Touted as fulfilling the American Dream, roaming the Land of the Free, making it in the promised land, and reveling in the melting pot, thousands have flocked to US, through both legal immigration and illegal entry. While some may be pushed by dire circumstances back home, the pull factor is often what tips the balance, leading to willful transplantation into what for most is a culturally challenging expedition.
Save for a relatively short duration more than a century ago when Chinese were banned from coming to the
But of late the chorus for border control is reaching a crescendo and attempts to terminate the greencard lottery are purportedly debated in the Capitol Hill. While the issue continues to simmer and awaits a comprehensive resolution, hopefuls would have to make some adjustments as necessary while both legal and illegal non-immigrants already in the country may face backlash from an increasingly polarized populace. For one thing, one would have to strive to merge into the American mainstream beyond the economic sphere. In addition, one could likewise leverage one’s linguistic and cultural background to help project a neighborly image for one’s adopted country in the international arena.
I’m ethnic Chinese. This qualification may seem superfluous as I can’t possibly be confused with the ilk of Christopher Lee, Tom Lee, and Sara Lee nor the like of Lee Majors and Lee Remick. Instead, I’m more likely to be grouped with TD Lee or YT Lee, both Nobel laureates in physics and chemistry, respectively.
Being a member of the so-called Under-Represented Minority (URM), I can imagine there are situations where it may be advantageous to keep my ethnicity to myself, say, in a college application, lest I’m cast as a stereotypical studious kind whose ability to contribute to campus diversity is dubious. But to do that is to ignore my cultural heritage when learning Chinese is becoming popular as evidenced from the fact that schools are setting up Chinese classes and Advanced Placement Program will soon include Chinese as one of the course offerings. As in most things in life, short-term expediency is no substitute for peace of mind in the long haul, not often anyway. So be true to yourself, and to humanity as well.