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The Chinese-American Community

How Intra-Group Bias Affects the Dynamics of the Chinese-American Community Racism has long been a social plague that will probably never go away. Racism has become one of the widely-talked about subjects, and has spawned countless debates among ourselves in different sectors. The topic has also birthed countless literature, developing the richness and diversity of cultures of the world. However, the word itself still defines generality, as the word branched out with more other terms and definitions.

This is because racism occurs in various ethnicities, like the discrimination of white against black. Racism also occurs in one ethnicity, such as the prejudice by the lighter-toned black against the darker-toned black. This is also known as Colorism (Skin-deep Discrimination) . We will study a particular prejudice which is happening amongst groups of the same ethnicity, and that is the Chinese-American group. As a Chinese student in America, the Researcher has first-hand experience in prejudices.

It is already difficult to be discriminated as an alien in a foreign land but it is harder to be prejudiced by his own race in a foreign land. Communities among a particular ethnicity came about based on various conditions, and interactions with these groups should definitely have either a positive or negative effects among the people of this same ethnicity as a whole. The researcher was influenced by its own intra-group to come up with the study on how these communities of the same ethnicity affect Chinese-American community as a whole.

In theory, prejudices occur but the effect should come out positive among the Chinese-American community. The researcher believes the effects of these attitudes make up how they interact with others of the different group, and that these interactions would come out with positive effects as could be reflected in their everyday lives. In coming up with this theory we will interview individual Chinese-Americans in particular groups, aside from gathering notes from selected literary pieces. Review of Related Literature We will define first the terms that make up the subject.

Race is a particular human population distinct in some way from other humans based on real or imagined physical differences. Racial classifications came into being with the idea of biological classifications based in physical attributes such as skin color or facial features (Cragun, 2006, pp. 133) . An individual is usually externally classified (in other words, somebody else is making the classification) into a racial group rather than the individual choosing where they belong as part of their identity (Cragun, 2006, pp.

133) . Ethnicity, while related to race, refers not to the physical attributes but social traits that are shared by a human population, such as nationality, tribe, religious faith, shared language, shared culture and shared traditions (Cragun, 2006, pp. 133) . Intra-group is defined as something happening or occurring within a specified institution or community (The Free Dictionary) . The term “Bias” is used when a person makes a particular preference to a situation, an idea, information, to name a few.

When a white manager of a company is made to choose between two aspiring executives of equal talent and skills, one black and one white, and the manager gave the job to the white executive for reason that he is white, the manager is said to be biased due to his prejudice against the black executive. Intra-group Bias means a prejudice occurring within the group. We will define the word “Dynamics” as the interactive activity in a particular community.

How a particular person react or communicate with another person, how a particular person react or communicate with his peers, and how the peers would react or communicate with this particular person makes up the dynamics of a community. Chinese-American community is the community of people belonging in the Chinese Race who emigrated in America. The Chinese people have either been espoused with American citizen, or have espoused another Chinese, and the children borne with this union have been considered American by virtue of the American Civil Law that any person born in American soil automatically becomes an American citizen.

The Chinese-American community makes up 1. 2% of the total population in America as of 2006, and is the largest community among the Asian-American today (United States Census Bureau) . Methodology The researcher will review selected literary pieces that tackle the subject of racism. Selected literary pieces are: 1) “My Neighborhood” by Ishmael Reed; and 2) “Desiree’s Baby” by Kate Chopin. “My Neighborhood” is a non-fiction prose, where the writer, Ishmael Reed, takes his reader on a “tour” down the places that he moved into. In each of these places, he described his experiences on discrimination.

When he moved to Bret Harte Way in Berkeley Hills, Reed tells his experience when he walks along the street, white people look at him and regard him with suspicion (At Home in North Oakland) . Once he was standing beside a white childe, and passersby look at him as if he was going to kidnap the said child (At Home in North Oakland) . Another instance is when one police officer entered his garden gate unannounced, and giving him the alibi that somebody reported homicide in his house, which Reed easily recognized as a tactic just to get himself inside Reed’s house and see what he is up to (At Home in North Oakland) .

When Reed moved to 53rd Street, North Oakland, he experienced being treated strictly on bill collections, since North Oakland is predominantly a black community. An instance is when they are being “reprimanded” already if missed a due date (At Home in North Oakland) . Once Reed went to the bank that offers a bank loan, and he was given a lot of requirements. In other words, he was given a hard time just to obtain a loan, because he is black. When he tried contacting the same bank and was mistaken as a white client, he was told he can get his loan the next day (At Home in North Oakland) .

No matter where he goes, however, discrimination is still present. Reed, however, particularly cited his North Oakland community as a “human neighborhood” (At Home in North Oakland) . This is because the said community helps each other no matter how the hardship or inconvenience the discrimination gets them. Reed’s neighbors are amiable and would always offer to watch other’s house if the person is away (At Home in North Oakland) . An instance is when one of their neighborhoods had been robbed, and the neighborhood immediately offered their assistance (At Home in North Oakland) .

Reed’s North Oakland neighborhood keeps an eye on each other and on the community as a whole. “Desiree’s Baby” talks about the story of a young woman named Desiree, who never knew her biological parents but was adopted by the Valmonde family, which is a well-off family. She later married Armand Aubigny and bore a child. Armand Aubigny also came from a well-to-do family, but he has never known his mother for his mother was perished long before. A few months after Desiree gave birth, Armand Aubigny eventually went cold on Desiree and accused Desiree of not being white (Chopin) .

This is due to the fact that Desiree’s baby is black. Desiree cannot accept the fact that she is not white, but she cannot prove either that she is otherwise. What grieves her most is the fact that her husband does not love her anymore just because she is not white. Desiree’s mother wrote to her and requested her to come back (Chopin) . Desiree asked her husband if he wants her to go, and Armand Aubigny agreed (Chopin) . This took a toll on Desiree and she went away carrying her child.

It is unknown where Desiree had gone to because she did not even go home to her own mother. At the end of the story, Armand Aubigny found a letter written by his mother to his father. Armand Aubigny never really knew his mother as she was already gone when he came into this world. In the letter, Madame Aubigny thanked her husband, Armand’s father for the love he gave her, but most especially the fact that their child will never know that his mother is black (Chopin) .

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