AAPI Heritage: More Books
Week three of the Asian American Heritage month book reviews and features. Wrapping up next Sunday.
Biting the Hand: Growing Up Asian in Black and White America by Julia Lee
Published April 18, 2023; Henry Holt & Co.
The truth, she says, is that Asians are full of rage - first at their mothers for insisting on saving face, teaching their children to be decorous and always polite in public; and at the stereotypes of Asians propagated by society, beginning at school, and the racism and classism shown by students, teachers, and school administrators.
The author goes through the history of immigration in America, including the banning of Asian immigration for 60 years, before the Hart-Celler Act of 1965 relaxed the quotas. She cites the Korean shopkeepers caught up in the LA uprising and states that black versus Asian and minority myths are propagated by society at large to keep the minorities at war with each other so to keep the white majority on top.
She sees a solution in having all people seen as humans, not as a racial group, and be treated as individual human beings, and not as just a minority group.
The author is convincing in the history and the facts she presents for her case, and very detailed, giving multiple examples of racism and the violence and self-hatred that it can propagate. There is so much more to this book than I can cover here, but I recommend it highly as relevant to everyone living in America.