Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Meltdowns Of Asian American Men

They appear on the news every now and then. Individuals like the Korean Virgina Tech gunman, the Filipino arrested by the FBI for a series of racist death threats, and most recently Jiverly Voong who opened fire on an Immigration Service Center in upstate NY. What is behind this string of incidents where Asian American men have unleashed murderous wrath on innocent people.

Let me begin by saying this is not an anti-Asian American rant. In fact, I acknowledge that the vast majority of Asian American men are hard-working, law-abiding, and upstanding citizens. But what is afoot here? I believe that some Asian men increasingly view this society as unjust and unfair to them who try to do all the right things.

Men's rights advocate, Winston Wu, is legendary for his diatribes against the social isolation to which American society relegates all but a few Asian men. They are expected to live up to unrealistic "positive" stereotypes, shunned by most America women as poorly endowed, and left on the sidelines unless they are needed for calculus advice or engineering services.

While none of the above justifies lashing out in violence, I believe the plight of Asian male isolation is at the root of this trend. Asian men are feeling the frustration of being confined to their stereotypical role and their pent-up misery is unleashed in the form of violence.

All we can hope is that this trend has come and gone. What we need to do is examine what role we play in helping to alleviate this frustration.

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