Minority Report

Candid Conversations on Race, Culture, and Therapy

I'm Proud to be a Hyphenated-American

Why can't we just be "Americans?" is a refrain we as ethnic minorities hear a lot from the mainstream culture. You might be surprised to hear this issue of being a hyphenated American is nothing new in this country, in fact former presidents as recently as Theodore Roosevelt was highly critical of those who identified themselves as German-Americans, Italian-Americans…. Read More

Lets hope if you have kids

Lets hope if you have kids they get over it, you still seem to have an unhealthy issue with race based on your blog. Most of the Asians I know who are 3rd generation or more, are about as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean as I am Irish.

Hell one of my friends the "Korean-American" to put it in terms you like, converted to Judaism which was a feat of sorts being she was female and much of Judaism is matriarchal.

tell Jewish friends to "get over it?"

You must not understand culture very well. Those of us who are 1st or 2nd generation Asian-American can't deny our heritage or our upbringing. To do that would be an insult to our parents and ancestors.

What you're sharing is based on a Eurocentric, mainstream, upbringing that discounts the minority experience. If your parents moved you to Asia when you were young and you became a citizen of that country, would you ever want to forget or denounce your past American heritage? I doubt it. It wouldn't make sense right?

But part of your outrage could be based on your own unconscious issues with race (i.e. White privilege)…meaning would you ever tell your Jewish friends to "get over it?" and stop identifying with their ethnic heritage? Would you tell your Black friends to stop with seeing themselves as "Black or African-American?" Would you demand that of other races that are more white (i.e. Greeks to stop identifying with their Greek side, Russians to cut their Russian background, etc.).

Or maybe you should think about what your own ancestors went through when they were told to stop being "Irish-American?"

Well, as a Russian immigrant

Well, as a Russian immigrant growing up here I can assure you that distrust of foreigners is not limited to non-whites. I guess the cold war history and consistently typecasting russians as evil in movies can do that.

I have been told to "go back to Russia" at least a few times, and because our town has more than 5% recent russian population, the locals are very good at telling us apart from the first glance.

It seems people from out of town/different areas of the country are more open to conversations/seem friendlier, perhaps because they don't see us as competition or whatever.. maybe it's just our town.

I definitely feel ashamed to be a russian immigrant, and it would be amazing if people's first words were not "where are you from", by either noticing I look or sound a bit different.

I can empathize with your

I can empathize with your situation, there's a growing Russian community here in the Seattle/Bellevue area but because Seattle's getting so diverse there may not be as much overt racism.

Russian Roulette at the Grocery Store

Philadelphians are like that. The City of Brotherly Love is more like the City of You Don't Belong Here...They do that to me, too, because I came from a foreign land: Buffalo, NY, about 450 miles away from Philly...
It works both ways, too, friend. Go up to Bell's supermarket in Northeast Philly, and if you don't "belong" in the neighborhood, your grocery cart will get whacked half a dozen times...or are those considered "love-taps"? How best to respond?

Interesting article

A very interesting piece.

Opinion On A Play

What is your opinion of the 1960's Broadway play
"Flower Drumsong?" It was a musical depiction of
a Chinese-American family, and their experience of
living a hypenated American life. It was a mild, pleasent
enough play. It had the popular song "I Enjoy Being A
Girl." Like many such saccranie and well meaning plays
the plot could be from a fortune cookie. Did you see the
play or the film made from the play? It might be interesting.

I find the piece annoyingly

I find the piece annoyingly Americo-centric in a purportedly psychology site. It doesn't belong here.

It's the Fourth of July on an

It's the Fourth of July on an American site. Besides, the Psychology Today website is more of a blog of professionals in the psychological field than a website of scientific articles in the psychology field. It has been this way for all the years I have been reading.

Hey, Chris here again. Thank

Hey, Chris here again. Thank you for responding to my original post. It was apparently right on time for a Fourth of July post! I especially liked your few historical notes and how this debate has changed throughout recent history. Also, I really have to agree with your final statement. Our similarities help bring us together (the "American" in "Asian-American" for example) but it is our differences that help make us distinctive and on par with the idea of American individualism which we must accept as well.

Keep up the great work!

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Sam Louie is a therapist with a private practice in Seattle specializing in multicultural issues and sexual addiction.
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