian Americans

Recently, in response to the beatings of Asian residents in various parts of the United States, demonstrations have erupted in major cities across the United States aimed at defending the personal safety of Asians and opposing violence. However, there is a question that is worth pondering: Asians have the highest cultural level and economic contribution among all ethnic minorities in the United States. Why do they often encounter discrimination? One explanation is that because of the national competition between China and the United States, some local Americans have sent evil fire on the surrounding Asians, which has led to a surge in violence against Asians. This explanation seems reasonable, but it is difficult to explain why Japanese and Korean Americans are also attacked. It should be noted that in the recent serial shooting at a massage parlor in Atlanta, most of the victims were Korean. Others will say that because many Americans can’t distinguish the difference between Chinese and Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese, it is possible that the attacker thinks of Chinese in his heart, but he misleads them in their actions. Got Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese. But I think this answer is logically problematic, because a criminal who only wants to attack Chinese descent in intention, but wrongly attacked Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese descent in real life, is similar in behavior to an attempt to attack Chinese descent. The criminal subject who attacks all Asians is indistinguishable-therefore, we can’t deduce exactly what their intentions are from their behavior.

The author’s explanation of this problem is relatively simple: Asians seem to be relatively soft “persimmons”, which are easy to be “squeezed” and easy to fall victim to social turbulence. The so-called “soft persimmon” metaphor, on the one hand, refers to the relatively low proportion of Asians in the population, and it is difficult to become a vote store for American democratic political elections. On the other hand, it also refers to the relatively short stature of Asians, who seem to be very small. It is difficult to gain the upper hand in physical confrontation, and therefore easily become the “ideal” target of violent offenders. These two reasons have nothing to do with the ups and downs of diplomatic relations between China and the United States, but a certain “constant constant.” Here are two examples: First, the United States passed the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, which was the first ethnic-specific exclusion bill in American history. The bill blatantly violated the provisions of the Sino-US Treaty of Pu Anchen Free immigration policy. We must know that there were no major diplomatic conflicts between China and the United States at that time, and the Chinese laborers had already made contributions to the construction of railways in the United States, and had sacrificed their lives. They can be described as excellent labor in the US infrastructure. In this case, we can only regard the Chinese Exclusion Act as a product of some kind of racially discriminatory thinking. The second example is: on February 19, 1942, after the outbreak of the Pacific War, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order No. 9066, imprisoning 120,000 Japanese Americans in concentration camps, and severely imposed a serious threat to the human rights of these people. Violated. Intriguingly, after the Pacific War, the United States declared war on Germany, Italy, and Japan at almost the same time, but hardly any German and Italian Americans were put in concentration camps, and Japanese descent was treated specially. It seems that this can only be explained by racial discrimination. What is even more surprising is that the US Army 422 Regiment, which is basically composed of Japanese Americans, has an excellent record on the European battlefield, but only because of the relatively short stature of the soldiers, it is called the “groundhog unit” by the white US military. . This is already blatant racist remarks.

In addition, Americans’ discrimination against Asians is also related to the poverty of ordinary Americans in the world’s geographical and cultural knowledge. According to the author’s different travel experiences in Europe and the United States, many Europeans are well aware of the geographical differences between China, Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam. In the United States, they can accurately point out China, Japan, South Korea, and China on the map. There are very few people in the four positions. This ignorance has exposed the hidden arrogance of many Americans, which regards the entire East as a kind of information black box that is not worthy of careful examination. But everything has two sides. The ignorance of ordinary Americans on Eastern affairs constitutes a huge information gap between the people of China and the United States. In other words, ordinary Chinese people’s knowledge of the United States surpasses ordinary Americans’ knowledge of China. This also makes ordinary Chinese people more aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses than ordinary Americans. From this perspective, discriminatory ignorance of Asian affairs is precisely an important shortcoming of US soft power.

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