Let me engage this passage from what you wrote:
You write, “Let’s not ruin [the dynamic, vibrant nation] for future generations by tearing it apart and making it into the Balkanized bastion of warring tribes that it is quickly becoming.” But who is warring right now? We, as minorities, simply want to be heard. We simply want recognition for our part in building this country’s “culture.”
If there’s any “warring,” it’s from the people who simply refuse to acknowledge our oppression. It’s the people who are offended by us being offended, annoyed that our complaints are upsetting the status quo.
What oppression? I actually (and honestly) have no idea what you are talking about. I mean, what oppression against Asian-Americans is going on in America right now, not in the days of the Chinese Exclusion Act or anything of that sort, since if we start going back in history, virtually every group that’s not Anglo-Saxon has faced all kinds of bigotry and discrimination and oppression in America? How are Asian Americans oppressed at this point in time? By most objective measures, immigrants from China are disproportionately successful in America. (Read Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld’s The Triple Package, which documents this.) They are probably, on average, doing better than white Americans, economically speaking.
Yes, there are Asian stereotypes out there. Stereotypes are not oppression. There are stereotypes of virtually every group. Italian-Americans are stereotyped as crude, gruff and vulgar mafiosi who spend their days hanging out on the street corner, their evenings obsessively cooking and then snarfing down oversized bowls of pasta and their nights beating people’s heads in with baseball bats. British-Americans are stereotyped as prim, proper, uptight, effeminate, stuck-up, holier-than-thou grammar snobs who sit at cafes sipping cups of tea that they hold with their pinky fingers portentously extended into the air. German Americans are stereotyped as punctilious, humorless Nazis. I mean, I could go on and on like this. Are all these people oppressed in your view? What exactly is your definition of “oppression”? Or are you just repeating this term because it’s something that’s trendy to say right now? Or are you trying to piggyback on the claims of oppression by African-Americans, who are about the only ones, aside from Native Americans, who have any basis for speaking of oppression in America, though even those claims are pretty over-the-top and exaggerated in the America of 2016?
Let me also say a few words about this passage that you wrote:
You also ask, “My question for you is why American t.v. or American culture as a whole had any sort of obligation to acknowledge your existence.” My response is, are you serious?
I can’t fathom who, as a minority, would be pleased to see their own culture and stories represented by a white actor/actress on television.
Is this just about race? So you’re Chinese-American. Would a Japanese-American actor on television be sufficient to represent you? Do they just have to look “Asian”? What benefit does that give you? If, on the other hand, you specifically want a Chinese-American actor, then I don’t even see how your complaint differs from what any European American could say. I’m Russian-American. How many Russian actors do you see on television? At least most “Asian” roles are played by actual Asians nowadays, whereas most Russian roles, to the extent there are any, are played by non-Russians (and I can easily hear that in their bad imitations of a Russian accent). And during the Cold War, which is when I was growing up, most of those Russian roles were, of course, the “villain” roles, which is generally still true, though to a somewhat lesser extent. Do you seriously think that when I see a white person who’s not Russian on television, I think, “Oh, he represents me because he’s white and I’m white”? This is almost comical in its silliness and superficiality. Even if I saw an actual Russian actor playing an actual Russian character on television, how much do you think I’d really care? (Hint: not much! I don’t even watch television or own a television at this point. The reason? Most things on t.v. are just dumb and/or disgusting, so that the people who are represented the best by the stuff on t.v. are idiots.) The bottom line is that I don’t need to be and don’t expect to be “represented.” I live in America. I expect the culture around me to be mostly, though not exclusively, that of English-speaking Anglo-Saxon Americans and the people on t.v. and elsewhere to be mostly, though not exclusively, English-speaking Anglo-Saxon Americans. If anything, in our effort to bend over backwards to avoid offending anyone, non-white Americans are over-represented on t.v. right and elsewhere right now. Have you noticed, by any chance, how black people in movies and t.v. shows that are made now almost always get the “heroic” roles?
One of my best friends, who is Nigerian, is a Shakespearean actor who is about to play the role of Hamlet in a production. Now, when Shakespeare wrote Hamlet, he probably didn’t imagine the Prince of Denmark would be played by a black actor. I’d like to think that a genius like Shakespeare was broad-minded enough that he wouldn’t have cared, so long as the performance was a good one. And that’s, ultimately, all I care about. I don’t care what color actors are, or whether they actually belong to the ethnicity they’re supposed to be depicting. So when you say that you “can’t fathom who, as a minority, would be pleased to see their own culture and stories represented by a white actor/actress on television,” all I can think is that it’s sad that our culture has degenerated to this point of total superficiality, where we judge everyone and everything based on the color of their skin. This is precisely the kind of race-realist and racist ideology that the Civil Rights Movement was dedicated to opposing. It is ironic that it has made its way back into the mainstream, now being pushed by the same groups that had fought so valiantly to oppose it in years past. I’m reminded here of Marx’s quip that events in history often happen twice, “the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.”