Although this week’s group presentation included both the themes of inter- and intra-ethnic conflict, my group felt as though we needed to focus on a single topic in which could be fully discussed. As we searched for an article, we happened to come across, “Where Do We Stand? Views of Racial Conflict by Vietnamese American High-School Students in a Black-and-White Context.” I was extremely interested in presenting on this issue because I personally feel as though Asian American Studies sometimes fails to discuss the Asian American community in context to the larger society. I believe that this is crucial in understanding Asian American history and issues because history is so dynamic and fluid. Additionally, I believe that it is important to realize that while there are tensions within a specific ethnic group, conflicts within the Asian community and amidst other racial groups are just as prevalent.
While I agree that the research in the article has its limitations, I find that the findings are still applicable to today. The invisibility of Asian Americans have become normalized that I think that many forget that this is still an issue that the community faces. While some students shared that they come from schools with a large Asian student body, which is different from what school demographics used to be, I believe that such invisibility can still result. Rather, I believe that invisibility has taken on a new shape and form. Despite growing numbers of Asian Americans, I find that that this community, and specifically the Southeast Asian community, continues to be marginalized within society. It would be very interesting to compare the results of the article’s research to more current research that investigates and evaluates this notion of “invisibility.”
As for the structure of the presentation, I really wanted to provide students a space to discuss so to learn more about each other and I am extremely happy that my group and I were able to incorporate discussion into the presentation. I think often times we all forget that each and every one of us carries with us lots of valuable information that adds to each other’s’ knowledge. My group and I were unsure of how engaged and receptive the class would be to adding this element of discussion to the presentation. To our surprise, it turned out well. I truly appreciate the amount of discussion that was produced in class from everyone who participated in class. Overall, I think my group’s presentation went well although we could have improved in a few areas such as the consistency and organization of the content.
The reading on Cambodian donut shops and the documentary was very interesting. I was intrigued by the article written since I had never realized that there was such a large trend of Cambodian owned donut shops in California. It was extremely fascinating to learn more about Ted Ngov and his story of riches and fame to becoming impoverished and infamous. It goes to show that money truly isn’t everything, as despite being a millionaire, Ngov reported that he didn’t feel accomplished or satisfied. The documentary was a great visual that aided to the article. The documentary provided different perspectives from the father and mother to the children who often must help out in the donut shop.