Home > Analysis, aside, culture, General, News, Opinion, religion > Some Thoughts on the Linsanity Surrounding Jeremy Lin

Some Thoughts on the Linsanity Surrounding Jeremy Lin

Like other Asian Americans, I have been following Linsanity over the last 2 weeks or so with great interest and pride. It’s not too often you see a twice-cut bench warmer become a starter and take a professional team in New York by storm like Jeremy Lin (林書豪) has. While the future of Lin as a mega star is not necessarily secure, with some saying that Lin is a phenom only because of his race and others observing that the Knicks has played mostly sissy teams the last couple of weeks, there are plenty of which to be proud even if Linsanity were to end tomorrow.

As a columnist in the Washingtonpost pointed out:

Undeniably, race is often a factor when discussing the NBA, whose players are predominantly African American. Lin is the league’s first American-born player of Taiwanese or Chinese descent. Those facts alone make him newsworthy.

[But] Lin’s actions on the court, and how the Knicks have benefited from what he does, are what’s most important. That’s the real story.

Considering Lin’s brief NBA background, his achievement is downright stunning. Lin sat on the Golden State Warriors’ bench all last season as a rookie, was released by the Houston Rockets in training camp before this season, played in the NBA’s Development League and bounced around the tryout circuit.

The injury-weakened Knicks signed Lin only to fill out their roster. At the end of the bench, Lin finally got an opportunity because the Knicks had no other options. He seized it.

Lin is setting a new standard for first-time starters. Regardless of race, he’s balling.

Combined with Lin’s showmanship in leading the Knicks’ turnaround, there’s just too much to ignore….

Now, the Knicks are a national story for the right reasons. They’re the buzz of the Big Apple.

Despite the pride and joy that is Linsanity, it has also highlighted ever-present racial tensions in America. While in college, Lin faced regular constant taunts on the Court (see this article on the Crimson (Harvard’s newspaper) or this article in Time). Over the last two weeks, racial slurs continue to creep (see also this or this) into the reporting of Jeremy Lin’s improbable run, proving perhaps, that slurs will follow Lin for his entire career.

What makes Lin’s recent rise such a story is that it came so much out of left field. As Lin himself had admitted,“I don’t think anyone, including myself, saw this coming.”

The writing of greatness has not really been on the wall for Lin. While Lin applied for college, no Division 1 NCAA team gave him a scholarship, and the school he was “dead set” to go – Stanford – actually “rejected” him. Lin’s stats in college were nothing to snicker at. But with Lin in the rein as a co-captain of the Harvard team basketball team, his team underachieved and failed to win even the Ivy League.

Lin’s journey into the NBA was not much easier. Cut from Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets in first year, Lin had to resort to his faith and to working hard to earn his second chance in the NBA. He was going to pursue his dream even if he’s relegated to the bench and farm teams. He finally got a chance to sign with and to play with the Knicks when the Knicks needed to fill some spots because of injuries. His contract with the Knicks ($800,000 for a year) were not even guaranteed until a couple of weeks ago.

Linsanity is not just a phenomenon in America, it has also spread like wildfire to Asia – especially Mainland China and Taiwan. Both Mainland and Taiwan have naturally basked in the Lin’s success (Mainland on account that Lin is of Chinese descent; Taiwan also on account that Lin is of Taiwanese descent but also on account that both Lin’s parents currently hold ROC citizenship).

I find it curious however that while in America, Linsanity is celebrated as an American thing that brings Americans together – as a vindication that Asian Americans can participate fully in the American dream – in Taiwan, Lin is seen as a symbol of division – a badge of ethnic purity of sorts.

In the media, you hear for example some family members of Lin proclaiming (almost desperately) that even though Lin’s maternal Grandmother is Mainland Chinese (and runs a scholarship in her hometown there), Lin is Taiwanese because “Taiwanese culture is male-dominated” and “her father’s side is Taiwanese. They bragged how her father is 8th generation Taiwanese, having immigrated from Fujian province to Taiwan in 1707. The will to narcissistically claim Lin exclusively is so strong that an urban legend of sorts have sprung that that not only the Mainland Chinese, but also the Koreans, are claiming Lin (according to my Korean friends here, however, while many Koreans in S. Korea do follow Lin with interest, there is no mass movement to claim Lin to be a Korean).

Recently, in an interview with an American journalist, when Ma Ying-jeou continually referred to Lin as Taiwanese, he had to be awkwardly reminded that Lin is “American” not “Taiwanese.” The journalist is right: as far as I can determine, even though Lin may legally apply for ROC citizenship, an easy affair since both his parents are ROC citizens, Lin appears to be currently an American and not a dual citizen of ROC and U.S. Even if Lin were offered ROC citizenship (or a PRC citizenship, with a spot in China’s basketball team at the 2012 Olympics to boot!), U.S. laws require Lin to forfeit his U.S. citizen if he ever obtains another citizenship. (While the PRC also appears to have an offer to Lin for its citizenship, with a spot in China’s basketball team at the 2012 Olympics to boot, that does not appear likely to occur as Lin would have have to formally forfeit his U.S. citizenship since China does not recognize dual citizenship.)

The more we think about what it means to be Taiwanese as these days, the more I am disgusted. We are not talking about whether someone has ROC citizenship or someone has lived in Taiwan or was born in Taiwan; we are talking about how long someone’s family has been in Taiwan – often in a politicized sort of way.  This type of childish bragging “my family has been here longer than thou” appears to define the essence of being “Taiwanese” today.

Bevin Chu made a good observation recently with respect to Tsai Ing-wen, the DPP candidate that got defeated by Ma earlier this year.

Tsai Ing-wen, DPP candidate for Republic of China President in 2012, has played the “Taiwanese Identity” card

Watch this slickly made campaign commercial, commissioned by Tsai Ing-wen’s campaign committee. But don’t be fooled. The  impeccably professional production values, replete with a cover of Iz Kamakawiwoʻole’s rendition of “Over the Rainbow,” mask deeply repugnant psychological attitudes.

Tsai’s concluding remarks in the commercial are: “I am Taiwanese, I am Tsai Ing-wen.”

Tsai’s opponent is incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou (KMT), who was born in Hong Kong.

Many native English speakers unfamiliar with politics on Taiwan, especially those living in the US, may not fully appreciate what Tsai is getting at. They may have difficulty discerning her subtext. They may find it hard to read between the lines.

To better understand what Tsai Ing-wen is really saying, imagine the same commercial in the US, run by white supremacist David Duke, running against a Barack Obama type “outsider,” someone cast as “not one of us.” Imagine Duke concluding with: “I am American, I am David Duke.”

No one would have the slightest difficulty understanding what Duke was getting at. Everyone would know Duke was implying that his opponent was “not an American, not a white American.”

And so it is with Tsai Ing-wen, the DPP, and the Taiwan independence movement. They remain motivated, today in 2011, as they have been for the past four decades, by atavistic identity politics and petty ethnic hatred.

The more rabidly fundamentalist supporters of Tsai Ing-wen, the DPP, and the Taiwan independence movement are unguarded in their speech. They scream about how “Taiwanese bulls” will exterminate “Chinese pigs,” at the top of their lungs.

Tsai however, gives their barnyard bigotry a kinder, gentler face, the way genteel white supremacists such as Peter Brimelow give white racism a kinder, gentler face.

The sad fact is, DPP leaders and the Taiwan independence movement are motivated at their psychological and emotional core, not by any longing for “democracy, freedom, and human rights,” but by their compulsion to craft a “Taiwanese ethnic and national identity.”

The central defect at the heart of the Taiwan independence movement is not practical. The central defect at the heart of the Taiwan independence movement is moral. The central defect at the heart of the Taiwan independence movement is its self-hating “We’re Taiwanese, not Chinese” identity politics.

As Sisy Chen, former DPP Public Relations Director noted, “The DPP is the KKK of Taiwan.” As Cheng Li-wen, former DPP National Assembly Member noted, “I never wanted to believe that the DPP was racist, but it is.”

I am 10th generation, with family arriving in Taiwan sometime around 1691 and I hold dual ROC and US citizenship: I hope I am “white enough” for these folks. But I beg that they spare one of my friends who was born in Taiwan, holds ROC citizenship and has contributed to Taiwan – but whose father immigrated to Taiwan from Hong Kong only shortly after WWII.

Anyways, back to America and the Asian American community, I hope the success of Lin and the phenomenon of Linsanity will bring all Americans further together.  Asians have been among the most discriminated group in America despite their being also known as the model minority. Together with African Americans, Asians were the only other ethnic group explicitly singled out whose basic rights were taken away.

While blacks were deemed to be non-citizens by the Supreme Court in 1857 and did not become citizens until the passage of the 14th amendment in 1868, Chinese were singled out and forbidden to enter the country by the Chinese Exclusionary Act, an act that was not repealed until 1943. Not only did the Act prevent Chinese from coming to America, it ostracized for generations the Chinese who were here. Japanese Americans – while for the most part treated better than the Chinese – were nevertheless interned en mass in 1942 (ethnic German Americans, by contrast, were not) by President Roosevelt under executive order 9066 and were not freed until 1945 when the order was rescinded.

A commenter recently noted:

Pop culture traditionally has painted Asians as awkward, unathletic and never the leading man, like Long Duk Dong from a 1980s film. In just a week, Lin has shattered the stereotype.

To truly appreciate and understand the joy of what Jeremy Lin is doing right now, to know why so many of us Asian American males are wearing his jersey and chanting his name, you had to have cringed as that gong sounded whenever Long Duk Dong came into a scene. You had to be called his name at school and pretend it didn’t hurt and then laugh along with your “friends.” You had to let that shame burn inside you until it bordered on self-loathing.

You had to bear the cross of the “Donger.”

And what is that cross? Historically throughout American pop culture, it alternates between never being depicted and thus never existing OR being depicted in the most humiliating and emasculating light possible.

It means you can never be the lead but always the sidekick (Kato, Sulu, Mike Chang).

To create an import culture car and film franchise only to be relegated into a prop or a villain (The Fast and the Furious).

To never front a band but maybe strum along at stage left (Smashing Pumpkins and Airborne Toxic Event).

It means to never be depicted as handsome or suave or a lady’s man. (Or a gentleman’s man for that matter).

It means to never get to kiss the girl. (In “Romeo Must Die” Jet Li does not kiss Aaliyah and in “The Replacement Killers,” Chow Yun Fat does not kiss Mira Sorvino. I despised Hollywood for a very long time after those transgressions).

But now, within Linsanity, things may finally be changing:

Everyone seems to want a piece of Lin, be it conservative pundits who see affirmation in his devout Christianity and meritocratic rise or sports fans who love a good underdog, especially an undrafted benchwarmer now outplaying all-stars. But perhaps no one else but Asian Americans would claim Lin as “the new Obama” — as Dr. Ravi Chandra, a Psychology Today blogger, did recently, suggesting both men are “a representation of our best self on the world stage.”

[But s]ome in the Asian American community are following “Linsanity” with caution, especially as commentators praise Lin for being “hard working,” “intelligent” and “humble,” words associated with long-standing stereotypes of Asian Americans. Chuck Leung, writing for Slate.com, expressed the fear that “beneath this Linsanity is an invitation for others to preserve these safe archetypes.”

Though Lin’s achievements may conform to the so-called “Model Minority Myth” of Asian American overachievement, his particular style of play works in a different direction….

That was the case with one of Lin’s most signature moments thus far: a game-winning 3-point basket versus the Toronto Raptors where Lin deliberately counted down the game clock for 10 seconds until arching in his shot. Lin then turned and bounded toward his bench with a swagger reminiscent of former Lakers’ clutch shooter Robert Horry.

… “the way that [Lin] celebrates even, it just seems like he’s … a guy who grew up in American basketball culture and picked up its affectations, its pomp.”

In that sense, Lin is helping reshape the popular imagination around Asian Americans in sports, partially by normalizing their presence.

While pockets of America – even among professionals – remains deeply racist, successes like Lin will undoubtedly put the bigots on the defensive and maybe one day completely out of business.

Lin is everyone’s hero. Yes as an Asian American, Chinese American, Taiwanese American, Californian, San Franciscan, Harvard alum – I feel a special bond to Jeremy’s success. But Lin’s success is everyone’s success.

The true spirit of Linsanity is about diverse people coming together and crossing race and ethnicity divides to see we are all fellow human beings – to cheer for each other when one of us triumphs against all odds to succeed as Lin has.

(Photos obtained from Time)

[Edits were made regarding Lin’s college stats, dual citizenship and Japanese internment as a result of thoughtful comments from jxie and Jim and melektaus.  Thank You.]

  1. February 21st, 2012 at 23:56 | #1

    Great post, Allen. I’ve been following Lin’s NBA highlights these last couple of weeks. Amazing story. I really enjoyed watching his interviews too. He is humble and dishes out accolades to his team mates. He also speaks very intelligently about basketball. This is the best thing that has happened to the NBA as a league as of late.

    One nasty element in the Western press I have noticed (despite their general good coverage) is the pitting of Jeremy Lin as an example against China as a nation. I won’t get into how fucked up (yes, I am upset) The Economist is, but here is a reader reaction to their recent Jeremy Lin article, and incidentally, the most recommended comment at that:

    ashbird February 20th, 04:04
    I suppose the starkest “soft power” came from white Americans who called Lin “Chink” in one headline.

    Banyan, reporting from Beijing, is a little remiss in research?

    This post, in content, tone and tenor, is a disgrace to a news magazine of The Economist’s status and repute.

    Incidentally, in case you are flaming, GE, I have friends from both China and Taiwan. We all attended universities in America, and the majority of us from Ivy Leagues. We all are proud of Lin, a person of our same skin color and cultural heritage. You are seriously off. Go back and relearn how to take some real pulse.

    And here is another one at the top:

    gocanucks February 20th, 05:31
    This must be one of the most mean-spirited articles I’ve read on The Economist. At a time when Jeremy Lin inspires almost all Chinese, Taiwanese, and Asian-Americans alike, the first priority of the Banyan is to sow seeds of discord among them. Shame on you!

  2. February 22nd, 2012 at 00:18 | #2

    @YinYang

    Both I (in this comment) and jxie (in this comment) had commented about that economist article in the The kind of trash we’re dealing with thread.

    I don’t think Lin himself sees himself as Taiwanese to the exclusion of Chinese. The relationship between Yao and Lin is not a secret. They are close, and Lin looks up to him greatly as a mentor. Yao had invited Lin to play in Shanghai if NBA doesn’t work out. Now, xinhua has supposed reported that an offer stands for Lin to play for China in the 2012 Olympics. If Lin really felt he were not Chinese, and with the close relationship Lin has with Yao, do you think the Chinese gov’t would have gone through all that – risking perhaps Lin publicly saying: no thank you, but I am not Chinese?

    The above regardless, as I realist, I just don’t how Lin would ever come out to say he is Taiwanese and not Chinese publicly – whatever nuts might be in his family (I’ve got green nuts in my family, too, as you know…). It would cost too much. In a world where everyone is clamoring for the Chinese market, why would you unilaterally close that market by isolating 1.3 billion Chinese?

  3. February 22nd, 2012 at 00:40 | #3

    @Allen
    Exactly Allen. Lin in fact embraces both ‘Chinese’ and ‘Taiwanese’ in his interviews.

    Looks like I am just late to the party. What a piece of shit The Economist is!

  4. LOLZ
    February 22nd, 2012 at 05:35 | #4

    The economist article is pretty sad. Lin first and foremost is a win for Asian American males who have been the underdogs in the US media for ages. Any underdog regardless of their nationality or political affiliation would be inspired by Lin’s story.

    It appears that Western writers about China are far more fond of dividing the population so they would fight each other.

  5. ryan
    February 22nd, 2012 at 08:17 | #5

    You all sound so angry. How much of what you do on this blog and in your regular lives do you think is shaped by your anger at having been picked on as kids for being Chinese? Do you think you will ever be able to just let it go? How much do you think this has influenced your worldview? Will you write a post answering these questions as I know just about all of us non-Chinese who read this blog are asking these things. You are just constantly lashing out at anyone (non-Chinese) who dares question anything about China and your hanging on to Jeremy Lin reeks of desperation.

  6. February 22nd, 2012 at 08:26 | #6

    If you have some intelligence, argue against a point made in this article or against any of the hundreds of articles we have on this blog. Until then, you sound like a typical bigot who has his views inconvenienced by what’s said here.

  7. jxie
    February 22nd, 2012 at 08:39 | #7

    Chinese as a English word has a multitude of meanings. It can mean nationality or ethnicity. In China, Lin is a considered a huaren (华人) or huayi (华裔), which means he is an ethnic Chinese. For that matter, even Patrick Chung (钟家庭) of New England Patriots is considered a huaren — it may be hard for many to understand how inclusive the term huaren is.

    The US does allow but not encourage dual citizenship. In sports, we have many American-born players playing for other teams, including Giuseppe Rossi (Italy), J. R. Holden (Russia), Becky Hammon (Russia), Chris Kaman (Germany), Terrance Townsend (UAE), Kelly Williams (Philippines). For most sports, so long as you didn’t represent another nation’s senior team, you are allowed to represent any nations. Kaman and Hammon were like the drive-by hired guns — their citizenship applications were approved within days.

    However, PRC currently does not allow dual citizenship. Since Lin is unlikely willing to give up his US citizenship, he won’t play for PRC any time soon. In FIBA rules, there is no defense 3 second, which means in FIBA games Lin will have to alter his bread-n-butter game of driving to the hoop, to settle for a lot of 18-foot jumpers, to avoid being blocked by the big man stationing in the middle. He hasn’t shown a good percentage in outside shooting yet. So though he has had much better success in NBA than the top 2 Chinese PGs, I somehow doubt how much improvement it will be even if he can play for PRC.

    ROC allows dual citizenship, so Lin can potentially play for them. However, their basketball team overall isn’t very good even in Asia so Lin will unlikely help them go over the hump (qualified for a world event).

    Japanese Americans – while for the most part treated well.

    Barely. There was a “Gentlemen’s Agreement” between the US and Japan. In essence, the US would not reject Japanese immigrants to the US mainland, to make Japan look bad; Japan agreed not to issue passports to Japanese who intended to migrate to the US. Consequently nowadays you see more Japanese in Haiwaii and countries such as Brazil than in mainland US. The “Universal Values” in those days were very much racist. If I have time, I will write a post about Asians in Americas.

    PS. The author of the Economist piece, G.E., is Gady Epstein. Epstein contributes to Forbes, and I happen to subscribe Forbes so actually have read a lot of his pieces on the Chinese economy. As a writer, he bats like a single-A utility in-fielder and writes it as if he is a Major League All-Star. BTW, Allen, you two’s paths have been overlapping quite a bit (UCLA, Palo Alto, UCLA, etc.).

  8. jxie
    February 22nd, 2012 at 09:17 | #8

    ryan :
    You all sound so angry… I know just about all of us non-Chinese who read this blog are asking these things.

    So whoever hooked you up to the Internet apparently didn’t give you an orientation. In Internet, you talk to one person & one viewpoint, at one time; and you don’t represent a group called “non-Chinese” but yourself. Now, you are welcome to try again.

  9. Jim
    February 22nd, 2012 at 14:47 | #9

    Allen:
    The journalist is right: because Lin was born in America, he can only be [sic] American and nothing else. Even if Lin were offered ROC citizenship (or a PRC citizenship, with a spot in China’s basketball team at the 2012 Olympics to boot!), U.S. laws require Lin to forfeit his U.S. citizen if he ever obtains another citizenship.

    Your assertions are inaccurate. United States nationals who are born in the USA can be nationals of other countries. Based on what I’ve read in the news, Lin is a Taiwanese citizen by operation of Taiwanese law because both of Lin’s parents are Taiwanese citizens. Applying for a ROC passport is not the same as applying for ROC citizenship. Also, a U.S. citizen’s applying for citizenship in another country does not necessarily mean the person has renounced his U.S. citizenship; the act of applying for citizenship in another country is not what actually triggers any loss of U.S. citizenship.

  10. February 22nd, 2012 at 16:18 | #10

    @Jim

    Hmm… maybe I am too conservative. You are probably right. Immigration is not my specialty, but here are some excerpts from the US state dept. I had based my previous statement on a conservative reading of the first (the second appeared to have been created only recently, within the last 2 years or so). I also had a brief discussion with my lawyer concerning my son, who was born here, about obtaining ROC citizenship; he had recommended against it unless we really wanted it, on ground that rules regarding intent is so subjective, and can be imputed, that it’s better not to do it unless you really, really want dual citizenship. Such risks don’t exist when you merely naturalize. But I had asked him only in passing, not as a serious proposition…

    From http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1753.html:

    A U.S. citizen may acquire foreign citizenship by marriage, or a person naturalized as a U.S. citizen may not lose the citizenship of the country of birth.U.S. law does not mention dual nationality or require a person to choose one citizenship or another. Also, a person who is automatically granted another citizenship does not risk losing U.S. citizenship. However, a person who acquires a foreign citizenship by applying for it may lose U.S. citizenship. In order to lose U.S. citizenship, the law requires that the person must apply for the foreign citizenship voluntarily, by free choice, and with the intention to give up U.S. citizenship.

    Intent can be shown by the person’s statements or conduct.The U.S. Government recognizes that dual nationality exists but does not encourage it as a matter of policy because of the problems it may cause. Claims of other countries on dual national U.S. citizens may conflict with U.S. law, and dual nationality may limit U.S. Government efforts to assist citizens abroad. The country where a dual national is located generally has a stronger claim to that person’s allegiance.

    From http://travel.state.gov/law/citizenship/citizenship_778.html:

    Section 349 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1481), as amended, states that U.S. citizens are subject to loss of citizenship if they perform certain specified acts voluntarily and with the intention to relinquish U.S. citizenship. Briefly stated, these acts include:

    obtaining naturalization in a foreign state (Sec. 349 (a) (1) INA);
    taking an oath, affirmation or other formal declaration to a foreign state or its political subdivisions (Sec. 349 (a) (2) INA);
    entering or serving in the armed forces of a foreign state engaged in hostilities against the U.S. or serving as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer in the armed forces of a foreign state (Sec. 349 (a) (3) INA);
    accepting employment with a foreign government if (a) one has the nationality of that foreign state or (b) an oath or declaration of allegiance is required in accepting the position (Sec. 349 (a) (4) INA);
    formally renouncing U.S. citizenship before a U.S. diplomatic or consular officer outside the United States (sec. 349 (a) (5) INA);
    formally renouncing U.S. citizenship within the U.S. (but only under strict, narrow statutory conditions) (Sec. 349 (a) (6) INA);
    conviction for an act of treason (Sec. 349 (a) (7) INA).

    ADMINISTRATIVE STANDARD OF EVIDENCE

    As already noted, the actions listed above can cause loss of U.S. citizenship only if performed voluntarily and with the intention of relinquishing U.S. citizenship. The Department has a uniform administrative standard of evidence based on the premise that U.S. citizens intend to retain United States citizenship when they obtain naturalization in a foreign state, subscribe to a declaration of allegiance to a foreign state, serve in the armed forces of a foreign state not engaged in hostilities with the United States, or accept non-policy level employment with a foreign government.

    DISPOSITION OF CASES WHEN ADMINISTRATIVE PREMISE IS APPLICABLE

    In light of the administrative premise discussed above, a person who:

    is naturalized in a foreign country;
    takes a routine oath of allegiance to a foreign state;
    serves in the armed forces of a foreign state not engaged in hostilities with the United States, or
    accepts non-policy level employment with a foreign government,

    and in so doing wishes to retain U.S. citizenship need not submit prior to the commission of a potentially expatriating act a statement or evidence of his or her intent to retain U.S. citizenship since such an intent will be presumed.

    When, as the result of an individual’s inquiry or an individual’s application for registration or a passport it comes to the attention of a U.S. consular officer that a U.S. citizen has performed an act made potentially expatriating by Sections 349(a)(1), 349(a)(2), 349(a)(3) or 349(a)(4) as described above, the consular officer will simply ask the applicant if there was intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship when performing the act. If the answer is no, the consular officer will certify that it was not the person’s intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship and, consequently, find that the person has retained U.S. citizenship.

    PERSONS WHO WISH TO RELINQUISH U.S. CITIZENSHIP

    If the answer to the question regarding intent to relinquish citizenship is yes , the person concerned will be asked to complete a questionnaire to ascertain his or her intent toward U.S. citizenship. When the questionnaire is completed and the voluntary relinquishment statement is signed by the expatriate, the consular officer will proceed to prepare a certificate of loss of nationality. The certificate will be forwarded to the Department of State for consideration and, if appropriate, approval.

    An individual who has performed any of the acts made potentially expatriating by statute who wishes to lose U.S. citizenship may do so by affirming in writing to a U.S. consular officer that the act was performed with an intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship. Of course, a person always has the option of seeking to formally renounce U.S. citizenship abroad in accordance with Section 349 (a) (5) INA.

    DISPOSITION OF CASES WHEN ADMINISTRATIVE PREMISE IS INAPPLICABLE

    The premise that a person intends to retain U.S. citizenship is not applicable when the individual:

    formally renounces U.S. citizenship before a consular officer;
    serves in the armed forces of a foreign state engaged in hostilities with the United States;
    takes a policy level position in a foreign state;
    is convicted of treason; or
    performs an act made potentially expatriating by statute accompanied by conduct which is so inconsistent with retention of U.S. citizenship that it compels a conclusion that the individual intended to relinquish U.S. citizenship. (Such cases are very rare.)

    Cases in categories 2, 3, 4 and 5 will be developed carefully by U.S. consular officers to ascertain the individual’s intent toward U.S. citizenship.

    ROC law (wikipedia version – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationality_Law_of_the_Republic_of_China):

    Citizenship

    In practice, exercise of most citizenship benefits, such as suffrage, labour rights, and access to national health insurance, requires possession of the Republic of China National Identification Card, which is only issued to persons with household registration in the Taiwan Area aged 14 and older. ROC nationals who do not hold household registration in Taiwan have no automatic right to stay in Taiwan, nor do they have work rights, voting rights, etc. In a similar fashion, some British passport holders do not have the right of abode in the UK (see British nationality law). Nationals without household registration in Taiwan (referred to as “unregistered nationals” in statute) can obtain a Republic of China National Identification Card only by settling in Taiwan for a period of time. However, children born abroad to nationals who establish household registration before turning 14 automatically become eligible for a ROC ID when they turn 14.

    I have corrected my post as a result of your comment.

    Thank you!

    P.S. Now that my son has just turned 1 and we are headed to Taiwan in April, maybe it’s time to take this dual thing for him more seriously. I’ll go ask again. But I think you are right. Getting dual citizenship for my son should not be a problem…

  11. February 22nd, 2012 at 16:21 | #11

    @jxie

    Japanese Americans – while for the most part treated well….

    Barely. There was a “Gentlemen’s Agreement” between the US and Japan. In essence, the US would not reject Japanese immigrants to the US mainland, to make Japan look bad; Japan agreed not to issue passports to Japanese who intended to migrate to the US. Consequently nowadays you see more Japanese in Haiwaii and countries such as Brazil than in mainland US. The “Universal Values” in those days were very much racist. If I have time, I will write a post about Asians in Americas.

    Ok. I admit the error. I am correcting it to read

    Japanese Americans – while for the most part treated better than the Chinese….

    Thanks!

  12. raventhorn
    February 22nd, 2012 at 17:15 | #12

    Jim :

    Allen:
    The journalist is right: because Lin was born in America, he can only be [sic] American and nothing else. Even if Lin were offered ROC citizenship (or a PRC citizenship, with a spot in China’s basketball team at the 2012 Olympics to boot!), U.S. laws require Lin to forfeit his U.S. citizen if he ever obtains another citizenship.

    Your assertions are inaccurate. United States nationals who are born in the USA can be nationals of other countries. Based on what I’ve read in the news, Lin is a Taiwanese citizen by operation of Taiwanese law because both of Lin’s parents are Taiwanese citizens. Applying for a ROC passport is not the same as applying for ROC citizenship. Also, a U.S. citizen’s applying for citizenship in another country does not necessarily mean the person has renounced his U.S. citizenship; the act of applying for citizenship in another country is not what actually triggers any loss of U.S. citizenship.

    Your assertion is inaccurate.

    Article 9 of the ROC Nationality Act requires prospective naturalized citizens to first renounce their previous nationality.

    By MERELY applying for ROC citizenship, a US citizen would have expressly renounced his/her US citizenship.

    US laws may give a lot of room for citizens, but NOT if the citizen expressly renounced his/her US citizenship.

    There is no room for interpretation in such a case.

  13. raventhorn
    February 22nd, 2012 at 17:23 | #13

    @raventhorn

    On that note, most nations, like US, require renunciation of foreign citizenship, as a part of naturalization process.

  14. February 22nd, 2012 at 17:41 | #14

    @raventhorn

    Actually, I know when I naturalized, I could keep my ROC citizenship.

    Here is a relevant passage:

    From comment 10 above:

    A U.S. citizen may acquire foreign citizenship by marriage, or a person naturalized as a U.S. citizen may not lose the citizenship of the country of birth.U.S. law does not mention dual nationality or require a person to choose one citizenship or another.

    The thing I am trying to figure out is that 3 years later when I looked, I was sure the U.S. did not allow her citizen to become dual citizen by “applying” for another (ok if you gain one by marriage…) Now I don’t see that requirement on the state dept website.

    Maybe I should stick with patent law…

  15. jxie
    February 22nd, 2012 at 18:51 | #15

    This is what a law information site has to say.

    On the old citizenship(s) before US naturalization — this is applicable to Lin’s parents & Allen.

    A description of the US naturalization oath is given in Section 337(a) of the INA [8 USC § 1448(a)]. Of particular relevance to the dual citizenship issue is that, as part of the oath, a new citizen must pledge “to renounce and abjure absolutely and entirely all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which the applicant was before a subject or citizen.”

    In practice, it is unclear what if any true legal significance this statement has any more. The US does not require a new citizen to take any formal steps to renounce his old citizenship before officials of the “old country”; and when the other country continues to claim a naturalized US citizen as one of its own, current US policy recognizes that such a person may have to use a passport from the other country in order to visit there, and such an action does not put the person’s US citizenship in jeopardy.

    On any new citizenship(s) after the US citizenship (native or naturalized) — this is applicable to the sportspeople in my comment #7 and Allen’s son. It’s my understanding that Allen’s son should be able to acquire a ROC passport (may not be able to vote). Article 9 doesn’t fit his case.

    Section 349 of the INA [8 USC § 1481] specifies several conditions under which US citizenship may be lost. These include:
    * becoming a naturalized citizen of another country, or declaring allegiance to another country, after reaching age 18;

    * serving as an officer in a foreign country’s military service, or serving in the armed forces of a country which is engaged in hostilities against the US;

    * working for a foreign government (e.g., in political office or as a civil servant);

    * formally renouncing one’s US citizenship before duly authorized US officials; or

    * committing treason against, or attempting or conspiring to overthrow the government of, the US.

    The primary effect of recent developments in the US regarding dual citizenship has been to add the requirement that loss of citizenship can only result when the person in question intended to give up his citizenship. At one time, the mere performance of the above (or certain other) acts was enough to cause loss of US citizenship; however, the Supreme Court overturned this concept in the Afroyim and Terrazas cases, and Congress amended the law in 1986 to require that loss of citizenship would result only when a potentially “expatriating” (citizenship-losing) action was performed voluntarily and “with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality”.

    On 16 April 1990, the State Department adopted a new policy on dual citizenship, under which US citizens who perform one of the potentially expatriating acts listed above are normally presumed not to have done so with intent to give up US citizenship. Thus, the overwhelming majority of loss-of-citizenship cases nowadays will involve people who have explicitly indicated to US consular officials that they want to give up their US citizenship.

  16. jxie
    February 22nd, 2012 at 19:03 | #16

    A couple of quite extreme cases.

    1. Toomas Hendrick Ilves. He is the current Estonian president. He was born in Sweden and raised in New Jersey. He had to renounce his US citizenship to become an Estonian politician. Apparently for some nations, being a natural born citizen isn’t a requirement for the highest office.

    2. Amir Mirzaei Hekmati. He was an ex-US marine who was accused as a CIA spy and sentenced to death by Iran when he traveled to Iran. He was born and raised in the US, yet has dual Iranian/American citizenship, which means at one point he applied for the Iranian citizenship. The trickiest part was that he traveled to Iran with his Iranian passport.

  17. February 22nd, 2012 at 19:35 | #17

    I believe that the reason Lin wasn’t recruited and wasn’t drafted was partially due to racial discrimination. In fact, Lin has said so himself. In a recent interview with Rachel Nichols of ESPN, Lin said that him being Asian American had something to do with him not being drafted and he also speculated in an interview that he thought the reason he wasn’t given any div I scholarships also may have been influenced by his race.

    When he was in college, he was actually among the best point guards in college ball. He was among the finalists for the Bob Cousy award. His stats were very similar to John Wall’s (who was the number 1 NBA pick and was considered the best guard in college ball). Granted, Wall played for KY among better competition but Lin showed comparable skills to other top rated guards when he played against them and he should have been at least drafted with his skills, size and athleticism. I believe that what prevented his being drafted was his race.

    As for self identity, Lin said himself that he is Chinese. I see a lot of people trying to politicize his identity sadly but one of their assumptions seem to be a kind of false dichotomy fallacy. They assume that you can’t be “all of the above” and only one of the above. Lin is clearly ethnic Han Chinese and he can claim Taiwanese ancestry as well because his parents are from Taiwan and he can claim American citizenship because he was born in the US. So all of the above seems to fit him and why not leave it at that? I see most of that divisive political rhetoric from Taiwanese independence types and westerners trying to use Lin as a tool against China.

    The bastards will always hate. Truth is against them and they will fail.

  18. February 22nd, 2012 at 19:40 | #18

    @YinYang

    If you have some intelligence, argue against a point made in this article or against any of the hundreds of articles we have on this blog. Until then, you sound like a typical bigot who has his views inconvenienced by what’s said here.

    The truth always hurts bigots and fascists.

  19. February 22nd, 2012 at 19:56 | #19

    @melektaus #17

    Man, I am just making mistakes after mistakes for this post. About Lin’s stats in college, I had characterized it as “good but not great” in the post. But maybe it was plenty great enough! I am editing the post and change the sentence “Lin’s stats in college were good but not great.” to “Lin’s stats in college were nothing to snicker at.”

    Thanks…

  20. February 22nd, 2012 at 20:02 | #20

    @jxie

    Actually the materials you referenced were not written by a lawyer. There was an explicit disclaimer for the materials you cited (http://www.richw.org/dualcit/#Intro):

    Disclaimer

    I am not a lawyer, a professional immigration consultant, or a government official. Nothing in this document should be considered legal or professional advice in any jurisdiction.

    Unless indicated otherwise, any opinions or interpretations expressed in this document are mine alone. In particular, this material does not in any way reflect the opinions or policies of my employer, Stanford University.

    If you are in a dual citizenship situation, or are contemplating such a move, you should consider discussing your plans with an attorney who is knowledgeable in this particular aspect of immigration law, and/or with consular officials of the countries involved. At the very least, I would encourage you to verify anything you may read here with authoritative sources before acting on it.

  21. jxie
    February 22nd, 2012 at 20:21 | #21

    Jeremy Lin had another night of an efficient game, 32 mins, 17 pts, 9 ast, 2 rb, 4 to, in a winning effort. Finally he has logged enough minutes/games to have a qualified PER rating, currently at 24.18, ranking below Chris Paul (All-Star Western starter) and Derrick Rose (All-Start Eastern starter), and above all other PGs. 24.18 based on Hollinger, PER’s creator, is between a “bona fide all-star” and a “weak MVP candidate”.

    PER has its issues but it’s the best single NBA ranking. There is a chance that Lin may level out in the rest of this season, but in the meantime, he can actually improve because he practically is a rookie. Unlike football or baseball, talent evaluation of NBA prospects is supposed to be quite accurate. Quite frankly I am stunned.

  22. jxie
    February 22nd, 2012 at 20:25 | #22

    @Allen

    I stand corrected. However, I must say based on the conversations I had with a real immigration lawyer, his stuffs seem to be correct. Of course, caveat emptor.

    Please edit my comment, change “an immigration lawyer” to “a law information site” — don’t want others to get the potentially erroneous information. Thanks.

  23. February 22nd, 2012 at 20:57 | #23

    @jxie

    Done.

  24. Wukailong
    February 22nd, 2012 at 21:16 | #24

    @Jxie: “Apparently for some nations, being a natural born citizen isn’t a requirement for the highest office.”

    I think it’s the other way around; most nations don’t have this requirement. Speaking of the US, it’s funny that a country supposedly built on immigration is so careful about the president not being foreign-born.

  25. Jim
    February 22nd, 2012 at 21:40 | #25

    raventhorn :

    Jim :

    Allen:
    The journalist is right: because Lin was born in America, he can only be [sic] American and nothing else. Even if Lin were offered ROC citizenship (or a PRC citizenship, with a spot in China’s basketball team at the 2012 Olympics to boot!), U.S. laws require Lin to forfeit his U.S. citizen if he ever obtains another citizenship.

    Your assertions are inaccurate. United States nationals who are born in the USA can be nationals of other countries. Based on what I’ve read in the news, Lin is a Taiwanese citizen by operation of Taiwanese law because both of Lin’s parents are Taiwanese citizens. Applying for a ROC passport is not the same as applying for ROC citizenship. Also, a U.S. citizen’s applying for citizenship in another country does not necessarily mean the person has renounced his U.S. citizenship; the act of applying for citizenship in another country is not what actually triggers any loss of U.S. citizenship.

    Your assertion is inaccurate.
    Article 9 of the ROC Nationality Act requires prospective naturalized citizens to first renounce their previous nationality.
    By MERELY applying for ROC citizenship, a US citizen would have expressly renounced his/her US citizenship.
    US laws may give a lot of room for citizens, but NOT if the citizen expressly renounced his/her US citizenship.
    There is no room for interpretation in such a case.

    Raventhorn, I regret that I have to single you out, but you seem to want to argue against me just for the sake of being against me. Please read again Allen’s comment to which I was responding, and then read again my comment.

    First, I stated that United States citizens can concurrently be citizens of other countries, which is true.

    Second, I stated that based on what I’ve read in the news, Jeremy Lin seems to already be a Taiwanese citizen by operation of Taiwanese law because both of his parents are Taiwanese citizens; there is apparently no issue with his applying for Taiwanese citizenship. Jeremy Lin’s applying for a Taiwanese passport would not be the same as his applying for Taiwanese citizenship. Your citation to Taiwan’s naturalization law is irrelevant on this point.

    Third, I pointed out that a U.S. citizen’s applying for citizenship in another country does not necessarily cause that U.S. citizen to lose his U.S. citizenship, which is true. Furthermore, as another person pointed out on this thread, even if the other country’s application for citizenship requires an oath renouncing U.S. citizenship, that does not mean the U.S. citizenship will definitely be lost.

  26. jxie
    February 22nd, 2012 at 22:33 | #26

    @Wukailong

    You are likely right. I couldn’t quite tell either way so I opted for “some nations” instead of “many nations”. It makes sense for smaller nations not to require being natural born to hold the highest office. A nation as large as India doesn’t seem to require that, since Sonia Gandhi apparently was qualified to be the Indian PM though she eventually decided against running for it.

    BTW, how do you like CA so far?

  27. February 23rd, 2012 at 05:27 | #27

    My first time to learn about Lin, the basket ball player, is from an Wall Street Journal article. If he did not played in NYC, it may not be written in a financial newspaper. With the reverse discrimination eye glasses on, I thought he was a 2-hit wonder against weaker teams and the game plans of the opposing teams did not take Lin seriously. My reverse discrimination is just human nature if you check or guess how many black computer programmers are in Google, Apple, Microsoft…?

    Last night, I watched Lin on ESPN against a good but tired team, the LA Lakers. I enjoyed every second and I am a believer together with Magic Johnson and those who witnessed that a star is born if not already has been born. He will be bigger than Yao Ming in scoring but not in global marketing. His 360 move will be cemented in my memory. It is the biggest upset of the year for all sports that an unknown from no where beat the top player in NBA. Same chance of me beating Tiger Woods in golf – virtually 0 even the tiger lost both limbs.

    He almost quit NBA and would play in China or become a pastor. He would lead his church basketball team to victory as an extra curriculum but would be unknown outside the church circle. Now, the entire world esp. Asia will enjoy his skill, IQ and his humbleness. Only in America, an undrafted player can start NBA games with that kind of statistics.

    Chinese parents want their children to be in ‘safe’ professions like accounting, doctor… Lin is a pioneer. He has more to overcome and he has to work far harder. Most like myself have the natural discrimination and/or stereotypes that he will not be in NBA as there are few precedents. He gains our respect just for trying in unknown territories.

    Similar to Tom Brady, his luck is due to injury of another player. God must have His own arrangements and now has the same good smile for Tebow, Brady… for another job well done.

    I hope he will find temporary housing in NYC. As in the Chinese saying, you cannot have two tigers in one mountain esp. when the injured player returns. Most likely he will play in another team in a year or so unless the fans make them not to do so.

    However, no one can stop the history of Lin in NBA against all odds, discrimination and ethnic stereotypes. We also enjoy successful underdogs as we’re one of the underdogs. Who says the NBA drafting system is perfect? Those scouts, coaches, and managers must be wearing the same eye glasses I did, and are finding excuses like saying they’re right but due to…

  28. wwww1234
    February 23rd, 2012 at 06:34 | #28

    I know the following as facts:

    born in the US,

    1. went to Canada as a minor, got canadian passport,
    2. Studied in the US, got US passport.
    3. mother born in Hong Kong, got HKSAR passport(Chinese passport for Hong Kong Special administrative Region).

    the only requirement is , one must use US passport exiting and entering US, but otherwise can use the other passports at one’s discretion.

    The US wont revoke citizenship easily, as it is one of the few nations that charge a tax on world income no matter where the citizen is at. There is no place to hide unless you renounce your citizenship voluntarily.

  29. February 23rd, 2012 at 13:37 | #29

    Lin may be America’s latest sensations, but he’s an old friend in Pinghu, Zhejiang, China.

  30. raventhorn
    February 24th, 2012 at 18:40 | #30

    @Jim

    “Third, I pointed out that a U.S. citizen’s applying for citizenship in another country does not necessarily cause that U.S. citizen to lose his U.S. citizenship, which is true. Furthermore, as another person pointed out on this thread, even if the other country’s application for citizenship requires an oath renouncing U.S. citizenship, that does not mean the U.S. citizenship will definitely be lost.”

    I don’t know what you would mean by “renunciation” then.

    A simple word definition perhaps:

    re·nun·ci·a·tion/riˌnənsēˈāSHən/
    Noun:
    The formal rejection of something, typically a belief, claim, or course of action.

    I guess people reject/renounce their US citizenships, but they don’t mean it???!!

    Oh, what are you trying to imply about US citizens??!

    Or is it that US laws just ignore what people actually say or do?

    I guess any “oath” of citizenship also don’t mean squat in US??

  31. Jim
    February 24th, 2012 at 19:49 | #31

    I had a comment here, but I deleted it because there is really no point in arguing with that person.

  32. Jim
    February 24th, 2012 at 20:28 | #32

    But I will add a point of clarification for Raventhorn (instead of the name calling that I did in my deleted post)–

    There is a difference between what I’ve said and what you think I’ve said. My comment that a U.S. citizen doesn’t necessarily lose citizenship by applying for citizenship in another country is true, and I made that comment in response to Allen’s comment that “U.S. laws require Lin to forfeit his U.S. citizen if he ever obtains another citizenship,” which is not a precise enough statement. Later, I also asserted that a U.S. citizen won’t necessarily lose his citizenship by taking another country’s oath, even if that oath contains words of renunciation — this is true, and you can on your own research the intent element of the relevant U.S. law.

    I haven’t read the Taiwanese naturalization law, but you seem to be saying that it requires a foreign citizen to first formally renounce the foreign citizenship before advancing with Taiwan’s naturalization process. If a U.S. citizen takes the steps outlined by U.S. law and regulations to renounce his citizenship, the yes, the citizenship is lost. So if what you say about the Taiwanese naturalization process is true, then a U.S. citizen who is not a Taiwanese citizen but wants to obtain Taiwanese citizenship would have to renounce the U.S. citizenship (in the manner required by the U.S. side). But again, that’s not relevant to the point I made — I was responding only to Allen’s comment that “U.S. laws require Lin to forfeit his U.S. citizen if he ever obtains another citizenship,” which isn’t true. Also, your point is not relevant to Jeremy Lin because he’s apparently already a Taiwanese citizen.

    So what exactly is the point you want to convey?

  33. LOLZ
    February 25th, 2012 at 05:12 | #33

    I am not sure how the Taiwan system works, but for if you are an American and married to a Japanese citizen your children will be born with dual US/Japanese citizenships. I was told that once the child turns 18 he/she should give up one of the citizenships. However I am not sure if this is a requirement from the Japanese or the US side. Also, I am not sure what will happen if you don’t go to the embassy and renounce your citizenship.

    Many if not most of the architects of the neocon movement have dual US/Israeli citizenships. I am not entirely sure how well dual citizenship laws are enforced if there are any to begin with.

    I am not sure what is the big deal here though. Lin is an American who is known for his rise in the NBA and not his politics. In fact politics is one topic which he has generally avoided. If the comments from Economist are of any indication, Taiwan independence folks who are trying to play politics with Lin are seen by Asian Americans as trying to divide Asian American unity. Unless Lin himself takes a strong stance in China/Taiwan relations, trying to include him in Taiwan Independence rhetoric will only backfire.

  34. raventhorn
    February 25th, 2012 at 07:23 | #34

    @Jim

    “If a U.S. citizen takes the steps outlined by U.S. law and regulations to renounce his citizenship, the yes, the citizenship is lost. So if what you say about the Taiwanese naturalization process is true, then a U.S. citizen who is not a Taiwanese citizen but wants to obtain Taiwanese citizenship would have to renounce the U.S. citizenship (in the manner required by the U.S. side). But again, that’s not relevant to the point I made — I was responding only to Allen’s comment that “U.S. laws require Lin to forfeit his U.S. citizen if he ever obtains another citizenship,” which isn’t true. Also, your point is not relevant to Jeremy Lin because he’s apparently already a Taiwanese citizen.”

    I thought I was responding to your imprecise statement:

    “Also, a U.S. citizen’s applying for citizenship in another country does not necessarily mean the person has renounced his U.S. citizenship; the act of applying for citizenship in another country is not what actually triggers any loss of U.S. citizenship.”

    Well, apparently, you just admitted that “If a U.S. citizen takes the steps outlined by U.S. law and regulations to renounce his citizenship, the yes, the citizenship is lost. So if what you say about the Taiwanese naturalization process is true, then a U.S. citizen who is not a Taiwanese citizen but wants to obtain Taiwanese citizenship would have to renounce the U.S. citizenship (in the manner required by the U.S. side)”.

    You don’t see how your admission just contradicted your previous assertion??

    You were making a generalized assertion of “the act of applying for citizenship in another country is not what actually triggers any loss of U.S. citizenship”.

    Well, it depends on what that “ACT of applying for citizenship in another country” involves!!

    Some places is just an application form. For ROC it REQUIRES renunciation of other citizenship!!

    Obviously, in ROC, they don’t consider you have “applied” for citizen, if you refuse to “renunciate” foreign citizenship.

    *I understand the context of your response to Allen, but you were stretching your assertions/conclusions about US laws, ie. NOT every “ACT” of applying for foreign citizenship fits your assertion.

    Another example, some one, like Bobby Fischer, what was his “ACT” of applying for foreign citizenship?

  35. raventhorn
    February 25th, 2012 at 07:38 | #35

    @Jim

    You don’t need to argue if you don’t see a point.

    You were pointing out Allen’s imprecise assertion. I was pointing out your imprecise assertion.

    To each his own.

    I don’t know why you are getting emotional about it. “Name calling”? Seriously?! Geez. How much are you betting on your assertions??

  36. Jim
    February 25th, 2012 at 11:02 | #36

    OK, Raventhorn, I’m going to be a little crass here and show you why you scored in the mid-150s on the LSAT and how I scored above 170…

    You believe my following statement is inaccurate: “Also, a U.S. citizen’s applying for citizenship in another country does not necessarily mean the person has renounced his U.S. citizenship; the act of applying for citizenship in another country is not what actually triggers any loss of U.S. citizenship.” The statement contains two assertions, and I’ll address them in the order asserted.

    First, I assert that a U.S. citizen’s applying for citizenship in another country does not necessarily mean the person has renounced his U.S. citizenship. This is a true statement. The operative word in my assertion is necessarily. In other words, sometimes when a U.S. citizen applies for citizenship in another country, he might have renounced his U.S. citizenship or he might not have.

    This first assertion was in response to Allen’s flatly stating that U.S. law requires U.S. citizens to forfeit U.S. citizenship if we apply for citizenship in other countries. I was pointing out only that Allen’s statement was inaccurate – that no, U.S. law does not require U.S. citizens to forfeit their citizenship in all cases in which they apply for citizenship in another country.

    My first assertion is not any less accurate even if U.S. citizens who apply to become naturalized citizens of Taiwan must renounce (and lose) their U.S. citizenship before moving forward in the Taiwanese process. My statement is not any less accurate in light of the Taiwanese situation because the Taiwanese process is not equivalent to every other citizenship application process that exists in the word. Again, note that I was responding to Allen’s flat assertion about what U.S. law requires in every case, not in the case of becoming a naturalized Taiwanese citizen.

    Sure, I realize the conversation here is about Jeremy Lin, and that conversation focuses partly on his Taiwanese status. But I wasn’t speaking only to the situation in Taiwan when I pointed out that Allen’s statement was inaccurate.

    Second, I asserted that the act of applying for citizenship in another country is not what actually triggers the loss of U.S. citizenship. This is a technical point, and I’m not sure why you don’t understand it – but I’m not surprised that you don’t understand it.

    The logic in this second assertion is apparent when one remembers that a U.S. citizen’s applying for another citizenship does not necessarily mean that the person will lose the U.S. citizenship. So what differentiates the cases in which a U.S. citizen would not lose the U.S. citizenship and the Taiwanese situation, in which a U.S. citizen presumably would lose the U.S. citizenship (if what you’ve said about Taiwan’s naturalization laws is accurate). One difference is that in the Taiwan situation the U.S. citizen might take the required steps to renounce the U.S. citizenship: “1. appear in person before a U.S. consular or diplomatic officer,
    2. in a foreign country (normally at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate); 3. and sign an oath of renunciation.”

    So, the acts that would lead to a loss of U.S. citizenship are appearing before the U.S. official in a foreign country and signing the oath of renunciation. Initiating the application process for a foreign citizenship – or even obtaining a foreign citizenship – just doesn’t result in some sort of self-executing agreement that the U.S. citizen has given up U.S. citizenship. The U.S. citizen has to take the additional steps outlined above to renounce the U.S. citizenship.

    Then, one might say that in the process of applying to become a naturalized Taiwanese citizen, a former U.S. citizen would have to show proof to Taiwan that he performed the acts that led to his loss of U.S. citizenship. None of this makes less accurate my assertion that the act of applying for a foreign citizenship is not what actually causes a U.S. citizen to lose the U.S. citizenship.

    I’m tempting to form a bunch of middle-school level analogies to illustrate for you the use of words like “necessarily” and “act,” but I think I’m content with our knowing you’re an idiot.

  37. February 25th, 2012 at 13:38 | #37

    @Jim and RV, I am going to ask nicely you two to freeze here. Let readers decide who is right and be done with – assuming most even read through it.

    My gut feeling is that most readers here come quickly here and glance through the posts and comments for things of value, and move on to other more interesting things on the Internet. I just don’t think most would carefully read through your discussions to find out whether Jim or RV or me (if I am involved) is smarter, scored higher on some standardized test, or whatever.

    So please cool it and move on. Let’s spend time and bang each other up on big issues (that’s fun!) – not on this esoteric area of immigration law that real people with issues will go to lawyers they hire to answer anyways (that’s a waste of time!)…

  38. Jim
    February 25th, 2012 at 14:03 | #38

    @Allen

    Sounds like a good idea, Allen.

    I’ll move on to another issue. Somebody on here mentioned that this whole Linsanity thing is being used by the Taiwanese pro-independence side to “divide Asian American unity.” Do you think there is any validity to this point — or are the pro-independence Taiwanese trying to achieve (or claim) something else?

    I’m a bit unsure what “Asian American unity” means; then again, I’m a white guy. Still, I grew up as the only white guy in a Chinese-American church, and I attended an east coast university at which 20-25% of the undergraduate students are of Asian decent. I’ve never experienced much of any divide or friction among Asian Americans who grew up in the USA. I have, however, noticed a significant divide between Asians who grew up in different countries outside the USA but are now in the USA. In my experience, the latter group has fairly little influence on the former group. But this is all in the context of the east coast, and I suspect our Asian American communities over here are very different from those on the West coast.

    I think most Asian Americans growing up in the USA will just ignore the China-Taiwan stuff (as they usually do), and instead they’ll focus on the dream of an Asian kid growing up to play point guard in the NBA.

  39. raventhorn
    February 25th, 2012 at 15:35 | #39

    @Jim

    “I’m going to be a little crass here and show you why you scored in the mid-150s on the LSAT and how I scored above 170…”

    I won’t “necessarily” take your claim about yourself seriously, any more than your claim about me.

    why keep making claims about yourself, when you don’t want to prove it at all?

  40. raventhorn
    February 25th, 2012 at 15:37 | #40

    @Allen

    I’m not the one bring up test scores here. So I’m moving on. Don’t know about JIM. Not his first time.

  41. raventhorn
    February 25th, 2012 at 15:44 | #41

    @Jim

    “I asserted that the act of applying for citizenship in another country is not what actually triggers the loss of U.S. citizenship. This is a technical point, and I’m not sure why you don’t understand it – but I’m not surprised that you don’t understand it.”

    (1) you didn’t bother to define the “ACT” of applying for citizenship.

    you just made a generalized assertion.

    Obviously, for ROC, that “ACT” required a renunciation of foreign citizenship.

    Since you want to make it “technical”, you should “technically” define the “ACT” you were talking about.

  42. raventhorn
    February 25th, 2012 at 15:47 | #42

    @Jim

    “the acts that would lead to a loss of U.S. citizenship are appearing before the U.S. official in a foreign country and signing the oath of renunciation.”

    And that renunciation of US citizenship is REQUIRED PART of the “ACT of applying for citizenship” in ROC, so leading to loss of US citizenship.

    Thank you again for your admission of your imprecise assertion.

  43. raventhorn
    February 25th, 2012 at 19:00 | #43

    Incidentally,

    Here is the Department of Treasury’s “name and shame” Renunciator list published for the 4th quarter of 2011. BTW, 2011 had over 1700 renunciations.

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-02-02/pdf/2012-2258.pdf

    There appears to be quite a few Chinese names on the list.

    Also, apparently, US government will charge $450 for processing “renunciation” form.

    Imagine, charging $450 for saying “I quit” on some stupid form.

    I guess China has been nice about letting some people go.

    On that note, isn’t $450 kind of violating the whole “Free of Association”/disassociation thing??!! So if some American don’t want to be associated with other Americans and want to give up his/her US citizenship, the US government won’t let him/her, unless he/she PAYS??!!!

    Well, apparently, even with the FEE of $450 (kind of high for “processing a form”), and the promised “freedoms”, more Americans are quitting US now than ever.

  44. Jim
    February 25th, 2012 at 19:28 | #44

    @raventhorn
    Seriously, man, just look back to what Allen said and how I responded. Allen made a categorical remark about U.S. law, which even he says was probably too conservative an interpretation. I actually spares everyone an explanation of why the information on which he previously relied was not exactly on point, but then ironically you’ve chimed in and continue to harp on a requirement of Taiwanese law. There is no requirement in U.S. law that a U.S. citizen renounce his citizenship when applying for Taiwanese citizenship. Rather, any loss of U.S. citizenship is a consequence of a requirement under Taiwanese law.

    Allen asked us to drop this, so just accept that I’ve made a fool of you.

  45. February 25th, 2012 at 21:55 | #45

    @Jim

    I’ve never experienced much of any divide or friction among Asian Americans who grew up in the USA. I have, however, noticed a significant divide between Asians who grew up in different countries outside the USA but are now in the USA. In my experience, the latter group has fairly little influence on the former group.

    The Asian group is of course quite diverse. So your second observation is not surprising. But even among Asian Americans, their experiences are quite different. The Japanese and Chinese American experiences are very different. Even the experience of the Chinese immigrants differ depending on the time you immigrate – the early 20th century, the 1970’s, 80’s, 90’s, etc – whether you are from Taiwan, Hongkong, Beijing.

    I think most Asian Americans growing up in the USA will just ignore the China-Taiwan stuff (as they usually do), and instead they’ll focus on the dream of an Asian kid growing up to play point guard in the NBA.

    I think that’s true. But now with most U.S. media referring to Lin as “Chinese or Taiwanese American” or sometimes even just as “Taiwanese American” – it dampens Chinese celebration of Lin. I mean even when I say, look, Lin, the Chinese American – I often still get asked, is he Taiwanese or Chinese from my “American” friends…

    That’s too bad… and a shame…

  46. raventhorn
    February 26th, 2012 at 05:33 | #46

    @Jim

    “There is no requirement in U.S. law that a U.S. citizen renounce his citizenship when applying for Taiwanese citizenship. Rather, any loss of U.S. citizenship is a consequence of a requirement under Taiwanese law.”

    Well, an “ACT of applying for foreign citizenship” is defined obviously by foreign laws, not by US laws.

    You should know better than to make a generalized remarked about the “ACT of applying for foreign citizenship”.

    That’s all I have to clarify

  47. raventhorn
    February 26th, 2012 at 08:13 | #47

    @Allen

    I see the bigger problem with the Racism in the Ivy League schools.

    Reading about Lin’s story, he suffered racist taunts from other Ivy League schools’ fans and athletes.

    I guess the “snobs” just makes fools and racists out of themselves, no matter what ranking their schools are, and what great test scores they got.

    Afterall, if someone can conclude themselves superior based on test scores, he/she can easily leap to superiority based upon race.

    So, my question is, what’s so “Ivy League” about these schools?? Isn’t it a bit like the Oscars committee, a bunch of white old dudes deciding that their schools are superior based upon some ranking that they came up with??

  48. LOLZ
    February 27th, 2012 at 07:10 | #48

    raventhorn :
    Afterall, if someone can conclude themselves superior based on test scores, he/she can easily leap to superiority based upon race.
    So, my question is, what’s so “Ivy League” about these schools?? Isn’t it a bit like the Oscars committee, a bunch of white old dudes deciding that their schools are superior based upon some ranking that they came up with??

    1) Well, Ivy schools are some of the best schools in the world. Of course getting into one doesn’t necessarily ensure anyone absolute success in life, but it will likely to open more doors during ones’ lifetime.

    2) I do question the wisdom of wannabe e-lawyers throwing test scores around to boost their arguments 🙂 However, I don’t think people are more prone to be racist just because they like to show off their test scores.

    3) Speaking of test scores, Asian Americans, lawyers and Ivy schools, I think there are a couple of lawsuits right now against Princeton and Harvard by Asian Americans claiming admission discrimination. It turned out that Asian Americans have to score some 200 points higher on their SATs than whites and 400 points higher than blacks in order to get into Ivy League schools. Apparently some half Asians (with non-asian last names) are told by advisers to not bother to check the Asian box when applying to colleges because they think it will hinder their chances of getting into elite schools. It doesn’t help that almost all of the Ivy schools have this magical Asian American ratio of roughly 15-20%. Personally I think AA are the new Jews when it comes to getting elite US schools.

  49. Charles Liu
    February 27th, 2012 at 14:17 | #49

    Lin probably shouldn’t get a ROC citizenship, since compulsory military service is required up to age 36 for male citizen.

  50. raventhorn
    February 27th, 2012 at 17:21 | #50

    @LOLZ

    “2) I do question the wisdom of wannabe e-lawyers throwing test scores around to boost their arguments However, I don’t think people are more prone to be racist just because they like to show off their test scores.”

    I’ll point to Lin’s experiences, and say, plenty of racist taunts thrown his way in Ivy League school games.

    I would also argue that psychologically, racism, like most “superiority” needs, are fed by a base line “inferiority complex”.

    Thus, the logical connection between 1 form of “inferiority complex” in the need for some high test score to validate superiority, and another form of “inferiority complex” in the need to feel powerful as belonging to a particular racial group.

    Both arise from a deep need of the afflicted to feel some validation of power, to compensate for their lack of power in real life.

    *also typical, tiniest stress that might put to question their “superiority”, and it would trigger an aggressive reaction to “re-validate”. 🙂

  51. February 28th, 2012 at 21:48 | #51

    @raventhorn #47

    So, my question is, what’s so “Ivy League” about these schools?? Isn’t it a bit like the Oscars committee, a bunch of white old dudes deciding that their schools are superior based upon some ranking that they came up with??

    I understand where you are coming from. This – unfortunately – is a perverse effects of too much meritocracy in a way.

    If I had studied in Taiwan, I’d probably be an average to below average student. There are so much classics – so many rules to learn. And there is a very competitive sense of meritocracy built into daily lives of children: how well did you score on that test, did you score top 10, top 5, the best? Did you win that piano competition? How good is your calligraphy? How well did you memorize san zi jing?

    While I think the notion of meritocracy is good, a too common implementation is rigid learning and being forced to follow rules – many, many rules – to be judged and constantly judged by – to play by rules set by the previous generation.

    This is why I always wanted to pursue the sciences and engineering. To me that was liberating. The rules are set by nature, not men.

    Life has a strange way of throwing curve balls. Somehow, I ended up in law after studying science and engineering – with a career in one of the most constraining of fields (where rules are man-made and where you try to convince other men what to do).

    Oh well…

  52. perspectivehere
    March 4th, 2012 at 13:21 | #52

    The Media Action Network for Asian Americans (“Dedicating to monitoring the media and advocating balanced, sensitive, and positive coverage and portrayals of Asian Americans”) has a video and written report on the ESPN incident:

    http://www.manaa.org/nbc4la_video_espn.html
    http://www.manaa.org/espn_praise_pr.html

    I found this report very interesting. It reports some inside information from ESPN about the incident which I have not seen elsewhere:

    “Saturday, MANAA Founding President Guy Aoki spoke with Rob King, ESPN’s Senior Vice President of editorial, print, and digital media, who was upset that the unfortunate incidents had hurt the reputation of the network. King explained that ESPN executives knew there were two upcoming games involving Lin and wanted to prevent any off-color remarks in reporting, so on Wednesday at the company’s monthly editorial board meeting, they reminded their department heads to be careful. An e-mail to their employees went out that night and early Thursday morning.

    It wasn’t clear if Bretos (who later tweeted that his wife is Asian and that he meant no disrespect toward Asians) had seen the memo, but the editor who wrote the Saturday morning article and headline should have. Sunday morning, ESPN apologized to Lin and announced it had fired the editor and placed Bretos on a 30 day suspension.

    “We had not asked for anyone to be fired nor suspended,” explained Aoki. “King was supposed to get back to me once he understood the intention of the editor who wrote the headline—was it his attempt at humor? Was he not aware ‘chink’ is a racial slur against Chinese people? But he never called back. The apology should’ve extended to the entire Asian American community, not to just Lin. However, we appreciate how seriously ESPN took these gaffes.”

    “Even though ESPN tried to head off any possible problems, somehow, these derogatory phrases still leaked through,” pointed out MANAA board member Miriam Nakamura-Quan. “We want to know what new procedures the network will implement to prevent these kinds of mistakes from happening in the future. There needs to be tighter monitoring of print, radio, TV, and social media. It’s unfortunate that the Asian American community still has to endure these types of derogatory comments at a time when we should be celebrating the success of Jeremy Lin. It makes me sad.””

    ***************************************

    I was not really aware of MANAA before, but it seems to be doing good work in maintaining dialogue with media companies, and their work should be supported. Given the global reach of American media companies, any contributions of MANAA to reducing racist representations of Asians in media would be influential globally as well:

    “MANAA is calling on all media companies to have discussions with their employees to prevent future racially insensitive incidents.

    Aoki feels that because so much media attention is being paid to Lin, insulting and dismissive attitudes toward Asian Americans will be coming to the surface more often, demonstrating how far this country has to go in its view of the community. “Despite our accomplishments,” asserts Aoki, “there are still two groups that can be joked about with impunity: Asians and gays. Hopefully, the media and general public will be forced to reflect on these issues so that we can become a more sensitive and enlightened society.”

    MANAA is part of the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition (APAMC) which regularly meets with the top four television networks–ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX–pushing for better inclusion of Asian Americans in their programming. MANAA, which will be celebrating its 20th anniversary on April 9, launched a nationwide campaign against the 1993 film Rising Sun. In 2001, Aoki debated Sarah Silverman on Bill Maher’s “Politically Incorrect” over her use of “chinks” on a “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” appearance.”

    ***********************************************************
    MANAA has a hotline for reporting of anti-Asian portrayals in the media:

    MANAA Hotline: (213) 486-4433 or (888) 90-MANAA
    E-Mail Address: manaaletters@yahoo.com or letters@manaa.org

    http://www.manaa.org/

  53. March 9th, 2012 at 13:05 | #53

    @raventhorn

    About that LSAT again – and whether it is really about meritocracy – here is an interesting story.

    http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/billionaire_spanx_inventor_gave_up_idea_of_law_school_after_doing_poorly_on/

  54. March 19th, 2012 at 11:08 | #54

    “Linsanity’s Impact on My Son”
    by Chinese American Frances Kai-Hwa Wang
    http://www.incultureparent.com/2012/03/linsanitys-impact-on-my-son/

  55. August 13th, 2013 at 09:40 | #55

    I support Lin.

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.