Sailer Strategy (contd.): Who Are “Asians” Anyway—And Why Are We Giving Them Affirmative Action Benefits?

I`ve shown recently that simple
arithmetic proves the
“—by which the Republican Party would worry
less about “outreach”
to hostile minorities and more about
to mobilize its
natural white base
—will be
for a surprisingly long time
, despite current
immigration policy.

But it will obviously help if some
minorities can be

to be less enthusiastic about the Democrats.
In devising any long-term strategy for preventing one-party
Democrat rule in America, the Asian vote, which went for
Obama 62-35 over McCain, must be analyzed especially

A generation from now, Hispanics
will have an abundance of votes, but Asians will have plenty
of money and brainpower. Hispanics will naturally continue
to gravitate toward the tax-and-spend party, but Asians are
With their higher earning power, Asians,
in theory, might not prove hostile to a party advocating
limited government. On the

other hand
, if Asians continue their current shift to
the left, their talents will magnify the

of their numbers.

I`ll discuss the Asian vote in
detail in an upcoming column, but today`s essay will merely
explore the political implications of one basic question:

  • Who are “Asians” anyway?

Asia is an awfully big place. It has
four billion people inhabitants. Is everybody from Asia an
“Asian” according to U.S. government regulations?

For instance, everybody would agree
that, say,
, the Democratic Senator from Hawaii for the
46 years
, is Asian because his parents were Japanese.

But what about
, the Republican governor of Indiana and a
potential 2012 Presidential candidate? Is the

Daniels an Asian? After all, he is of

Christian descent, and Syria is in Asia.

Well, of course not! Everybody knows

West Asians
aren`t whom we are talking about when we
talk about “Asians”.

Then, how about
, the Republican governor of Louisiana? He is of
Asian Indian descent. Does that make him an
“Asian” Asian?

Funny you should ask. See, Jindal
was officially Caucasian for the first decade of his life.
But then the Reagan Administration changed him to an Asian.
So now he`s an Asian.

To begin at the beginning:
originally, the concoction of the overall
“Asian” category
was another folly of the Nixon Administration. Rather than
simply continuing to tabulate separately each of the mutually
antagonistic East Asian nationalities
, with their lurid
histories of

aggression and atrocity
against each other, Nixon`s
Office of Management and Budget lumped them together into
the single racial category of
“Oriental Americans”, making them a legally-protected class able to
sue for disparate impact.

Nixon`s creation of an
“Oriental” category (later changed to
“Asian” to entrap unfashionable people who fail to keep up with the

latest PC nomenclature shifts
) inevitably called into
existence a pan-East Asian class of activists to protect and
extend their racial privileges.

As I

when reviewing

Sandra Day O`Connor
`s disastrous,

, majority opinion in the

quota case, if the government announced that
people born on Wednesdays were now a legally preferred
class, there would soon spring up pressure groups with names
The Children of Woe
to lobby for more Wednesdaytarian
power. PBS would run Wednesday Pride documentaries during
Wednesday History Month about esteem-building people born on
Wednesdays, such as Jimmy Carter, Bruce Lee, and Rosie

Of course, the (relatively) good
news about “Asians”
is that since they tend toward competence, they benefit from
fewer quotas than blacks and Hispanics. Thus the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission`s notorious

Four-Fifths Rule
for detecting disparate impact results
in de facto quotas
for Asians much less often than for Non-Asian Minorities

Still, those

Asian activists are in action.
Thus, back in the 1970s
when Gov. Jindal was a child, Indian and Pakistani
immigrants and their offspring were legally considered
racially Caucasian, in accordance with the general findings
of physical and genetic

.  But
then, Indian immigrant businessmen clamored for the Small
Business Administration`s low-interest minority business
development loans. So, in 1982, the Reagan Administration
lumped immigrants from the Indian subcontinent in with East
Asians, declaring them all to be
“socially or


This is the result: Imagine you are
a Taliban terrorist from the mountainous border region of
Afghanistan and Pakistan. You immigrate to America. If you
are from the Pakistan side of the Khyber Pass, you are now
officially “Asian”,
and you qualify for taxpayer-subsidized low-interest loans.
But if you are from the

Afghanistan side,
you are

officially white
and are out of luck at getting a

government loan.

Got it?

Lumping together East Asians and
South Asians is transparently bogus. Pyong Gap Min, a
professor at Queens College
in New York City,

pointed out

is a political term
used by

Asian-American activists
and enhanced by governmental
treatment. In terms of culture, physical characteristics,
and pre-migrant historical experiences, I have argued, South
and East Asians do not have commonalities and as a result,
they do not maintain close ties in terms of friendship,
intermarriage or sharing neighborhoods."

The Reagan Administration`s attempt
to bribe a
pressure group, the

, by declaring them legally nonwhite is another
example of the shallow short-term thinking about race that
has left the Republican Party with its future in doubt.

It`s absolutely nuts for Republicans
to expand a system under which immigrants can win money and
prizes by declaring themselves victims of whites.

You don`t make friends that way, you
make enemies. It`s basic human nature.

Unfortunately, almost everybody
thinks about diversity in only the most abstract terms:
e.g., If we give Group X the special benefits their leaders
demand, they will vote for us more. I mean, their
politicians wouldn`t have ulterior motives, now would


But, in reality, to understand the
effects of diversity, you have to think about how
individuals actually act, about how they feel when they act.
You have to put yourself in their shoes.

Consider this example. In 2005, the
Office of the Inspector General sent a report to the SBA:

Criteria for Overcoming the Presumption of Social
Disadvantage is [sic] Needed
. A whistle-blowing
citizen had filed a complaint about an Asian businessman in
his mid-20s who had qualified for the SBA`s 8(a) minority
business development programs.

The whistle-blower

that the entrepreneur was not really disadvantaged.

See, in theory you don`t qualify for
taxpayer-subsidized loans just by being
“Asian”. No, you
have to be a socially or economically disadvantaged Asian.
And how do you demonstrate you are disadvantaged? You fill
out a form about how you`ve suffered under the lash of white

Thus this

Asian entrepreneur
related a tale of woe on his
application, including:

“I then watched as young, less experienced white men got the
promotions and salary increases that I had been promised.”

The Inspector General`s office
discovered, however, that in the company where the victim
toiled, his father was a senior officer and shareholder. In
fact, this young martyr to social and economic disadvantage:

1. came
from a wealthy family; e.g., according to a newspaper
article, since 1996, three companies his parents founded and
were affiliated with were sold for approximately $3 billion;

 was raised in his
parents` home, which had an assessed value of $5.2 million
as of January 1, 2005; …

 was gainfully
employed by the United States Senate,
Sachs International
… among others.

As the title of the 2005 report
points out, after decades of handing out loans to each and
every Asian who submitted a form claiming to be
“socially or
economically disadvantaged”
, the federal government
still hadn`t gotten around to developing criteria for
“overcoming the
presumption of social disadvantage”

In other words, if you are Asian,
the government just takes your word for it.

Consider the psychological effect of
the government prodding you to lie about white persecution.
Sure, this Asian applicant no doubt knew he was fibbing the
first time the government asked him to complain about being
discriminated against by whites in order to qualify for
quotas. Yet, as the years go by, and he keeps having to fill
out these forms to get more advantages over whites, and
keeps donating to ethnic lobbies to preserve his privileges,
it will only be natural for him to start believing his cover
story about how he`s the
real victim and
thus he deserves his loot.

If you pay people to exploit you,
they will come to believe you deserve it.

In fact, maybe you do.

The policy implications are twofold.

  • First, the next time the Republicans get any power, they
    need to abolish all programs that treat
    “Asians” as victims deserving special treatment.

If Asians are put on a basis of
legal equality with whites, they will get along well enough
with them—and cease to identify with the people, and the
party, benefitting from quotas

Sure, there will be a short-term
political price to pay. But if you don`t do it now, when
will you do it? When Asian voters are more numerous?

  • Second, South Asians must be reclassified back to
    Caucasian, and the
    category renamed
    “East Asian”
    (if not Oriental).

It was particularly shortsighted of
the Reagan Administration to declare South Asians officially
nonwhite. South Asians tend (especially compared to East
Asians) to be extraverted, loquacious in English, interested
in politics and argument, and intellectually venturesome.
There are already far more South Asian than East Asian
pundits in America. Policies that incline these Indians to
the left could turn out to be disastrous.

There are some grounds for hope. One
of the main reasons for anti-white feelings among East Asian
men is that

white men
are much more likely to
East Asian women than

East Asian men are to marry white women
, leaving a lot
of cranky East Asian bachelors left over. This is less of a
problem for South Asian men, who keep their womenfolk on
tighter leashes.

Arranged marriages
are still common among South Asians
in America.

Because the GOP is inevitably
destined to be considered the white party, it would be best
to have the Indians, as
vulgarly but memorably

of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover,
“inside the tent


than outside p—–g in”

And it`s not at all too late to
rectify the Asian definition to detach Indians. The current
categories are hardly set in stone. For example, in 1997,

broke apart the silly
“Asian or
Pacific Islander
group into
and Native Hawaiian or

Other Pacific Islander

Note, however,
why this was done.
Right now, only minority activists pay attention to the
federal definitions of race and ethnicity. Thus the
“Asian or Pacific Islander” group was split not because it was
plainly stupid to lump massive Samoans in with wiry
Vietnamese—and certainly not because it was good for
America. Instead, it happened because Native Hawaiian groups
felt that being aggregated with Asians was slowing their
endless campaign to badger Congress into treating them like
(for instance, let them have

to cater to

Chinese tourists).

Asians are richer than

Pacific Islanders
. So lumping them together
statistically diminished the Polynesians` claims of

Bottom line: American whites have
long subcontracted out to minority pressure groups the
question of how Washington develops the racial categories
used to award legal privileges and perquisites.

When whites made up an overwhelming
majority of the U.S. population, as they did during the
Nixon Administration, that heedlessness may have seemed

But as whites

lose their numeric dominance
because Washington`s
immigration policy, they will have to learn to play these
grubby games, too.

[Steve Sailer (email
him) is

movie critic

The American Conservative

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