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Political Activism

How does Saito discuss the political activism of Asian American, Latinos, and white residents of Monterey Park? How is voting and redistricting contested terrain for these residents? In the book written by Leland Saito, he discussed the specific community in Monterey Park which is known for the diversity of cultures situated in the area. Based on the study provided by Saito, Latinos and Asian Americans are two of the fastest rising groups in the United States.

With such situation, there are predicted rising implications in political, economic and cultural aspects which are clearly visible in the area of San Gabriel Valley in Los Angeles. Due to the continuous immigration of different races in the United States, the rapid growth of various ethnicities in the region had become very noticeable. For the reason that such circumstances are at hand, the population of the American whites had drastically dropped. Therefore, the majority of the populations in San Gabriel Valley are ethnic minorities of the United States.

In addition to the demographic changes that occurred in the area, the political and economic dominance of the white Americans have also declined during the 1960’s until the 1990’s. Moreover, the Latin American immigrants have become the major ethnic majority in San Gabriel valley therefore; the group is granted the political power within the regional level. In 1996, it was noticed, that the Latin American immigrants were provided the highest offices in the government. On the other hand, there was also an emergence of the immigration of Chinese immigrant entrepreneurs.

These Chinese immigrants were able to penetrate the manufacturing and business districts in the area which then creates a more complex situation in terms of the relationship of the people in the community. After the immigration of many Chinese immigrants in San Gabriel Valley, it is noted that the area hosts the largest Chinese community in the United States. In addition to the various changes which occurred in the San Gabriel Valley, the white Americans had done drastic changes in order to present that they are privileged in comparison to the immigrants.

Saito raised the fact that many of the policies in the United States are mostly racially categorized which is largely influenced by the concept of political, social, and economic costs. One example that Saito cited was the policies which is addressed towards the Native Americans. These government policies were directed towards the immigration and naturalization practices, lands and labor, and the discrimination which is enforced due to racial differences. Due to such factors, the different groups have formed organization and united with such issues in order to express their sentiment regarding the racial categorization.

As stated by Saito, political mobilization is very important for the immigrants who had been staying the United States. Due to mobilization and collaboration of interests there would be power and resources which will promote the group’s interests. Similar to the actions of the African Americans civil rights movement in 1960’s is the best example of efforts to be politically heard by the government. The mobilizations during the 1960’s are the best example to justify that mobilization is a valid act to promote a group’s right and be acknowledged by the government.

In fact, in the United States is recognized to have various networks and organizations that addressed the racial and ethnic issues that are concerning the society. Although there are coalitions and political mobilizations and changes which had occurred in the society the problem of identity still arises. Due to the various cultural identities of races fluidity is often a problem. Given that there are various types of customs and traditions depending on the ethnic background of a person is very challenging due to the boundaries which is caused by discrimination and the likes.

One of the problematic challenges that the American society the privileges of the white Americans. Due to the institutionalization of racial hierarchy—in which the white Americans are the highest race in the American society Saito stated that: “whites do not need to invoke their racial identity to reap the benefits of whiteness because everyday institutional activities and practices embed and support their advantage” (Cited in Lipsitz, 1995; Saito, p4. 1998).

Through the continuous support of the Americans in the practices that openly supports whiteness, it directly states that Americans truly benefit from their privileges that they have. One example which is very troubling is the ability of the white Americans to segregate them selves in order to be separated from immigrants and main their whiteness. It is stated that white Americans choose acquire homes from realtors who utilize discriminatory tactics to makes use that white Americans and minority groups are segregated.

Redistricting in voting had been an issue due to the racial power that a group has depending on their number. As such, the elected officials in the positions are determined by the racial current majority of the area. Similar to the current state of the territory, most of the officials are Chinese Americans because San Gabriel Valley is home to Asian-Americans. Therefore, this is a very problematic situation for the ethnic minorities in the area.

However, due to the sameness of concerns and priorities of these groups (Asians and Latinos) the political responsibility within the whole area of San Gabriel Valley is still addressed. Asians and Latin Americans were able to intertwine their perspectives and norms to fit the needs of the citizens. Reference Saito, L.. , (1998). Race and Politics: Asian Americans, Latinos, and Whites in a Los Angeles Suburb. United States: University of Illinois Press.

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