Asian author Kenny Xu seems to believe the Asian American and African American experiences are equal in terms of racism and struggles. He says he feels the two groups have faced similar challenges in U.S. society, and the premise behind critical race theory (CRT) is false.
According to critical race theory, the law and legal institutions of the U.S. are inherently racist. Race itself “is a socially constructed concept that is used by white people to further their economic and political interests at the expense of people of color,” according to a definition by Britannica.
Conservatives have been attempting to push back against critical race theory across the U.S. as something they believe educational and federal institutions are teaching in schools.
“Asian Americans showed that critical race theory cannot be true,” said Xu, president of the advocacy group Color Us United, in a Hill.TV interview. Color Us United was founded in 2021 with a mission of “advocating for a race-blind America.” Xu has advocated against the observance of Juneteenth as a federal holiday and against ethnic studies curricula in California.
In analyzing the differences between Asian American and Black education achievement rates in the U.S., Xu said the experiences and historical disadvantages in both communities were “of similar magnitude.”
“We always try to posit the worst victim narrative that we could, and you just did for Black Americans, but I could do the same for Asian Americans,” said Xu, author of the book, “An Inconvenient Minority: The Attack of Asian American Excellence and the Fight for Meritocracy.”
Racial discrimination in the U.S. is no longer an issue for Asian and Black Americans, Xu said. “We are not living in that history today.”
Asian success was discriminated against in this country, “but we’re living in an era where that is no longer really the case,” Xu said. “And so you have to really focus on what cultural values are and how that forms the discourse. And Asian Americans prove that you really can advance and achieve the American dream.”
Xu can be accused of comparing apples to oranges. While it is true that Asian have faced racism in the U.S. with sometimes violent outcomes, they did not go through slavery in this country. Asians can also tie themselves culturally to their countries of origin — something a majority of the descendants of American slavery cannot do.
Native Black Americans also must deal with post-traumatic slave syndrome, an issue that is not relevant to Asian Americans.
Psychologist and professor Dr. Joy DeGruy has been exploring the theory that racism can result in a mental syndrome similar to post-traumatic stress syndrome. DeGruy wrote the groundbreaking book, “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing” and says she coined the PTTS phrase.
“P.T.S.S. is a theory that explains the etiology of many of the adaptive survival behaviors in African-American communities throughout the United States and the Diaspora,” according to DeGruy’s website. “It is a condition that exists as a consequence of multigenerational oppression of Africans and their descendants resulting from centuries of chattel slavery — a form of slavery which was predicated on the belief that African Americans were inherently/genetically inferior to whites.”
Xu’s dismissal of CRT is discounting the Black American experience.
“It’s bad when white folks need to check you on the issue of racism in Amerikkka,” Makkim @Makkim77 tweeted. “So tired of AAPI immigrants/doi coming into this country and sh*tting on the very people that helped build this country. Kenny Xu needs to have a damn seat!”
Olivia A. @OliviaHoney11 tweeted, “And there lies the problem. I’m really getting tired of other groups trying to compare themselves to us. There’s absolutely no comparison at all. I wish people would understand that they can talk about their history and struggles without a comparison to us as Black-Americans.”
Former Fox News host Megyn Kelly got into the CRT debate, tweeting her approval when Education Secretary Miguel Cardona decided to not require federal grants recipients for the American History and Civics Education programs to teach The 1619 Project or similar teaching renounces. “This is great!” Kelly tweeted. “The ppl pushed back against the feds rewarding schools that teach Kendi & the 1619 project and it worked! Remember: the loudest voices on Twitter (which is far-Left)/the news (which is “woke”) do not represent the majority of Americans. Your voice matters.”
The 1619 Project is a New York Times series of essays that take a critical look at U.S. history and racism. Nikole Hannah-Jones, the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of The 1619 Project, responded to Kelly’s tweet, “I guess it’s good you no longer pretend to be a journalist anymore. Be well.”
Image Credit:Irina Devaeva / istock
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