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Is the D.C.-Baltimore Area the Center of Asian American Conservatism?
(Updated Tuesday, Apr 1, 2008, 06:06:40 PM)

he greater D.C. metro area (including Baltimore and Northeastern Virginia) is not only the seat of the national government but the center of the U.S. defense establishment. The contractors and the large intelligence agencies -- most of which are headquartered there -- are easily the biggest employers of the region's affluent science and engineering professionals. An estimated 22% of these technologists are drawn from the 400,000 AA who make up 8% of the region's 5 million residents. This heavy concentration in the defense sector makes the area's Asian Americans not only the nation's most affluent, but also the most politically and socially conservative.
Mall Sunrise
Home of AA Conservatism?

     The Asian influx into the D.C. area is largely a post-Vietnam War phenomenon. The capitol's small but comely Chinatown on H Street between 6th and 8th boasts about 20 restaurants and a number of shops but they cater mostly to tourists and the lunch-hour crowd. Currently only about 1,000 Chinese live in Washington D.C. -- and that number has been shrinking steadily. Most live in the suburbs of northern Virginia (46,000) and southern Maryland (52,000). The D.C. area hosts only the 10th largest Chinese American population but a high percentage are degreed science and tech professionals with security clearances.
     Similar credentials are found among the 110,000 Corean Americans who make up the area's largest Asian nationality. They enjoy access to 53 Corean restaurants, mostly in Annandale, Arlington, and in Aspen Hill in Maryland's Montgomery County. The vast majority of Coreans here are staunchly Republican -- not surprising since their fortunes turn on the dollars allocated to defense spending.
     Vietnamese are another Republic-leaning Asian nationality with a heavy D.C.-area presence. Virginia is home to the nation's third largest Vietnamese population (40,000), mostly in the state's northeastern part. Less than half that number make their home in Maryland and D.C. combined. They do manage to support a nascent Little Saigon in Wheaton.
     Indians, who received over half the H-1B visas issued to foreign tech workers beginning in 1992, have been drawn by the area's defense sector. In 2001 the 52,000 Indians living in Virginia surpassed Filipinos as that state's most numberous Asian nationality thanks to a 143% increase since 1990. An equally large number of Indians have immigrated to take advantage of Maryland's abundance of science and tech jobs.
     Another good indicator of the D.C. area's political conservatism is the relative scarcity of Japanese Americans who have traditionally skewed strongly in favor of democrats. Neither Maryland nor Virginia ranks among states with the top 10 JA populations.
     Is the D.C.-Baltimore area really the home of AA conservatism? Or have the more recent waves of young AA newcomers begun embracing the more liberal values of the Clinton era?

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BTW, Blinders On, do you know what border constitutes the Mason-Dixon line? MD/Penn... MD was a Confederate state. That was 140 years ago, so the only real point to that is that you may not be as educated as you think.

Actually, DC2NY, please consult your history books. Maryland was NOT a Confederate state, regardless of where the Mason-Dixie Line is located (and you are correct as to where it is located.) Maryland never declared secession from the Union (as well as Missouri and Kentucky, all of which were slave states and who did not secede from the Union.) Maryland's population was heavy with Confederate sympathizers, as was MO, KY and even Pennsylvania. Pres. Lincoln placed Baltimore under martial law for most of the Civil War because of its anti-Union rioting and sentiment in that city - Baltimore was a major slave trade port and slavery existed legally in Maryland even after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued which freed slaves only in states and territories in rebellion against the United States - Maryland was not in rebellion.

When I was a waiter in DC , I actually did have a woman ask me "You don't speak English, do you?" (I'm half Japanese and half white.) I told her, "Honey, if blond hair and blue eyes were pre-requisites for English erudition, I'd be in a little trouble." She goes, "Oh, I'm sorry I didn't mean that way." And I said, "Oh, but yes you did. You don't 'look' exactly like an English-speaker yourself. I speak five languages - none of them Asian - and my native language is English. What do you mean by your stupid question?" She sputtered and choked, so I gave her a Ricki Lake and said "Talk to the hand..." and left her table. I wouldn't serve her. Yes, it's true - waiters CAN be nasty. :-)
cymrusmc2147    Sunday, December 29, 2002 at 10:49:44 (PST)    []
You forgot to mention the internet anchor Christina Park. She anchors for CNN I think, she's on the anchors page at CNN.
   Saturday, December 07, 2002 at 15:32:04 (PST)    []
"asian politics" -

I don't know if I can speak about politics from an "asian interest" perspective, but Morella is one of the more liberal Republicans in Congress. She's probably more liberal than many Democrats in the House. If you think that a politician with liberal views is good for Asian Americans, then I guess she's "good." Of course, if you're a Democrat, I guess you'd rather see her lose so that she can be replaced in the Congress with a Democrat.

As far as I can tell, identity politics isn't very big among DC area voters, or on the East Coast generally (outside of college campuses), so it's difficult to answer your question directly. Morella and Williams both have reputations for being moderate and competent leaders who generally don't rock the boat one way or the other. As far as I know, none of the elected public officials in the DC area have done or said anything either offensive to Asians or antithetical to Asian American interets.
   Sunday, November 03, 2002 at 16:05:46 (PST)    []
Can someone fill me in a bit more on the political movements going on around the area at this time? Connie Morella, and also about the DC mayor race. What are some of the good points for Asian Americans that these political people represent and what are some of the things to watch for before going to the voting polls. Any insights?
asian politics 101
   Tuesday, October 29, 2002 at 05:46:47 (PST)
Hey AA,
Lets move this to the Martial Arts Goldsea board to keep more on topic. I am a little hesitant to tell this since my husband is competitive in kung fu at the moment, but oh me at the marital arts board for the full story.
   Tuesday, August 27, 2002 at 04:17:32 (PDT)
I've never been to Omei but I think my friend's family goes to that school. Maybe they go to a different one. Can you tell me more about the scary thought patterns that come out of there? I'm just curious. I live in the Woodbridge area where there aren't quite as many Asians as in the rest of NOVA. But the Asian population is definitely growing. I don't think there's any kung fu schools in Woodbridge but there are some Tae Kwon Do schools.
   Sunday, August 18, 2002 at 12:57:19 (PDT)
Hey JJP,
I read the article. He is quite a guy around here! My husband does kung fu and martial arts seems to be really big around the metro/NOVA area, and Maryland near by. Be careful where you go though if you decide to take classes. There is a kung fu school near Annandale called Omei. Some pretty scarey thought patterns come from that place! Thanks for Washington Post. I enjoy reading it , get it every Sunday...
   Monday, August 12, 2002 at 11:39:33 (PDT)
Sorry I keep plugging Washington Post articles, but they have so many interesting stories.

The August 8, 2002 paper has a story about Jhoon Rhee, a 70-year-old taekwondo master. I've never heard of him, not having grown up in the DC area, but apparently the guy is a legend in the metro DC area. He trains all sorts of celebrities and members of Congress in taekwondo.

It's a fun article. Check it out on the web if you get a chance.
   Thursday, August 08, 2002 at 13:25:15 (PDT)
Interesting item in the Washington Post said that a NJ-based bank that caters to Asian immigrants is opening a branch in Annandale, in N.Va.

The article noted that the Washington, DC area is home to the third-largest Korean-American population, behind LA and NY. It said there are about 28,000 Koreans in northern Virginia.
   Tuesday, July 23, 2002 at 10:55:19 (PDT)
"I have to disagree on one point that you made. True, CNN fired Joie Chen, but it also hired Connie Chung soon after."

They had to cover their rare.

"It also has at least three other Asian women among its anchors (Sachi Koto, Sophia Choi, and Carol Lin). Also, it has an Asian woman reporter (Lillian Kim)."

Minor roles compared to white females or white looking females such as Rudi Bhaktiar and Hala Gorani.

"Racism exists everywhere, but, in my experience, it isn't nearly as bad in the DC area as it can be in other parts of the country."

In a number of areas surrounding DC, there is no majority population. Whites are now a minority. Racism in Texas would also decline when whites become a minority in a couple of years.

   Tuesday, July 09, 2002 at 11:15:43 (PDT)
Novasian --

I have to disagree on one point that you made. True, CNN fired Joie Chen, but it also hired Connie Chung soon after. It also has at least three other Asian women among its anchors (Sachi Koto, Sophia Choi, and Carol Lin). Also, it has an Asian woman reporter (Lillian Kim).

If you think CNN is racist against Asian women, I would have to disagree. If you think they're racist against Asian men, then I think you would have a good point. (Can you name an Asian man at CNN?)

Finally, I have to agree with Man of Lhasa. I'm not sure what the source of XXXO's rants are. Racism exists everywhere, but, in my experience, it isn't nearly as bad in the DC area as it can be in other parts of the country.
   Sunday, July 07, 2002 at 14:15:43 (PDT)
Novasian, I agree that diversity is a good thing.

I'm a Native-American from a small village in Wyoming , but I moved to DC to attend George Washington medical University. Moving here was quite transition, b-cuz it is literally a melting pot. There are alot of Blacks,Asians, Arabs, Hindus and Puerto-Ricans, as opposed to Wyoming where everyone is either "Indian or White"

   Saturday, June 29, 2002 at 12:16:59 (PDT)
"I think that having a DIVERSITY is a good plan for any area."

What I meant was that no one race should be more than 50%. Then again it depends...Vermont is 95% white, but generally I find the folks there very progressive and open minded. The south is very different though. It is the same country as Vermont but a different world altogether...and yes, whites are racist in the south compared to shows up whom they elect and who their heroes are .

   Thursday, June 27, 2002 at 11:16:46 (PDT)