I thought the first presentation on Cambodian donut shops was interesting. The reading was especially interesting because the whole thing sounds like it was made up! It is amazing how one guy was able to open up a business path for an ethnic minority group. Like the presenter said, most of the articles written about Cambodian donut shops focus on the success of Cambodians (rags to riches) which is not the majority of the Cambodian population in the United States. More the 40 percent of Cambodians are above the national poverty rate. This is basically the we-win-even-when-we-lose syndrome of the United States, focusing on the positive things in order to show to the public that the refugees came out fine; they are successful, etc.
I also thought it was interesting that the presenter looked at donut shops in the Yolo County. I seriously did not know that we had four donut shops in Davis owned by Cambodians. I think an interesting thing that the presenter can investigate for his research paper is whether or not any of these donut shop owners were influenced/know of Ted Ngoy.
The second presentation was ok; I felt like the discussion was more like personal questions than an analytical discussion except for the safe space questions; I thought it was interesting to talk about that since it is hard to create a safe space without it turning into a dangerous space and how it is hard to avoid having cliques within the safe space. The article was not really that interesting because it is something that all ASA majors/minors should know about. Also, as the presenters noted, the article is a bit outdated, the article’s concept of the black and white view does not apply to all Asian Americans, especially the ones in the California because it is a really diverse state. Like many people in the class, I did not really feel that the black and white view that this article talked about was something that I experienced with White and Black people because I went to majority Asian schools.
However, I think the black and white concept can be applied to present Asian Americans today if we just only look at Asian Americans. Within the Asian American group, I think we have a lot of black and white views (in terms of race). As a high school student in Arcadia, the whole school was basically Asian. After going there, I noticed that when the issue of race was brought up, it was always either Chinese or Taiwanese. There was no mention of Southeast Asian groups. That did not really change when I moved up to Sacramento and attended Kennedy High School. It was always either Chinese or Japanese. No Southeast Asians.
I guess that is something the presenters for this topic can look into is the black and white dynamics within the Asian American community itself.