For the question about being called "Yellow"
I would say that for the most part, Yellow Power was a slogan that was used in the 1960’s and 70’s but not necessarily what Asian Americans want to be called today. Our particular history, racialization, and current composition doesn’t lend itself well to the label “Yellow.”
One of the early cases of Asian Americans battling racism through law was Ozawa v. US, in which a Japanese American tried to gain naturalization on the basis of pale skin and thus meet the “whiteness” criteria of citizenship. Rather than trying to force the US to grant citizenship to other non-whites, the idea was to try to be classified as white instead. The US’s wars in Asia, the post-1965 immigration boom, and the waves of Southeast Asian refugees in the 20th century have always made “Yellow Peril” a significant part of the American mindset… the idea that hordes of Asians would attack/immigrate/etc. Going from the Ozawa case to this, young Asian Americans who used Yellow Power as a slogan were intentionally using a tactic of touting their non-whiteness.
At the same time this was happening though, they also created the term “Asian American.” Both were highly political, but I think that one of the reasons that Asian Americans have, for the most part, abandoned being called Yellow is because as a group, we can never get away from that imagery of “hordes.” We see it in every election cycle, caricatures about the rising China, whatever. “Yellow Peril” is something that even today, we really can’t get away from. Additionally, it’s not easy to forget that when you live in a predominantly white society, dialogue is always tinted in the perspective of white people, and “yellow” pallor is almost immediately regarded as sickly or a sign of death.
Lastly, I think that Asian American overtook “Yellow” because our community is largely comprised of immigrant parents, and 2nd generation children. When the term Yellow Power was being developed, the composition of Asians in the US were predominantly 2nd and 3rd generation. As immigration opened up though, we have more and more people who identify strongly as their individual ethnicities, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Hmong, etc. I think that the change of demographics have also altered the terms that we use. Rather than identifying as a unified Yellow people, “Asian” signifies a diverse region which allows Asian Americans to easily claim both “Asian American” and to break down into specifics like “Chinese American.”
“I listen today to the radio, and watch television, and read the headlines about the collective white man's fear and tension concerning China. When the white man professes ignorance about why the Chinese hate him so, my mind can't help flashing back to what I read, there in prison, about how the blood forebears of this same white man raped China at a time when China was trusting and helpless. Those original white "Christian traders" sent into China millions of pounds of opium. By 1839, so many of the Chinese were addicts that China's desperate government destroyed twenty thousand chests of opium. The first Opium War was promptly declared by the white man. Imagine! Declaring war upon someone who objects to being narcotized! The Chinese were severely beaten with Chinese invented gunpowder. The Treaty of Nanking made China pay the British white man for the destroyed opium; forced open China's major ports to British trade; forced China to abandon Hong Kong; fixed China's import tariffs so low that cheap British articles soon flooded in, maiming China's industrial development. After a second Opium War, the Tientsin Treaties legalized the ravaging opium trade, legalized a British- French-American control of China's customs. China tried delaying that Treaty's ratification; Peking was looted and burned. "Kill the foreign white devils!" was the 1901 Chinese war cry in the Boxer Rebellion. Losing again, this time the Chinese were driven from Peking's choicest areas. The vicious, arrogant white man put up the famous signs, "Chinese and dogs not allowed." Red China after World War II closed its doors to the Western white world. Massive Chinese agricultural, scientific, and industrial efforts are described in a book that Life magazine recently published. Some observers inside Red China have reported that the world never has known such hate-white campaign as is now going on in this non-white country which in fifty years, present birth-rates continuing, will contain half the earth's population. And it seems that some Chinese chickens will soon come home to roost, with China's recent successful nuclear tests.”—
From THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MALCOLM X (1965). Laying it down on them bok gwai
Speak, Brother Malcolm.