Generally speaking, the second generations have far more privileges than the first; and yes, they are the ones who selectively construct and reconstruct what they want to inherit or preserve. Cultural continuity always depends on what are selected and discarded by the succeeding generations. That is something the first generation has no control over as they grow old and eventually live in memories only. Just 1/2 century from today, all will blend in with a little remnants from the first and second generations. It is just a matter of time in my view. Asian-American privilege today is sourced mainly in college education and occupational specialization. This is not a widespread privilege in Asian populations, and this is not a stable source, either; indeed it is highly competitive to the extent that educated Asians would be willing to race to the bottom against each other insofar as salaries and benefits are concerned. Asians in general are not at all resource-rich people in the U.S. although their average household income is about $10,000 higher than the average white family today; in fact, the poverty rate is higher for Asians than for whites. As long as educated Asians compete against other educated Asians in small and specialized labor markets, as long as they are engaged in their price wars (income) against each other, it is unlikely that they will unite for any common cause. If we look at other minorities, say Mexicans, it is the educated upper-middle class professionals who lead and speak for their people. They have dozens or more of nation-wide and state-wide organizations that promote their common interests, including investments in their future generations. They also speak for Hispanic populations in general. When you think of those successful upper-middle class Asians, Koreans or Indians, what comes to your mind? They are all around you there. The Asian privilege sourced in education today may not persist in the third generations, and many Asians then will go down the class ladder and experience what it is really like to get behind in this American society. Those well-to-do first and second generation Asians like to believe that their class locations are stable for generations to come. That is not so.

conversation w my uncle