Inter-ethnic and Intra-ethnic Conflicts
Jason’s presentation on Cambodian donut shops was very interesting because I usually only hear about Chinese Laundromats and Vietnamese nail salons. Living in a primarily Vietnamese and Mexican neighborhood, I was not very exposed to a large population of Cambodians so learning that other Southeast Asians had found other economic niches was interesting. I could definitely relate to the people in the video shown because my parents also own their own shop and pour all of their time and money into that shop. When I think of Asian economic niches, I think of a group of people working together to open up similar shops nearby each other so that they can learn and grow from each other and use each other as a support network rather than as competition that needs to be driven out of business. Seeing Ted Ngoy, the man that essentially pioneered the donut shot movement for Cambodians, dedication towards his accomplishment and family was very inspiring; after his shop burned down, he was still able to rebuild it through time and hard work.
In high school, I did not learn in depth what the effects of Brown vs. Board of Education had, specifically how laws were implemented to desegregate schools. In order to force schools to promote unity and desegregation, schools were required to desegregate in order to receive funding. The second presentation was not as mind-opening as the first one had been because I already have a strong background on Vietnamese American experiences, as I was born and raised in a city with a large Vietnamese population. I feel that since a good portion of the class is Vietnamese, they also felt similarly.
The need of a safe space is important but the presentation did not really go into detail about what a safe space was and I guess part of that is up to interpretation but I the discussion would have flowed better had there been some general definitions set prior to the discussion. The concept of Asians in a Black and White lens reminds me of a Gary Okihiro article “Is Yellow Black or White” which mentioned racism and discrimination towards Asians and in the context of Black and White people. It’s difficult to limit the view of Asians through this black and white lens in California, especially the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles county since a there is a large population of Asians in these areas.
The two presentations did not relate at all as one was about Cambodian American experiences in the economy, specifically donut shops and the other was about the experiences of Vietnamese American students facing discrimination and bullying. While the topic of inter-ethnic conflict was covered in the second presentation, intra-ethnic conflict was not covered in their presentation, essentially the presentation was missing half of what it should have covered.