Introduction to the Perpetual Foreigner Syndrome
The perpetual foreigner syndrome is the stereotyping of members of ethnic minorities as foreigners or “the other,” regardless of their actual citizenship or birthplace, by the “white” or dominant society of North America (United States and Canada). Asian Americans and Asian Canadians, including the Chinese, are especially prone to the perpetual foreigner syndrome. Frank Wu writes that almost all Chinese Americans, when asked where they were born, if they reply with a place in the United States, will almost always be asked, “Where are you really from?” (79)1.
The implication of such questions is that no person of Chinese ethnicity can possibly be American or Canadian. As Wu says, “everyone with an Asian face who lives in America is afflicted with the perpetual foreigner syndrome. We are figuratively and even literally returned to Asia and ejected from America” (ibid.).
America’s dominant “white” society has an overwhelming propensity to ascribe American identity to European Americans rather than to Americans of ethnic minorities. As Thierry Devos and Mahzarin R. Banaji write, “To be American is to be White” (40). Historian Iris Chang recounts a comment that a film executive made to Chris Lee, the Chinese American president of Columbia TriStar, about the movie version of The Joy Luck Club. The film executive said there were “no Americans” in the movie. Lee retorted, “There are Americans in it. They just don’t look like you” (392).
Wu calls this stereotyping the perpetual foreigner syndrome. Sapna Cheryan and Benoît Monin call it “identity denial” because the mainstream society constantly questions the identity of millions of Asian Americans and denies they are American even though they self-identify as Americans (Cheryan and Monin 717).
Cheryan and Monin’s research supports Wu’s assertion that Chinese Americans are subjects of the perpetual foreigner syndrome more frequently than white Americans are. They conducted several studies on perceptions of Asian Americans by Stanford University students and discovered that Asian Americans were five times more likely to be mistaken as being from another country than white Americans were.
Both the United States and Canada have had so-called Nativist movements throughout their history. Nativists are white European descendants who consider themselves to be the “native” society of the United States and Canada and oppose having immigrants and their descendants in their country. (Ironically, North American nativism ignores the actual natives of the continent.) At various historical periods and in current times, American Nativists have targeted other ethnic groups of European descent, such as Germans, Irish, and Italians; religious minorities such as Jews and Catholics; and Latin American and Asian groups such as Mexicans, Chinese, and Japanese (cf. Warner). Canada has had similar Nativist movements, evidenced by the anti-Catholic activities of the Orange Lodge in Canada (cf. McLaughlin), the internment of Japanese Canadians during World War II, and the various anti-Chinese laws including the Chinese Exclusion Act.
Over time, Nativists have reassessed some of their former targets as being sufficiently white for inclusion in the dominant society. For example, Donald Trump, who was elected President of the United States after running on an anti-Mexican, anti-Muslim platform, is only two generations removed from a German immigrant, who was lucky to have arrived in America in 1885, 30 years after the anti-German campaigns of the Know-Nothing movement. Germans are now part of the dominant society. However, the Chinese, despite having a history that dates back to 1849 in the United States and 1858 in Canada, are still regarded as perpetual foreigners as shown by the incidents cited below. (For purposes of this paper, I am not dating the Chinese presence in Canada back to the Chinese who came with the British fur trader John Meares to Nootka Sound in 1788 because they did not form a lasting presence. In 1789, the Spanish attacked the British at Nootka Sound, and the Chinese mysteriously disappeared. The first significant group of Chinese to come to Canada arrived during the British Columbia Gold Rush of 1858, and the Chinese Canadian community originated with them.)
Frank Wu acknowledges that most European and Asian countries conceive of citizenship as a racial identity (86). However, he writes that the racial concept of citizenship is an Old World concept; the New World bases citizenship on “consent, not descent” (87). New World countries consist of persons whose origins come from around the world but have consented to consider each other Americans or Canadians.
Most research on the perpetual foreigner syndrome and the Chinese is about Chinese Americans; there is little, if any, on Chinese Canadians. However, I will describe two events that show that the stereotype persists in Canada.
First, the Albany Club, the Conservative Party of Canada’s private club in Toronto, held a luncheon with the Chinese ambassador to Canada as its guest speaker on February 23, 2012. During the question and answer session, a member of the audience joked to Ambassador Zhang Junsai that he wished the ambassador had brought Jeremy Lin with him. As the audience laughed, I turned to an American journalist beside me and said, “Why don’t they ask the American ambassador to bring Jeremy Lin here?” The American journalist answered, “Oh, you don’t know who Jeremy Lin is? He’s the Chinese guy who plays basketball.”
In my opinion, asking the Chinese ambassador to bring Jeremy Lin was as appropriate as asking the Austrian ambassador to bring the actor Arnold Schwarzenegger—or even less so. Jeremy Lin was born in Torrance, California, has lived in the United States his whole life, and has played only for American teams. He speaks English with an American accent and thanks Jesus for his coach, his fans, and his successful season (Judge 2016). He has the background of a stereotypical “all-American” athlete. However, the Albany Club members and the visiting American journalist saw him as Chinese rather than American.
In contrast, most Americans and possibly most Canadians as well view the Austrian-born Schwarzenegger as an all-American movie star, so much so that the Republican Party had him give a speech about his pride in America at its 2004 national convention. (Although Lin suffers from the perpetual foreigner syndrome and Schwarzenegger does not, it’s actually Lin, not Schwarzenegger, who could run for President of the United States because he was born in the U.S., unlike Schwarzenegger.)
Another high-profile instance of the perpetual foreigner syndrome in Canada occurred on October 30, 2016, when TV host Evan Solomon interviewed Steven Blaney, a candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, on CTV’s Question Period. Blaney called his fellow Conservative and rival for leadership, Michael Chong, a “model of integration” (Elliott 2016). Solomon questioned whether Chong needed to “integrate” because Chong was born in Canada.
Chong’s biography is well known to the public, which tweeted sarcastic jokes that Chong had succeeded in integrating into Canadian society after having being born in Windsor, Ontario (ibid). Did Blaney know that Chong had been a Canadian since birth? He did not say, though it seems unlikely that Blaney did not know the history of a prominent rival for the party leadership.
Blaney did not apologize for calling Chong a “model of integration.” Perhaps he thought calling Chong a model person was a form of praise. However, it implied that Chong was not originally a Canadian and had to integrate into Canadian society. Thus Blaney imposed the perpetual foreigner syndrome on Chinese Canadians.
Not surprisingly, the perpetual foreigner syndrome is a recurring theme in Asian American literature, much of which is about identity and being accepted as American, not foreign (Matibag 189). Much Chinese Canadian literature reflects similar themes of identity and isolation (Wong 2).
However, although Chinese North American writers frequently use the perpetual foreigner theme in mainstream literature, they use it much less frequently in science fiction and fantasy. Science fiction and fantasy have long had the theme of “the other,” a character whom society regards as foreign or alien, but it is usually applied to extraterrestrials and androids instead of human beings. A fine example of this comes from DC Comics’s Senior Story Editor Ian Sattler in 2010. When asked about the perception that his company was replacing non-white characters (e.g., Ryan Choi as the Atom) with white characters at HeroesCon in 2010, he said,
It’s so hard for me to be on the other side because it’s not our intention. There is a reason behind it all. We don’t see it that way and strive very hard to have a diverse [DC Universe]. I mean, we have green, pink, and blue characters. We have the Great Ten out there and I have counter statistics, but I won’t get into that. It’s not how we perceived it. We get the same thing about how we treat our female characters. (Collins)
Nonetheless, the perpetual foreigner theme has appeared in some science fiction and fantasy written by Chinese North Americans.
“The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu (2011)
In Ken Liu’s “The Paper Menagerie,” the narrator, Jack, recounts his relationship with his mother, who makes origami animals that come to life. Jack is the son of a (presumably white) American father and a mail-order bride from China. Though his father is part of the dominant society, their neighbors do not view his mother as such, and they don’t view the American-born Jack as a real American either. In one scene, two neighborhood women speak openly about Jack in front of him:
The neighbors conversed in the living room, not trying to be particularly quiet.
“He seems like a normal enough man. Why did he do that?”
“Something about the mixing never seems right. The child looks unfinished. Slanty eyes, white face. A little monster.”
“Do you think he can speak English?”
The women hushed. After a while they came into the dining room.
“Hello there! What’s your name?”
“Jack,” I said.
“That doesn’t sound very Chinesey.”
The two women impose the perpetual foreigner syndrome on the narrator with at least three stereotypes. First, they define his Asian face, which they call “slanty eyes,” as foreign by calling him “a little monster.” Second, they question whether he can speak English even though he was born and raised in the United States. Third, when they discover that his name is Jack, they express either surprise or disappointment that his name is not Chinese, though many Chinese Americans have European-style names: for example, Jeremy Lin.
The neighborhood women aren’t the only people who impose the perpetual foreigner syndrome on Jack. Jack feels the outsider identity from within himself, or, rather, he blames his mother for inflicting it upon him. She, too, is a victim of the perpetual foreigner syndrome from the neighbors. In Jack’s opinion, his mother fails to adopt American customs, which increases his feelings of his own foreignness and his resentment towards her.
Jack’s mother eventually does learn mainstream American customs, but by then, it is too late for them to form a bond:
Mom finally stopped making the animals when I was in high school. By then her English was much better, but I was already at that age when I wasn’t interested in what she had to say whatever language she used....
We had nothing in common. She might as well be from the Moon. I would hurry on to my room, where I could continue my all-American pursuit of happiness.
In the above scenes, another theme emerges: the conflict between the first generation of immigrants with their Old World traditions and their American-born children with their New World ways. Indeed, the relationship between parents and their children is a major theme in Asian American writing, often showing the conflict and tensions between generations (Lim 21).
Thus “The Paper Menagerie” shows how the perpetual foreigner syndrome can develop from causes both external and internal to the individual. The external cause is the members of the dominant society. The internal cause is the American-born individuals feeling that their foreign-born parents are the reason why others regard them as foreigners.
Jack abandons his Chinese heritage as he grows up. He commits identity self-denial. Thus Jack’s experience reflects the real lives of many Asian Americans; they often distance themselves from their Asian identity, including claiming ignorance of Asian culture, as a way of defending themselves from the perpetual foreigner syndrome (Cheryan and Monin 725).
Ken Liu does not view Jack’s mother as un-American or foreign. She chooses to marry an American and live in the United States and thereby is an American. In Liu’s view, maintaining her Chinese heritage does not make her un-American, and her Chinese and American identities are not mutually exclusive (cf. Liu “Email” and Bai).
“Wong’s Lost and Found Emporium” by William F. Wu (1983)
In William F. Wu’s “Wong’s Lost and Found Emporium,” a Chinese American man, known only by his surname Wong, goes to a mysterious shop where people look to find intangible values that they have lost. Wong is not the shopkeeper, but he helps the others with overt cynicism and lack of sympathy.
Wong tells an unnamed Chinese American woman:
I came in here looking for my compassion. I lost it years ago, bit by bit. I lost it when I was eight, and other kids chased me around the playground for no visible reason—and they weren’t playing. When I started junior high and got beat up in gym class because the rest of the school was white, like my grade school. When I ran for student congress and had my posters covered with swastikas and KKK symbols. And that was before I got out into the world on my own. You want to hear about my adult life?
That Wong has lost his compassion after a racist society has repeatedly treated him as an outsider is not merely background for his character. Various psychological studies have shown that racial prejudice and discrimination do harm the psychological well-being of their targets (Sue et al. 72–73; Wang et al 227–31). Wong is a fictional example of a real-life problem.
“Wong’s Lost and Found Emporium” was adapted as an episode of the revived Twilight Zone TV series in 1985. In the TV adaptation, Wong, now with the first name David, tells the Chinese American woman, now named Melinda, of two other racist experiences that destroyed his compassion:
And then I’d go out with a Caucasian woman, and people would stare at us, at me, as though I was polluting the gene pool by just having coffee with her. But I think, I think I lost the last of my compassion after reading about Vincent Chin.
The reference to Vincent Chin was especially significant to Chinese Americans in the 1980s. In Detroit in 1982, two white auto workers killed Vincent Chin, an industrial draftsman for an auto parts supplier. They thought he was Japanese and therefore a foreigner whose automobile industry competed with America’s.
The two killers pled guilty to manslaughter. Judge Charles Kaufman did not sentence them to jail time. Instead, he sentenced each of them to three years’ probation, a $3,000 fine, and $780 court costs (Parker 4).
Judge Kaufman’s rationale for the lenient sentences was:
Had it been a brutal murder, of course [the two killers] would be in jail.... These weren’t the kind of men you send to jail. We’re talking about a man who’s held down a responsible job with the same company for eighteen years, and his son who is employed and a part-time student.... [These] men are not going to go out and harm somebody else. I just don’t think that putting them in prison would do any good for them or for society. You don’t make the punishment fit the crime, you make the punishment fit the criminal. (quoted in Kaplan, H27)
The sentences shocked and angered the Chinese American community, which interpreted them as Judge Kaufman valuing white lives more than Chinese ones. In the words of Sheila Bedi, Vincent Chin “paid the ultimate price for being ‘the other’” and was “left devalued and expendable in the eyes of the criminal justice system” (Bedi 197–99).
Lily Chin, Vincent’s mother, said, “What kind of justice is this? This happened because my son is Chinese. If two Chinese killed a white person, they must go to jail, maybe for their whole lives.... Something is wrong with this country” (Chang 320).
Wu’s original story does not mention Vincent Chin. William F. Wu wrote “Wong’s Lost and Found Emporium” between 1981 and 1982, before the murder of Vincent Chin (Wu, Email April 2017). When Alan Brennert adapted the story for TV, he got the idea of adding the reference to Vincent Chin, to which Wu enthusiastically agreed (Wu, February 2017). The Twilight Zone adaptation was remarkable for its time for mentioning Vincent Chin. In the 1980s and arguably to this day, American television seldom showed Asians as regular Americans or mentioned their social issues or struggles in the broader American society.
Unlike Vincent Chin, Wong lives at the end of his story in both the original story and the Twilight Zone adaptation. He also recovers his compassion and bonds with Melinda, an important feat since he had been a loner. Although Wong has been a lonely, uncaring, callous man for much of his life, the story ends optimistically with his personal growth (Wu, April 2017).
“The Son of Heaven” by Eric Choi (2010)
Eric Choi’s “The Son of Heaven” is an alternate history story about Tsien Hsue-shen (as his name is rendered in Wade-Giles; in Pinyin, his name is given as Qian Xuesen), an engineer of aerodynamics and rocket science. The story follows the actual history of Tsien, who left China at age 23 to study engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in the 1930s. He became one of the most important rocket scientists in the United States’s early space program.
However, in both actual and alternate history, Tsien fell victim to the Red Scare, the paranoia about Communists, after World War II. The FBI suspected he was a secret Communist, and the Army revoked his security clearance, thus preventing him from working on military projects.
American paranoia against the Chinese in America, both citizens and foreign nationals, was rife during the Red Scare and the Cold War. Chinese Communists had taken over China in 1949 and fought against the United States in the Korean War from 1950 to 1953. Despite the survival of Chiang Kai-shek’s U.S.-backed regime on Taiwan, Chinese Americans were very vulnerable simply because they looked foreign and were thus automatically linked to an enemy country (Chang 2003, 248). Virtually the entire Chinese American community fell under federal scrutiny, and nobody was immune from investigation and a long series of questions about his or her life (251).
Chinese intellectuals working on technology for national security were especially vulnerable to accusations of Communist spying (Chang 2003, 252). Tsien applied for US citizenship after China fell to the Communists, but he did not receive it (ibid).
Choi’s story quotes an actual comment that Tsien made at an Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) hearing. When the INS asked Tsien if he would fight for China or for the United States if war broke out between them, Tsien replied:
My essential allegiance is to the Chinese people. If a war were to start between the United States and China, and if the war aim of the United States was for the greater good of the Chinese people—and I think it would be—then, of course, I would fight on the side of the United States. (Chang 1995, 170)
Tsien’s answer is interesting in that he tries to reconcile his Chinese and American identities. He says he is Chinese but does not declare loyalty to China or its government. Instead, he declares loyalty to the Chinese people and hopes that the United States will fight for the benefit of the Chinese and that he can join the U.S. for that fight.
Tsien, however, is neither a naturalized U.S. citizen nor an American-born Chinese (called ABCs by Iris Chang). In both reality and fiction, he remained a Chinese citizen. However, he stayed in America for over two decades and worked on U.S. military projects, actions that hint at becoming an American of some sort. He is not unequivocally American, but he has become a part of American society, at least at Caltech. In Iris Chang’s opinion, “The young Tsien was both Chinese and American, at heart, a citizen of two countries” (Chang 1995, 263).
However, the perpetual foreigner syndrome ended Tsien’s chances of becoming fully American. The U.S. put him under house arrest and investigated him for five years. The investigation turned up no evidence of Communist involvement, yet the government still distrusted him. Eventually the U.S. deported him to China in exchange for American prisoners of war. Sending Tsien to China actually hurt U.S. military interests by giving a gifted scientist to the Communists. Tsien built China’s nuclear missile and space programs and led its government science agencies. In Iris Chang’s opinion, after Tsien returned to China, “... Tsien may have gradually become his own worst enemy—the very kind of rigid, unquestioning bureaucrat that he had once so despised within the INS and the U.S. government during the McCarthy era” (263).
In “The Son of Heaven,” however, alternate history diverges from actual history during the five-year investigation. The fictional Tsien goes to Canada where he works on space projects and teaches at a university. Like his historical counterpart, the fictional Tsien becomes a high-ranking bureaucrat in charge of government science agencies. Unlike his historical counterpart, the fictional Tsien applies for Canadian instead of U.S. citizenship and receives it. His wife becomes a famous Canadian opera singer. Tsien and his family become part of the Canadian scientific, political, and cultural establishments. They overcome the perpetual foreigner syndrome and fulfil the Canadian immigration success story. It is a Canadian, democratic mirror-image of the actual Tsien’s life in Communist China.
Tsien is a different type of character from Jack in “The Paper Menagerie” and Wong in “Wong’s Lost and Found Emporium.” All are victims of the perpetual foreigner syndrome, but they react to it differently. Jack and Wong are born in the United States and identify as American although the dominant society rejects them as such. Their rejection embitters them and harms their relationships with others. Tsien is also rejected by the dominant society, but he was born in China and still identifies strongly as Chinese. He feels alienated, but he has an option that the other two characters lack. He does not take the same psychological journeys that Jack and Wong take. Instead, Tsien takes a literal journey to another country and builds a new identity. At the end of “The Son of Heaven,” Tsien becomes so Canadian that the government appoints him to lead the Canada National Space Administration, the fictional version of the Canadian Space Agency. He is no longer a foreigner in his new home.
However, typical of many Canadians, he still holds strong opinions on the ancestral homeland. When a TV reporter asks him about the deaths in Mao’s Great Leap Forward, he replies that the death toll was probably exaggerated. This comment causes controversy with the opposition Progressive Conservative Party, but the governing Liberal Party defends him.
The three stories examined here show the effects of the perpetual foreigner syndrome on their characters: feelings of isolation or alienation from society, intergenerational conflict, personal conflict with others, self-denial of the ancestral identity and culture, mental illness, state persecution, and deportation. Hence, they mirror the real-life experiences of Chinese North Americans, many of whom, if not all, have suffered from the perpetual foreigner syndrome to some extent.
The stories also show a range of how their characters deal with their dual identities. Jack’s mother in “The Paper Menagerie” maintains strong ties to Chinese culture regardless of how her neighbors view her. Jack suppresses and denies his Chinese identity in order to become acceptable to his fellow Americans. Wong in “Wong’s Lost and Found Emporium” does not seem to abandon or adopt either identity; instead, he becomes alienated from society. Tsien in “The Son of Heaven” moves to another country. These behaviors mirror the real-life range of how Chinese North Americans deal with identity.
“The Paper Menagerie” (written by an American) and “The Son of Heaven” (written by a Canadian), when compared, hint at a difference between how Americans and Canadians construct identity. Canadians have a common saying that America is a melting pot and Canada is a mosaic. Canada has an official multiculturalism policy that Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau began in 1971, leading to the Canadian Multiculturalism Act in 1988 and section 27 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which recognizes multiculturalism as a Canadian value. In contrast, the United States, despite a national narrative of immigration from diverse places, has never defined itself as multicultural, and its national motto is “E Pluribus Unum” (Out of Many, One).
In “The Paper Menagerie,” Jack feels compelled to choose between a Chinese identity and an American identity. To him and his neighbors, the two identities are mutually exclusive. For better or for worse, for worse for Jack and his mother, America is a melting pot of cultures in “The Paper Menagerie.”
In “The Son of Heaven,” the fictional Tsien has strong psychological ties to both China and Canada but yet is undoubtedly Canadian. He has become part of the Canadian mosaic.
The three stories are among the few science fiction and fantasy stories that deal with themes often found in mainstream Chinese North American literature. As such, they form a thematic link between genre fiction and the mainstream fiction of Chinese North Americans.
They also reflect that Chinese North Americans face the same challenges, but individuals can vary widely in how they deal with those challenges. Perhaps, paradoxically, there is a common Chinese American or Chinese Canadian experience, but it co-exists with many individual experiences that differ from one another.
Derwin Mak lives in Toronto.
Bedi, Sheila. “The Constructed Identities of Asian and African Americans: A Story of Two Races and the Criminal Justice System.” Harvard Blackletter Law Journal, 2003. Volume 19. <hjrej.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/19-JREJ-181.pdf> Accessed 19 August 2018.
Chang, Iris. The Chinese in America: A Narrative History. New York: Penguin Books, 2003.
——. Thread of the Silkworm. New York: Basic Books, 1995.
Cheryan, Sapna and Benoît Monin. “‘Where Are You Really From?’: Asian Americans and Identity Denial.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Volume 89(5) (November 2005). <depts.washington.edu/sibl/Publications/Cheryan%20&%20Monin%20(2005).pdf> Accessed 26 August 2017.
Choi, Eric. “The Son of Heaven.” The Dragon and the Stars. Edited by Derwin Mak and Eric Choi. New York: DAW Books, 2010.
Collins, Sean T. “Quote of the Day, June 7, 2010.” CBR.com. <www.cbr.com/quote-of-the-day-dcs-ian-sattler-on-race-in-the-dc-universe/> Accessed 26 August 2017.
Devos, Thierry and Mahzarin R Banaji. “American = White?” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, March 2005. <www.fas.harvard.edu/~mrbworks/articles/manuscripts/devos_american.pdf>. Accessed 26 August 2017.
Elliott, Josh, “Blaney criticized for calling Canadian-born Chang a ‘model of integration.’” CTVnews.ca, October 30, 2016. <www.ctvnews.ca/politics/blaney-criticized-for-calling-canadian-born-chong-a-model-of-integration-1.3138280> Accessed 26 August 2017.
Judge, Mark. “‘Thank You, Jesus’—Christian NBA Star Jeremy Lin Thriving on Court and Social Media.” cnsnews.com, April 25, 2016 <www.cnsnews.com/blog/mark-judge/thank-you-jesus-christian-nba-star-jeremy-lin-thriving-social-media> Accessed 26 August 2017.
Kaplan, David A. “Film about a Fatal Beating Examines a Community.” The New York Times, July 16, 1989. <www.nytimes.com/1989/07/16/arts/television-film-about-a-fatal-beating-examines-a-community.html>. Accessed 18 August 2018
Lim, Shirley Geok-Lin. “Asian American Literature: Leavening the Mosaic.” U.S. Society & Values, February 2000, 18–22. <usa.usembassy.de/etexts/soc/ijse0200pp18-25.pdf> Accessed 26 August 2017.
Liu, Ken. Email to Derwin Mak, April 18, 2017.
——. “The Paper Menagerie.” The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, March–April 2011.
Matibag, Eugenio D. “Asian American Art and Literature.” Encyclopedia of American Studies, Volume 1. Edited by Simon J. Bronner. New York: Grolier Press, 2001. <eas-ref.press.jhu.edu/view?aid=65&from=browse&link=browse%3Fmethod%3Dalpha%26letter%3DA%26type%3D > Accessed 26 August 2017.
McLaughlin, Robert, “Irish Nationalism and Orange Unionism in Canada: A Reappraisal.” Eire Ireland, Fall-Winter 2006.
New Twilight Zone, The. “Wong’s Lost and Found Emporium.” Written by Alan Brennert, directed by Paul Lynch. CBS, November 22, 1985.
Parker, Ross. “‘It’s not fair...’: Vincent Chin’s Last Words.” The Court Legacy, Vol. XIV, No. 4, November 2007.
Sue, Derald Wing, Jennifer Bucceri, Annie I. Lin, Kevin L. Nadal, and Gina C. Torino. “Racial Microaggressions and the Asian American Experience.” Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 2007, Vol. 13, No. 1. <www.oregoncampuscompact.org/uploads/1/3/0/4/13042698/racial_microaggressions_and_aa_experience.pdf> Accessed 26 August 2017.
Wang, Jennifer, John Oliver Siy, and Sapna Cheryan. “Racial Discrimination and Mental Health Among Asian American Youth.” Asian American and Pacific Islander Children and Mental Health, Volume 1: Development and Context. Edited by Frederick T.L. Leong, Linda Juang, Desiree Baolian Qin, and Hiram Fitzgerald. Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2011. <depts.washington.edu/sibl/Publications/ch10.pdf> Accessed 26 August 2017
Warner, Andy, “Fear of Foreigners: A Cartoon History of Nativism in America.” WQED News, September 12, 2016. <ww2.kqed.org/lowdown/2016/09/12/fear-of-foreigners-a-cartoon-history-of-nativism-in-america> Accessed 26 August 2017.
Wong, Rachel L. “Discussions of Diaspora: Cultural Production and Identity in Contemporary Chinese Canadian Literature.” Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. Paper 4180 (Thesis written at University of Western Ontario, 2016). <ir.lib.uwo.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5914&context=etd> Accessed 18 August 2018.
Wu, Frank H. Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White. New York: Basic Books, 2001.
Wu, William F. Email to Derwin Mak, April 13, 2017.
——. Email to Derwin Mak, February 28, 2017.
——. “Wong’s Lost and Found Emporium.” Amazing Stories, May 1983.
1. For purposes of this paper, I will use the terms “Asian American,” “Asian Canadian,” “Chinese American,” and “Chinese Canadian” to refer to Americans or Canadians of Asian or Chinese descent. Some individuals, for example, the author Ken Liu, do not self-identify as “Chinese American” but by another term—in his case, as “American of Chinese descent.” In Liu’s opinion, the “hyphenated identity of ‘Chinese-American’ is problematic because it presupposes a conflict between dual identities” (Liu, “Email” April 2017). However, Liu also mentions that other persons like the hyphenated identity and that “they have empowered themselves by seizing on that hyphen. That’s perfectly fine. Everybody has to do it their own way” (Bai 2016).