Thursday, October 11, 2018

Asian student discrimination

The fact that Asian students may face discrimination is not a surprise to most higher education faculty and staff. That it is so common may lead to overlooking its impact but Emma Whitford offers a more personal insight that reveals the ugly dynamics that are often experienced by Asian students.

Two things contribute to ignoring discrimination against Asian students: 1) many Americans don't recognize the languages and distinctive characteristics among the diverse array of Asian cultures, and 2) the large number of Chinese students who study in the U.S. When all Asian students, whether international or Asian-American, are lumped together, patterns of avoidance and marginalization push Asian students even further to the margin where the criticism of separatism (they all 'hang together') is very hard to overcome.

"They're taking over..." is the phrase that is often used to justify the discriminatory beliefs of those who perpetrate discrimination. This phrase has been used throughout history to stoke fear and isolation between cultural groups. There is no evidence to support such a belief and educators should quickly counter claims of this nature.

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