A former employee of YouTube (a subsidiary of Alphabet, parent of Google) alleged in a recently filed lawsuit that YouTube is discriminating against white and Asian men. “YouTube last year stopped hiring white and Asian males for technical positions because they didn’t help the world’s largest video site achieve its goals for improving diversity,” the suit alleges.
Liberal discrimination against white men is nothing new, but many people are caught by surprise to see such explicit discrimination against Asian males in the name of diversity from one of the most progressive companies in one of the most liberal zip codes. After all, don’t liberals always define diversity in terms of external traits such skin colors?
Once Again, Asian Americans Are Punished By Their Own Success
Silicon Valley owes much of its impressive success to Asians, which make up the largest ethnic group in the Valley. In 2010, the percentage of Asian tech workers jumped from 39 percent to more than 50 percent in Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties combined, according to Census Bureau statistics.
Asian workers make up 34 percent of Google’s staff, 41 percent of Facebook’s staff, 57 percent at Yahoo, and 60 percent at LinkedIn. The Asian workforce’s dominance in the tech industry isn’t the result of any special favorable recruiting policies, but is largely the result of Asian families’ emphasis on STEM education, which creates a large pool of capable, tech savvy workers.
Even though Asians are well represented in the tech workforce, lots of them feel they are still being held back by an invisible “bamboo ceiling.” Many Asians believe cultural biases, such as “Asians are good with numbers and technical stuff but not so good with people thus are not good management material,” prevent them from further career advancement. For example, Asians make up only 11 percent of startup senior executives (6 percent of CEOs), 10 percent of venture partners, and 8.3 percent of board members. The lack of career advancement also reflects in the salary gap. Asian tech workers on average made $8,146 less each year than white workers in 2012, $3,656 less than Black workers, and $6,907 less than those who identified as “other.”
There’s also a great deal of diversity among Asian American communities. According to Pew Research, there are about 20 million Asian Americans in the U.S. who can trace their roots to more than 20 countries in East and Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent, each with different economic well-being, unique histories, cultures, languages and other characteristics.
But the liberal definition of diversity is not only about skin color and cultures. It’s also about victimhood. Thus, despite the challenges Asian Americans face, liberals have decided that Asian Americans as a whole are too successful to be included under their “big tent.”
Why Asian Americans Continue to Support Liberal Candidates and Policies
From Roosevelt’s executive order which sent Japanese Americans to internment camps during the World War II to today’s affirmative action in college admissions, Asian Americans have been hurt again and again by Democrat politicians and liberal policies. Yet Asian Americans consistently vote overwhelmingly for Democrat candidates. In 2016, 79 percent of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) voters supported Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. In the 2012, presidential election, Barack Obama won 73 percent of the Asian American vote, exceeding his support among Hispanics (71 percent) and women (55 percent).
Why do the majority of Asian Americans choose to support Democrats? I identified three factors. First is location. Asians tend to concentrate in urban environments where liberals are dominant. For example, a third of Asians in America live in California. Other top states with significant Asian populations are New York, New Jersey, and Hawaii. Therefore, Asians are bombarded by Democrat propaganda.
Second, the cultural influence of the countries of origin still has an impact on many first generation Asian immigrants: the top six countries that send 80 percent of all Asian immigrants to the U.S. are China, the Philippines, India, Vietnam, Korea and Japan. With the exception of India, the other five countries all have long traditions of being patriarchal societies following Confucian teachings. Confucius, a Chinese philosopher from 551 B.C to 479 B.C., defined the relationship between government and its people, between the ruler and his subject, as a family affair. Confucius believed people should obey and respect their rulers just as they obey and respect their fathers, while a ruler should love and care for his subjects as if they were his children. Under the influence of this philosophy, although many Asians believe self-reliance and hard work are the only paths to prosperity, many of them also believe government has a responsibility to take care of other people, and they are more open to big government as long as there is a virtuous leader to lead it. Like many other ethnic groups, the second generation of East Asians are much less likely to be subject to the influence of Confucius.
Third, the Democrat’s message of embracing diversity, as superficial as it is, still sounds attractive to many Asians, because it gives them a sense of belonging. In the meantime, Republicans have all but given up on winning Asian votes and thus make very little effort. Republicans have been doing a very poor job of “showing up” in Asian communities. To many Republicans candidates, minority outreach means outreach to African Americans and Hispanic Americans only. Outreach to Asians has a lower priority, often merely showing up at a Chinese New Year celebration in an election year is considered to be sufficient. In addition, Republicans do a poor job of recruiting Asian Americans at the grassroots level. Being an Asian and a conservative is a lonely journey. When I show up at a Republican Party event, 9 out of 10 times I am the only Asian in the room.
Republicans Shouldn’t Cede Asian Voters to Democrats Any Longer
Republicans shouldn’t cede Asian voters to Democrats for two reasons. First, Asian Americans share many values that conservatives cherish: an emphasis on hard work, self reliance, strong families and the importance of marriage. Second, the demographics in this country have already changed. According to Pew Research, the 20 million Asians in the U.S today represent almost 6 percent of the U.S. total population and 4 percent of all voters. But it’s the rate of growth of the Asian population that is the most impressive. The U.S. Asian population grew 72 percent between 2000 and 2015 (from 11.9 million to 20.4 million), the fastest growth rate of any major racial or ethnic group.
Such growth is mainly due to an influx of new immigrants. The Wall Street Journal reports that in 2013, China replaced Mexico as the top country sending immigrants to the U.S. and Asians as a whole have already overtaken Hispanics as the fastest growing immigrant group. In 2055, Asians are projected to become the largest immigrant group in the country. Therefore, any serious and ambitious Republican politicians can’t afford to continue ceding Asian voters to Democrats.
For Republicans to win over Asians, it will take time to overcome the geographic limitation and cultural differences. But at the same time, there are things that Republicans have been doing poorly in the past and present that can make a difference now.
First, immigration is one of two top priority issues that Asian Americans care about the most, because 74 percent of Asian Americans 18 or older were born outside of the U.S. The majority of Asians came to the U.S. legally. Asian immigrants especially dominate the high-skilled labor segment. If the Republican-controlled Congress can pass a merit-based legal immigration reform, it will win many Asian American hearts and votes.
Another high priority issue for most Asians is education. There are two aspects to this. For K-12 education, Asian parents often are willing to spend any amount out of pocket to ensure their children receive a first rate education. Not surprisingly, they more often than not will vote for tax increases if they are told it is for educational purposes. Republicans haven’t done a good job of explaining to these concerned Asian parents why the poor performance of public schools is not a money issue and why school choice is a good idea.
The other aspect of education which causes high anxiety among many Asian parents and their children is how affirmative action in college admission hurts Asian students. Many Asians have already known for years that their SAT scores need to be hundreds of points higher than applicants from other ethnic groups to have an equal chance of college admission. USA Today reports that some Asian youths who have one non-Asian parent now choose not to check “Asian” as their race on their college applications, hoping to avoid discrimination.
Discrimination in any shape or form is un-American. So far Republican politicians have been relatively quiet about this issue. We need more Republican politicians to take a stand against affirmative action in college admissions.
A Wake up Call for Asian Americans
The latest YouTube lawsuit should be a wake up call for Asian Americans. For far too long, Democrats have been taking Asian American votes and loyalty for granted. The Democrat platform is built upon redistribution of other people’s wealth and historical grievances. Asian Americans’ self made economic success and education attainment offer a clear rebuttal to such ideology. No wonder liberals now explicitly exclude Asians from their diversity outreach. Liberal policies have hurt more than benefited Asian Americans. It’s time Asian Americans take their loyalty and votes somewhere else.