There have been, in recent years, many Asian American pioneers in the public eye who've defied the condescendingly complimentary 'model minority' stereotype: actors like Lucy Liu, artists like Maya Lin, moguls like Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. They are known, often admired.
The summer of 1991, I took $2,000 of my savings and a desktop program, and I asked my friends to write 800 words about something they cared about. I got eight or nine articles and put them together. It was no frills, black and white, no graphics. I printed them out and just dumped piles around D.C.
After watching my first World Series in 1977, I wanted to be Reggie Jackson. I bought a big Reggie poster. I ate Reggie candy bars. I entered a phase during which I insisted on having the same style of glasses Reggie had: gold wire frames with the double bar across.
What we should celebrate more than diversity is what we do with it. How do we bring everyone in the tent and create something together? In a twenty-first century way that activates our true potential, we all need to become sworn-again.
True fans of the Constitution, like true fans of the national pastime, acknowledge the critical role of human judgment in making tough calls. We don't expect flawless interpretation. We expect good faith. We demand honesty.
The nativism behind the push to repeal or amend the Fourteenth is ugly and obvious.
The Boomers will eventually have to accept that it is not possible to stay forever young or to stop aging. But it is possible, by committing to show up for others in community after community, to earn a measure of immortality.
In the end no segregationist scheme has withstood the force of a simple idea: equality under law.
The Boomers have modeled a set of bad habits, and one grand gesture is not going to unwind all those bad habits.
Much of our national debate proceeds as if China and America were locked in a zero-sum game in which one's loss is precisely the other's gain.
I had heard so much negative talk about our generation, that we're slackers and young fogies, that I knew wasn't true of the people I know.
Today's multiracial Americans are at greater liberty to choose how they'd like to be seen, and under less pressure to pass for white.
It turns out umpires and judges are not robots or traffic cameras, inertly monitoring deviations from a fixed zone of the permissible. They are humans.
From the right, you get demagogues shouting about brown-skinned anchor babies and clamoring to deport the undocumented. From the left, you get advocacy for the oppressed but otherwise, when it comes to national civic identity, mainly silence.
Race in America has always centered on our mutual agreement not to see each other. White or non-white. Black or non-black. Mongoloid, Hindoo. We've always bought into to the crudest, humanity-denying forms of sorting.
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