What I do mean by the confluence of culture and economic outcomes is that a free society that allows individuals and groups to pursue their personal preferences — in careers, in relationships, in artistic expression, etc. — is related to the economic results that flow from that. And I’m referring to individual success and self-actualization, not societal success, so the authoritarian arguments of the current Chinese leadership and Singapore’s Lew Kuan Yew criticizing the messiness of democracy really are off the point.
I can’t speak to your personal experience. We also can’t evaluate “internalized racism” — I suspect it’s a negative way of looking at the struggle of a minority to feel they belong in a new cultural context.
But let’s look at it somewhat logically, or scientifically. Imagine an immigrant group coming to America where the 2nd generation is born. Now imagine, like Asians, that they only represent 5% of the population. Randomness, or choosing blind, one would expect only 1 in 20 to marry a person of the same immigrant group. Is that a signal of racism? Imagine you are in that group — 90% of the people you meet are going to be outside that group and that includes all potential mates. So the probability for a 5% minority to marry another person of that minority is pretty slim unless there’s something else going on.
There always is something else going on, but I don’t think we can generalize it with some blanket judgment of racism. I often wonder about 1st generation immigrant parents who want their children to marry within their ethnic/racial group. One must ask if that was the objective, why immigrate? Stay back where the cultural/ethnic/racial group is dominant. But, of course, we all want to have our cake and eat it too. It’s inevitable that 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants will intermarry and end up joining and contributing to the dominant culture. And that’s a good thing. That’s why we all came here. My daughter is not a member of an ethnic group, she’s an American who chooses from a diverse set of cultural preferences. Doesn’t like spicy food, loves pasta, says buon giorno and ciao, wears Indian saris and jewelry for dress-up and celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with green. Go figure…it’s all good.