Let’s talk about the racist notion, deeply embedded in US culture, of Asians as perpetual foreigners. Specifically, maybe you heard about this massive facepalm from US Congress just last week.
At a congressional hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday, July 24, 2014, Florida Republican Congressman Curt Clawson (above, left) addressed Nisha Biswal (right) and Arun Kumar, two US citizens and senior officials working for the US State Department and US Commerce Department, with these words:
“I’m familiar with your country. I love your country. Anything I can do to make the relationship with India better, I’m willing and enthusiastic about doing so. Just as your capital is welcome here to produce good-paying jobs in the U.S., I’d like our capital to be welcome there. I ask cooperation and commitment and priority from your government in so doing.”
Needless to say, Biswal and Kumar are Indian Americans who hold senior position within the US government, and were introduced as such at the hearing, but the Tea Party Congressman repeatedly spoke to them about India as “your country” and “your government”. An incredibly awkward silence was finally broken when Biswal said: “I think your question is to the Indian government.”