The Pew Research and many other groups are looking at Asian Americans.
According to the Pew Research Center, Asian Americans are surpassing Hispanics as the largest wave of new immigrants in the United States. The Pew Research Center has since said other things about Asian Americans, but we’ll get to that later — say, in the next issue.
While our numbers are helping the community gain wider national attention, our voices should speak to the complexity of a community. Are we happier and more successful or struggling and miserable? In the next issue, Asian Americans will sound off on the survey, but in the meantime, understanding what it means to be a part of the largest growing group of immigrants means having a better understanding of how the immigrant experience shapes our community.
Children growing up under kinship care and immigrants reinventing traditions through fashion are just some of the unique experiences present in a complex immigrant landscape. The question we must ask is, “How do we make our experiences speak louder than statistics?”
For one, we should never think of our own experiences as common and inconsequential. Every story matters, whether it’s in a newspaper or not. We’ve gone from oral history to not having many ways to share ourselves with others.
Over the last few issues, we’ve highlighted the many rich ways that our community expresses itself. Whether it’s traditional arts, rap videos on YouTube, or a mural on a building, community members are starting a new dialogue on the Asian American and immigrant experience.
Secondly, the phrase “quality over quantity” comes to mind. Despite becoming the fastest growing group of immigrants, in most areas, Asians remain the minority.
As a marginalized group, it’s important that we don’t marginalize each other by leaving other groups behind or discriminating against each other. Traditionally, our elders knew best, but as immigrants, we all play a role in representing the community with our individual perspectives and experiences.
We can continue to agree to disagree, so long as we just keep talking. And with the wave of Asian immigrants growing, it’s going to get mighty loud. And that is OK. (end)