May 5, 2006
Written by C.N.
As a resident of Massachusetts, I was interested to read about a burgeoning and emerging Asian American community in Quincy, MA. Although Asians now make up about a quarter of the city’s population, the city’s leadership is still comprised of White men:
For years, people have been talking about the changing face of Quincy. The historically white, blue-collar city has a fast-growing Asian population that now makes up almost a quarter of the whole. Almost 30 percent of students in the city’s schools are Asian. There are a growing number of Asian-owned businesses.
But the official face of Quincy is virtually frozen. The nine men who sit on the City Council are white. There are no Asian-Americans on the School Committee. Mayor William Phelan said he respects the Asian presence in the city and maintains good relationships with his Asian constituents. But each year, he confessed, he has to be retaught how to say “Happy New Year” in Chinese.
As sociologists and demographers can tell you, Quincy is not the only city in the U.S. that is undergoing this type of racial/ethnic transition. What these scholars will also tell you that inevitably, there will be some minor and major conflicts in this transition process. We’ll just have to see how Quincy fares as it gradually integrates its Asian American population into the community and its power structure.
Update: On April 30, 2006, four Asian American professionals were arrested and charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct in Quincy. The Quincy police claimed that all four tried to attack the police while the four Asian Americans claimed that they did nothing to warrant being brutalized and sprayed repeatedly with pepper spray. Looks like integrating Asians in Quincy still has a ways to go.
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Emerging Asian Community in Quincy, MA" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2006/05/emerging-asian-community-in-quincy-ma/> ().
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