Why Asian-Americans and/or Chinese-Americans Cannot Eat Bitterness in America

On April 25, 2011, Nadra Kareem Nittle wrote, Are U.S. Universities Discriminating Against Asian Students? The answer to Nittle’s question is “YES”.

The reason I researched and wrote this post was because of John Putnam’s Chinese in the Gold Rush and my three part series on The Chinese in America.

After all, how many Caucasions, African Americans and Latino students would have to start at a two or four-year state college if Asians filled 40% of the seats at Ivy League universities? To understand what this means, discover the facts from Recognizing Good Parenting Parts 4 to 8 to learn who works harder (on average).

In The Chinese in America – Part 3, I wrote, “of the continued discrimination against Asian-Americans and Chinese in the US by other ethnic groups, which includes Caucasians, African Americans and Latinos.”

In the US, since the Civil Rights era preferential treatment favored African-Americans and Latinos since Asian-Americans tend to swallow their bitterness instead of protesting violently as the other minorities have.

For example, the NAACP says it fights for social justice for all Americans. However, facts demonstrate that the NAACP tends to favor legislation that focuses on benefits for African Americans. If this were not true, there would be no need for political organizations to serve Latinos and Asian-Americans.

In fact, Africana Online says, “The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has been instrumental in improving the legal, educational, and economic lives of African Americans.” There is no mention of the other minorities that suffer from racism in the US.

However, Latino Political Clout is growing in America to challenge the NAACP’s voice.

The recent US Census indicated Latinos continue to become a bigger chunk of the American population. With growing numbers come a series of political and social changes to the country. The numbers indicate a growth in Latino political influence will change American politics. Source: rt.com (click on “Latino Political Clout”)

We know that the number of votes a minority such as African-Americans, Latinos and Asian-Americans deliver equals political influence.

African American political organizations demonstrate the power of this influence.

Congressional Black Caucus

California Legislative Black Caucus

Black Leadership Forum

Georgia Legislative Black Caucus

Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus

Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus

South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus

Latino American political organizations are challenging African-American influence.

Congressional Hispanic Caucus

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute

League of United Latin American Citizens

National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), the non-partisan leadership organization of the nation’s more than 6,000 Latino elected and appointed officials, which has the NALEO Educational Fund — the nation’s leading 501 (c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization that facilitates the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.

Mexican American Political Association

California Latino Legislative Caucus

Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP)

As demonstrated, Asian American political organizations have a long way to go to catch up to African-American and Latino political influence. You may notice two of the Asian-American organization focus on Chinese-Americans, which represents about 3.5 million Chinese US citizens dividing the potential influence of 14.5 million Asian-Americans.

What has the NAACP done to end global slavery? Find the answer at NAACP International Affairs Goal

 Asian-Americans and Chinese-Americans are crippled by their cultures when it comes to increasing political influence in the US since Chinese parents teach their children to eat bitterness.

In China, the tradition of “eat bitter” has been passed down from generation to generation. “Eat bitter” is a literal translation of Chinese "吃苦", which refers to endure hardship including discrimination.

Chinese American Political Association

Chinese American Democratic Club

Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus

80-20 Initiative

Asian Pacific Americans for Progress

The 2010 census shows us minority influence is not equal since there are 40 million African-Americans, 26.7 million Hispanic or Latino Americans but only 14.5 million Asian Americans.  Numbers count since more people shout louder.

Elected officials from local, state and national levels would rather have Asian-Americans claiming racism than the larger ethnic populations that often act out their rage at not getting what they believe they are entitled through violence such as burning and looting businesses and wrecking vehicles during riots.

Discover the Timeline of Race Riots from 1980.

When has the US seen a race riot caused by a mob of Asian Americans? Instead, the few times any action has been taken, Asian-Americans resort to the legal system that may favor the larger, more vocal and violent minorities in America.

I suspect that “Eating Bitterness” was influenced by Taoism, Buddhism and Confucius while in the West the warlike and often-violent religions of Christianity and Islam do not follow the same path.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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3 Responses to Why Asian-Americans and/or Chinese-Americans Cannot Eat Bitterness in America

  1. […] Why Asian-Americans and/or Chinese-Americans Cannot Eat Bitterness in America (ilookchina.net) […]

  2. Merlin says:

    “Eat Bitterness”? Yes I agree people do tend to push it that way. From all my troubled experiences in China, instead of offering a helping hand most usually tell me to shut it and go back to US. I cant recount how many times I’ve heard that phrase. Even my former employer had the same attitude saying if she was my mom she wouldnt even support me, and she thinks the reason I have very few qualifications is because of my mom’s (although strict rule of the house), but lack of forcing studies in school and an instrument. Of course she always says that for me to grow in the business she first wants to talk to my mom make sure it’s ok that I can stay in China (my current situation is easily described as a mess and mom always wants me home to treat me like a kid again). I always have to remind her that the minute she talks to my mom it will create an all out WW3 between the 2 so I try to play the buffer.

    Moving on with my point of Asians eating their bitterness, you mentioned that possibly Taoism, Buddhism, etc have essentially taught them to always remain quiet instead of taking action, and that western cultures have always been warlike. I’m not arguing the fact about western cultures, but I do want to add that Buddhism is derived partially from Hinduism. The Tao is the same. They all talk about Karma of some sort, for example, what goes around comes around. Or to better put it in an American way, “Today maybe ugly, but there’s always a new day tomorrow.” So I just want to add that MAYBE they dont react violently to bad situations due in part because they believe that something good might happen in the future.

    Also, many still have the images of the 1980s stuck in their head of what happens to those that speak out against politics. Although, today’s generation and tomorrow’s generation dont have that image and as such are more westernized in lifestyle, culture, and belief. I can see why some people are saying that China will be a different place in a few years, but I am not getting into that as I am not a political man. I am just the average bystander in a movie theater that sits there drinking a Pepsi and enjoying a popcorn while watching the action take place in 3D, and throwing my popcorn in the air as it feels so real when stuff is flying through the air as if jumping out at you.

    • Merlin said, “So I just want to add that MAYBE they don’t react violently to bad situations due in part because they believe that something good might happen in the future.”

      Considering Karma makes much sense. After all, if a person behaves badly, bad Karma might bring him or her back as a flea or something worse in their next life.

      Merlin said, “From all my troubled experiences in China, instead of offering a helping hand most usually tell me to shut it and go back to US.”

      This is what most Asian-Americans born in the US hear if they complain in America. They fear being told to leave and go home (meaning to an Asian country such as China) as if the Asian-American wasn’t born here and isn’t an American citizen. Many of the Asian-Americans I’ve talked to stay quiet when they feel an injustice or act of intolerance has happened against another Asian-American or even mainland Chinese or even negative reactions to China because they don’t want to risk having a Caucasian American telling them to “Go Home”.

      However, from what I’ve learned of mainland Chinese, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear a Chinese tell a Chinese American to leave China if he or she didn’t like the way things are done there. Correct me if I may be wrong, but mainland Chinese have little tolerance for overseas Chinese not behaving as expected by mainland Chinese while in China. I know of one case where a third generation Chinese-American refused to go back to China because of the way he was treated there when he went as an American tourist. He said that Caucasian-Americans on the same tour were treated different that he was and mainland Chinese were often rude to him but nice to Caucasians that acted the same way.

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