Within the past year, our sister site 8Asians has posted about recent racial events: Wesley Yang’s Paper Tigers article, Alexandra Wallace’s “Asians in the Library” video (and Jimmy Wong’s response), and Amy Chua’s book. Sometimes it is helpful to take a step back and read about the issues from an academic point of view. Frank Wu’s Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White ($12.37) gives a good overview of where Asian Americans stand in the current racial climate of America. As the review on Amazon notes,
Yellow by Frank H. Wu is an eclectic, incisive investigation-cum-meditation that, though focusing on Asian Americans, recasts the United States’ ongoing debate about racial identity in all forms. Wu suggests that the widespread stereotyping of Asian Americans, while “superficially positive,” is inherently damaging. Mixing personal anecdotes, current events, academic studies, and court cases, Wu not only debunks the myth of a “model minority” but also makes discomfiting observations about attitudes toward affirmative action, what he calls “rational” discrimination, mixed marriages, racial profiling, and the “false divisions” of integration versus pluralism and assimilation versus multiculturalism. Though its conclusions are unremarkable, Yellow is thought provoking. The book’s strength–besides its clarity and thoughtfulness–is a lack of tendentiousness. Wu prefers to suggest, not posit; muse, not shout; and ask questions, not necessarily answer them.
Whatever your views on where the APA community stands today, we recommend this book as a good starting place for framing the current issues.