Calif. election & bilingual education

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Fri Jun 5 08:29:03 PDT 1998

Rakesh Bhandari wrote:

>There are severe class divisions among Indo Americans; you'll find quite a
>few medical doctors and senior engineers who have all the prejudices of
>their class (among whom I count my Silicon Valley parents); they don't
>fraternize at all with the South Asian motel owners and, even more so, the
>cabbie wage laborers. And if they employ other South Asians to work in
>their restaurants or in their homes, the elite Indians are capable of
>degrading their workers to the utmost, despite (or because of their shared)
>ethnicity. It's nonsensical to speak of a South Asian community or any
>other unified Asian-American community--Peter Kwong has written a couple of
>important books which illuminate the nature of class conflict within
>Chinatowns for example.

I know all that. I've heard some stories of Indian professionals in the NYC area who import domestics from India and then keep them in virtual slavery. I was asking about the racist perceptions of white Americans - do Indians and other South Asians qualify as model minorities, or is their skin too dark?

Speaking of Asia, who invented the idea of "Asia" anyway? Who thought that that Indians and Japanese had enough in common to be classified under that same label?


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