I’m Chinese. I’m pro-Asian and pro-Chinese. I think Asians Americans are wrong to ask for more POC (people of color) representation or identifying as POC. Asian Americans should instead advocate for Asian Americans, Chinese, Korean, etc.
People of Color
In the United States, the definition from Wikipedia and academics is that people of color (POC) refer to non-white people. Theoretically this includes Asians. However the general thought that comes to mind when people see “people of color” is Black and often Hispanic people. Therefore any benefits that Asian Americans fight for in terms of benefiting POC, actually benefit Black and Hispanic instead of Asians. This essentially means any activism is “taxed” by 95% or more, since almost always the benefits of POC policies go towards non-Asians.
POC Organizations are Anti-Asian
Organizations and activists for people of color organizations tend to be anti-Asian, and especially anti-Chinese. Therefore any benefit to POC tends to be harmful for Asians in the US.
The largest explicitly named POC organization, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), is supposed to ensure equality for all people. Yet they support affirmative action, which is systematic racism against Asians and Chinese in particular. One of the recent campaigns the NAACP ran was defending Harvard in their racism against Asian applicants.
POC Benefits don’t go to Asians
Policies that support people of color, tend to support and impact Black and Hispanic population almost all of the time. There may be side benefits that help Asians, but this is mostly unintentional. Think about how often a politician proclaiming diversity or benefits for people of color, to draft legislation that only benefits Asians? I can’t think of the last time I saw this.
There is rarely any direct benefit intended for Asians exclusively. Whether Black and Hispanic people should get more representation is not the point of this article. If the benefits of POC activism rarely ever benefits Asians, why should Asians join POC activism instead of pro-Chinese activism or pro-Korean activism?
Diversity is seen as Black/Hispanic
There’s a great school in New York City, called Success Academy Harlem. They score top 1% on statewide examinations. Success Academy Harlem claims that it is a very diverse school, yet there is only 1% Asian enrollment. Success Academy Harlem has 13 “Asian, pacific islander, Hawaiian” (so 3 groups combined) out of 1183 students in 2018. There are significant examples of how advocating for people of color and diversity doesn’t help Asians.
Asian Americans should advocate for Asian Americans. Alternatively be even more specific and advocate for Chinese, Koreans, Tibetans, Malaysians, etc. This way the full benefit of their activism goes towards the intended recipients, instead of being taxed away to other groups that are anti-Asian.