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Asian American Literature

Asian Americans seem to be fighting an unwinnable battle when it comes to the content of their writing. Writers are criticized by whites for speaking out against discrimination, and by their fellow Asian Americans for contributing to the stereotypes through their silence. I believe that Asian Americans should include politics in their writing as they so choose, but should not feel obligated to do so, as Frank Chin suggests.For those Asian Americans who make known their discontent with the injustice and discrimination that they feel, in the white culture, this translates to attacking American superiority and initiating insecurities. For Mura, a writer who dared to question why an Asian American was not allowed to audition for an Asian American role, his punishment was the ostracism and demonization that ensued. In essence, he was shunned (Hongo 4) by the white people who could not believe that he would attack their superior American ways. According to writers such as Frank Chin and the rest of the Aiiieeeee! group, the Americans have dictated Asian culture and created a perception as nice and quiet (Chin 1972, 18), mamas boys and crybabies without a man in all [the] males. (Chin 1972, 24). This has become the belief of the proceeding generations of Asian Americans and therefore manifested these stereotypes. Those authors who contest these American made stereotypes are said to betray the American culture and white power around them, and to be rocking the boat in a seemingly decent living situation. It is as though Asian Americans are succombing to the thought that America is the only place to be and that they should be grateful to live here.On the other hand, keeping silent due to pressures from the white population means being shunned by the members of the Asian American population. I disagree with Chins ascertation that years of apparent silence have made us accomplices to the makers of stereotypes (Chin 1991, xxxix). I agree ...

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