It's ethnicity, not nationality, that makes Amy Chua controversial
On Feb. 21, The Post published an article by Monica Hesse about author and law professor Amy Chua's recent reading at Politics and Prose bookstore ["The paper 'Tiger,' " Style].
Hesse wrote: "If 'Tiger Mom' had been written by a woman of a different nationality ('Why French Women's Kids Don't Get Fat'), it might not have raised so many hackles."
In fact, Amy Chua's nationality is American. Specifically, she is a second-generation Chinese American born in Illinois.
Many people use the word "nationality" when they really mean "race" or "ethnicity," but that doesn't excuse this error. This is a distinction that matters, because confusing it only furthers the "perpetual foreigner" stereotype, which contributes to the under-representation of Asian Americans in the media, government and the economy.
Suggesting that Asian Americans are foreigners is to suggest that we are less American - even though ours is a nation of immigrants.
Sylvia Chi, Washington