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The views and opinions expressed on this site and blog posts (excluding comments on blog posts left by others) are entirely my own and do not represent those of any employer or organization with whom I am currently or previously have been associated.

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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

October 17, 2006

Written by C.N.

300 Million Americans

You’ve probably heard by now that according to Census Bureau calculations, earlier today, the U.S. population officially reached the 300 million mark. Of course, there are numerous cultural, economic, and political implications of this accomplishment, but you might be interested to know that as the Springfield Republican reports, when the U.S. population topped 200 million in 1967, an Asian American was proclaimed by Life Magazine as the 200 millionth American:

When [Robert Ken Woo Jr.] was born Nov. 20, 1967, at 11:03 a.m. EST in Atlanta’s Crawford Long Hospital, Life magazine proclaimed him the 200 millionth American. In the years since, he has worn his footnote in history lightly and well. However, his flicker of fame has been fanned anew by the approaching milestone.

“I never took it that seriously,” Woo, now a prosperous lawyer in Atlanta, says of his place in the annals of American trivia. “To me it seemed very random.” . . . Sally Woo awoke after delivery to snapping photographers. . . . One year, Woo remembers, a photographer prostrated himself to get a good shot of him on his bicycle. “I am watching this full-grown man in a suit lying down on my driveway.”

Another year, a photographer appeared at his kindergarten class. “I did not like that at all.” Occasional news stories would alert Georgians to Woo’s progress: The 200 millionth American graduates from Harvard and Harvard Law School. The 200 millionth American becomes the first Asian-American partner at the law firm, King & Spalding.

It’s certainly appropriate that the face of contemporary American society is likely to be multicultural and ethnically diverse. Of course, there will be plenty of people who scoff at the thought that the “average” American in anyone other than White. But as the statistics (and reality) show, for better or for worse, as a proportion of the total population, Whites are shrinking.

However, that is not enough reason to be paranoid or angry. In fact, I can think of plenty of better reasons why Whites (and anybody else for that matter) should be angry at the state of the nation. My point is, rather than who our neighbors are or what race the “average” American is likely to be, the only thing we as Americans need to fear are policies and actions that put each of us in conflict with others.

In other words, if you want to solve a “problem,” get at the cause, don’t just treat the symptoms.

Author Citation

Copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le. Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "300 Million Americans" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <> ().

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