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freemanjud
Posts: 70

Readings:

Ellen D. Wu, “Asian Americans and the Model Minority Myth,” Los Angeles Times, January 23, 2014. https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-0123-w...

Nicholas Kristof, “The Asian Advantage,” New York Times, October 10, 2015. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/11/opinion/sunday/t...

Jeff Guo, “The real reasons the US became less racist toward Asian-Americans,” Washington Post, November 29, 2016. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/1...

Jamelle Bouie, “Andrew Sullivan’s Pathology,” Slate.com, April 17, 2017.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2017/04/andrew...

Kat Chow, “ ‘Model Minority’ Myth Used as a Racial Wedge between Asians Whites,” NPR Code Switch, April 19, 2017. https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/04/19...

Video: Eddie Huang on the ‘myth of the model minority,” 60 Minutes broadcast (CBS), August 25, 2019. (7:44) https://www.cbsnews.com/news/eddie-huang-fresh-off...

Gustavo Lopez, Neil. G. Ruiz, and Eileen Patten, “Key Facts about Asian Americans, a diverse and growing population.” Pew Research Center, September 8, 2017.

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/09/08/k...

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The notion of the model minority may be a (relatively) old one now but the fact that so much ink has been spilled on this (see the readings above, though I could easily have added another 100-150 to that list!!) tells you that this concept is alive and well.

So what do you think? Are there “pros” to the concept of a “model minority”? Or is the labeling of Asian-Americans in this way (the “model minority,” the “Asian advantage”) harmful? To Asians? To non-Asians (aka: other “minorities”)? Or is there a middleground?

Are there times when Asians are not even counted among “minorities” (and if so, why)? Why are we so fixated on the concept of “minorities” or “people of color” anyway? Do you think it’s an important category/umbrella label to apply to groups of people? If so, why? If not, why not?

You must use the articles you read to support your observations and be sure to cite clearly the specific articles when you reference them. You will definitely need to weigh in on the controversy (and to best understand the debate, make sure you read the very first article on the list by Nicholas Kristof; it’s the article that kicked off this latest discussion). And make certain that you respond to the ideas contained in whatever post immediately precedes yours as well as think about how the topic of the “model minority” may be linked to the discussion of “hate speech” and “hate crimes” toward Asians in this country that we discussed in class this week.

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dummkopf
Posts: 21

no need for a baseline

A model minority is according to Google, a demographic group whose members are perceived to achieve a higher degree of socioeconomic success than the population average.The idea of a model minority began in the 1950s and 60s. This stemmed out of politicians and academics at the time who wanted to use the success of the Chinese in America as an excuse to not meet the demands of civil rights activists. According to the Los Angeles Times, in 1966 the U.S. News & Report made the statement that billions of dollars were being proposed to help African Americans when Chinese Americans were moving ahead on their own without anyone’s help.

I think that the idea of a model minority eventually does more harm than help. In the USA, Asian Americans are subjected to this concept, and so they almost feel obliged to fulfill it. Although having such an expectation can be a good motivator, it stresses out the those who cannot or do not meet the expectations. Since model minority indicates that only one type of minority can have those traits, calling an Asian Americans model minority insinuates that they can only be smart and that other minorities can only try to keep up with them. It also suggests that other minorities are not achieving success because they have not taken the same path as Asian Americans (as mentioned in The New York Times). Instead of labeling only one minority a model minority, we should celebrate all minorities that succeed and support the minorities on the way to succeeding. By celebrating the success of those who have historically been oppressed and continue to be oppressed in our country, we would further the thought that everyone can succeed and all types of people can work hard to achieve their dreams.

There are certainly times when Asians are not counted as minorities. One reason for this would be the blatant ignorance of their impact on our country, their struggles and their suppression until the mid 1900s. Many do not even realize that Asian Americans have and still struggle in the USA, so they do not consider them minorities because of their failure to acknowledge their struggle in the first place.

We are fixated on the concept of minorities and people of color because the idea of them stems from the legacy of years of oppression. Although white people (such as the Italians and the Irish as we just talked about) have been oppressed in the United States, that history is less focused on by the white people of today, since there is almost no lasting discrimination against them (if any). The level of success that is deemed the goal is what white people have right now, so everyone else is categorized into boxes based on their ethnicity and is made to compete for the spot of second best or even tied in first place. If we use white people as the baseline for everything in an ever evolving country with rapidly changing demographics, our problem of calling people minority will never be fixed, because white people will always be assumed to be the majority. While the term minority may have been helpful in the past, as our country evolves, it will not be applicable anymore, or be used in the correct context. According to the Pew Research Center, Asians are projected to become the largest immigrant group in the country by 2055, surpassing Hispanics in the process. Such data is proof of the change that is happening right and and will continue to happen. If we do not fix our crooked mindsets, how will we be able to set our concepts of other people straight? Will we continue to stereotype and make assumptions based on people’s race?


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Regina Phalange
Posts: 19

Discrimination by any other name...

The term “model minority” is certainly a harmful term. Having any sort of label placed on a certain group of people is a form of othering, and there are always consequences to that. The fact that we even have that term is telling in that we still want to make distinctions between different types of people in regards to where they fall on the ‘ladder’. If Asian Americans are free from oppression and racism then we wouldn’t refer to them as “minorities,” they would just be a ‘model.’ Nevertheless, the usage of that term suggests that, although many Asian Americans are able to achieve success, they still need to be put down.


Of course, the term “model minority” is also very restraining to Asian Americans. Even though it does have a somewhat positive connotation, it sets a stereotypical precedent that Asian Americans are expected to follow. For example, in the article from the New York Times describes how harmful the term is to those who do not necessarily embody the qualities of a model minority. When that label is all that is attached to the Asian race, then it leaves a sense of confusion and isolation to those who do not perform well in school or dream of becoming a doctor.


It is interesting that we have such a fixation on using the words “minority” and “people of color.” I think that, in a general sense, it is important to use them because there is a distinction between white people and non-white people in terms of equal opportunity and the presence of discrimination in the U.S. today. In order to come to terms with racism and oppression, we have to acknowledge that it exists and we have to make distinctions about who suffers from it. That being said, the consequences still exist to having labels like this. It can be socially confusing when you see that Asian American households are making more money than the average American household, yet there exists a website with pages and pages of stories about racism faced by Asians. So I think that while these labels are useful in a logistical sense, they do not even begin to represent the whole truth. Therefore, the only way to understand the history and significance of the labeled groups is to make an effort to learn about their experiences and spread awareness of them.


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Regina Phalange
Posts: 19

Originally posted by dummkopf on December 10, 2019 20:11

The level of success that is deemed the goal is what white people have right now, so everyone else is categorized into boxes based on their ethnicity and is made to compete for the spot of second best or even tied in first place. If we use white people as the baseline for everything in an ever evolving country with rapidly changing demographics, our problem of calling people minority will never be fixed, because white people will always be assumed to be the majority. While the term minority may have been helpful in the past, as our country evolves, it will not be applicable anymore, or be used in the correct context.


This is an interesting point. I agree that it is kind of weird that we still use white people as a baseline. Although a lot of language surrounding racial categories is necessary for acknowledging white privilege, it makes you wonder how useful it actually is. How can we move past the mindset that created racial oppression in America if we continue to use language that blatantly perpetuates racial hierarchy?

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pannafugo
Posts: 17

Model Minorities: Harmful or Beneficial?

The concept of the “model minority” is fascinating. Americans have forced immigrants into boxes with labels that define them. Since they began coming to this country, Asians and Asian cultures have been viewed as “disgusting and vile” (Wu, “Asian Americans and the Model Minority Myth”) in this country since they first began immigrating here. Like other minority groups, Asian-Americans have faced discrimination and hate crimes, as we saw with the case of Vincent Chin. However, over time racism towards Asians has decreased. It still exists, absolutely, but it is not as extreme as the violence and discrimination faced by other minority groups, such as Latinos and African-Americans. Why?


Asian Americans have done what racists want them to do: be complacent and obedient and assimilate to American ways of life. In the 1950s, postwar America was obsessed with the idea of the nuclear family, the large house in the suburbs, the white picket fence. Those were the symbols of a true, patriotic, American citizen. Asian immigrants were a perfect example of this family structure. Asian-Americans at this time were also not as vocal about fighting for their civil rights as other minority groups, and when they were vocal, they were not heard. White people saw that Asian Americans were not causing as much “trouble” as African-Americans, so they favored them for being so docile and subservient to oppression. This, in turn, let Asians have a better opportunity in America overall. It was interesting in the articles to see that this was not the only reason Asians became more accepted in America; it was for political gain as well. Jeff Guo remarks in his article “The real reasons the US became less racist towards Asian-Americans” that politicians were less discriminatory towards Chinese-Americans in times when they were trying to form an allyship with China. This is also mentioned in “‘Model Minority’ Myth Used as a Racial Wedge between Asians Whites”, where it states that “Asians only started to "make it" when the discrimination against them lessened — and only when it was politically convenient. Amid worries that the Chinese exclusion laws from the late 1800s would hurt an allyship with China in the war against imperial Japan, the Magnuson Act was signed in 1943, allowing 105 Chinese immigrants into the U.S. each year”. America only decreased its racist sentiments towards Asians when it was beneficial to them.


In some ways, the concept of the “model minority” is in some ways beneficial to Asian-Americans. It is stereotyping, but in an almost positive way-- saying Asians are smart, they are more likely to succeed in school/professional careers, they are exemplary children and families in general. These stereotypes, some believe, encourage Asian-Americans and cause them to actually perform better in school (“The Asian Advantage”). The flip side of this is the negative views if an Asian-American does not fit into this mold. It also has extremely negative impacts on other minority groups. As we talked in class, as well as mentioned in the articles, many Asian-Americans say “at least we’re not (insert minority group)”. This drives groups apart, and in turn could cause more acts of violence based on race. The idea of the model minority has also been used to criticize African Americans, blaming their struggles in being successful in America on their laziness, among other things. While the model minority concept may lift Asians up in a way, and make them more equal to whites, it pushes down those who do not subscribe to the concept, as well as members of other minority groups.


I feel that the need to label everyone as part of a certain minority or group in general is not necessary. Some people can choose to label themselves, while others feel like they identify with more than one group, or do not want to label themselves at all. White people on the other hand feel the need to do this in order to make things easier for themselves, as they apply stereotypes and biases towards people based on whatever category they fit into. Race and ethnicity is not as simple as checking boxes, as we have discussed before in this class. In essence, we are all the same; we do differ in culture and language, among other things, but we are all human.


In response to the question about Asians sometimes not being considered minorities, I remember from the busing discussions that someone mentioned that at one school, Asian students were lumped in with white students, not with black students and other minority groups. Jeff Guo’s article mentions a quote from Daniel Moynihan (who wrote a report blaming the failure of African American success in the US on their “ghetto culture”) on the subject of Asians and race. He said, “‘25 years ago, Asians had been “colored.”... Am I wrong that they have ceased to be colored?’”. I found this extremely interesting to think about. Are Asians considered white, or not a minority at all? Based on all the racially charged hate crimes and general aggression toward Asians, which has continued to present day, I would say no, as whites have not experienced this kind of oppression.


In response to Regina Phalange: I agree that labeling enforcing a feeling of “othering”, especially with the term model minority. While they can help in distinguishing the issue of equality in America by showing the differences between whites and non-whites, overall it is extremely detrimental to these groups. I don’t know how we can remedy this, though, as it is so ingrained in our society to identify and label everything to the most extreme degree.

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DuckBoots
Posts: 25

"Your School Is REALLY white"


The concept of model minorities is extremely harmful to everyone affected and only increases racial tensions while distracting from the issues themselves. What are the main points behind the model minority of Asians? They are amazing at math and science, constantly practice and excel at a musical instrument (commonly piano and violin), and if they come home with a B on their report card they are in for it. As stereotypes go, these paint the picture of engaged and hard working citizens in contrast to the “laziness” or inferiority many other groups are saddled with. An Asain-American student Anglea reflected that when her peers assumed she was good at math since she was Chinese it was .”advantageous when they think that”, but the author interjects that “it can be hard on Asian-American kids whose comparative advantage isn’t in science or math but in theater or punk rock.”(The Asian Advantage) The “positive” stereotypes harm those who are excluded and create further divides in the Asian-American community. For those who identify with these traits, I think that it undermines their talent in the fields of math and science. In chemistry I can remember my friend (Chinese) not being excited when he got an A on an incredibly difficult test in Chemistry. When I freaked out for him and said “Wow! You are so good at science!” somebody remarked, “Well duh… he’s Asain.” His success was swept away in the expectation of excellence in the way that a failing or even sub-par grade would not have been.

For other minorities, there is a further divide created between the “less desirable” minorities and the “model”. This month we have been learning about different groups’s path (or lack thereof) to full acceptance in America. The Irish and Italians have climbed the latter and we agreed on Monday that African Americans were still prevented from equality, but we hovered Asain Americans between the two groups. Being a model minority in these cases means using the success of Asian-Americans as a poster child, like “America is no longer racist! There are so many Asian CEOs!”, which completely undermines the continued struggle of other groups against prejudice. The hard won success of many Japanese Americans after the war was twisted into “ it was immediately a reflection on black people: Now why weren't black people making it, but Asians were?"(Racial Wedge Between Asains and Blacks) This is incredibly degrading and undervalues how hard African Americans have and continue to struggle in a system designed for their failure.

I feel like Asians don’t count as a minority in this school and in Boston for that matter. When I tell people that I go to BLS I get two comments. 1) I hear you have six hours of homework a night, and 2)Wow. Your school is REALLY white. Now I won’t deny that this school certainly lacks diversity that I had experienced in all my time in BPS. I had never gone to a school where there were only one or two black people in each class, so I would agree. But when you look around our halls, are there not a large amount of Asain-Americans? I don’t know the exact percentage, but I know it was around 40% at one point. Why does their presence not count towards diversity? This is not to pat BLS on the back, our rations are truly wack, but I found it interesting that in terms of how many people of color there are in a BPS school Asian-Americans are the missing statistic.

America is constantly trying to prove their progress and status as a world leader in every subject. This includes pushing its racist past and present under the rug at any cost. White American cannot handle being confronted with the subject of racism. When we read about those seminars when there would be a shifting, avoidance of eye contact, and defensiveness the second the word “race” left the professor’s mouth. We would much rather focus on the success stories, such as Asian-Americans, and all the “work” we are doing for these minorities. This is definitely a hot button issue so it’s so focused on to try to come to an easy and quick solution for a history of silence and oppression. Categorizing people can divide them as much as it can unify, but this us and them pattern needs to stop. Finding strength in a community is important, but I don’t think that White census makers should put up these barriers and isolate groups.

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shorty123
Posts: 16

The pressure of being the model minority

Model minority means that a group is more likely to have socioeconomic success than the rest of the population. This socioeconomic success branches from education, family success, parental success, and income. In the United States Asian Americans are the model minority. The cons very much so outweigh the pros. In the video we watched in class, it showed Asian people from many different Asian countries, and in the background the speaker was repeating “all orientals look the same.” That term alone is a very discriminating term that white people threw at Asians and it is still used today which shows how racist the United States is. The repetition of that sentence put emphasis on the fact that all Asians are not the same and that when they are group as a model minority, it is very likely that they are not taking every single Asian country into consideration. One article said that many Asian Americans come to America as refugees which doesn’t give them the same economic advantage as those who came freely. Another con of the term is that it is harmful to Asian Americans because they are all held to the same standard which is that they need to be perfect and get perfect grades school wise and they have to continue that success by obtaining a high paying job. This sets an incredible amount of pressure on the whole Asian race and this pressure was ultimately placed on them by the US. Another con is that the other minorities, specifically black people, when being compared to Asian Americans are seen as lazy and basically the bottom of the bottom. It sets this same ideology that while Asian people and white people are able to climb to success and maintain it, black people will never move up. For black people specifically who have been oppressed for so long, this is unfortunate because they will never be given the opportunity to move up the social ladder due to the broken system. It is often that Asian Americans are not classified as minorities because for a decent amount of time they were seen to climb up to success with white people and they economically wise are said to flourish in America. We have these terms minority and people of color to make it known that black and Hispanic people are lower. But because Asian Americans were higher up they were often not seen as a minority, although they still are in my opinion because immense hate speech, slurs, and crimes are placed upon them. It is clearly not easy to be Asian in America when the stereotypes that Americans placed upon them follow them everywhere. Instead of being threatened by some of these stereotypes, in Nicholas Kristof's article, it was said that they saw it as a stereotype promise to succeed and work hard. I believe that in America we have terms that group people together but are mainly used to separate people from white people. I think that because we live in America and these systems are so broken to the minorities, this term is almost like a togetherness between all minorities. It shows that it is a struggle in America to be black, Asian, Hispanic and so forth and it brings a sense of brotherhood between these groups.
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secretname7
Posts: 29

The Model Minority Impacts

To start off, a model minority can be defined as “a demographic group whose members are perceived to achieve a higher degree of socioeconomic success than the population average.” Nowadays, according to NPR, Asians are one of the most successful non-white ethnic groups on average. Putting these bits of data together, the model minority is definitely catered towards Asian-Americans.

During World War 2, and after Asians began to “make it” more than any other group in the US. Why did this happen? Kim (from NPR) says "Racism that Asian-Americans have experienced is not what black people have experienced,". However she goes on to mention that discrimination does nontheless occur. When Asians began be successful they faced a lot of opposition- for example the beating of Vincint Chin. This also led to the stereotypical ideas of a “having a Tiger Mom, being good at math, and needing to excel at school”.

I do think, model minorities are offensive. It is a way to justify stereotypical images and a way to categorize Asian Americans. Also it labels other minorities as “not up to par”. By saying that Asians can make it, but no other group can, is also hidden racism. This can lead to even more resentment towards Asians because they are “exempt” from blatant mistreatment. However, Asian discrimination is still very much an issue. Many citizens do not realize there is a certain stigma towards Asians which is degrading. Asians are cast under one umbrella of being smart, which can add pressure to a young Asian American. All in all, the concept of model minority does not in any way get rid of stereotypical views of Asians, and in fact heightens them.

At times, Asians are not considered as a minority. Since they are viewed as smart, most would not think of any form of “racism” in terms of achieving something. A few years ago, when Asian American students protested at Harvard for having high enough SAT scores and GPA to be accepted, but lost their spots because “there would be too many Asians attending” was very eye opening. The fact that one person works just as hard as anybody else, but is denied due to race is appalling. But, not many people would have ever considered that because of the “model minority” subconscious mindset. We become fixated on racism, primarily with skin color rather than ethnicity. This is partially due to the fact that discrimination against Asians is not talked about a lot in our history classes, so nobody acknowledges the stigma towards Asians. Racism is commonly viewed as blacks have been oppressed historically, and nobody else has been, which is not true, but is what is taught. It is an extremely black and white view of the world.

I do not think it is important to umbrella a group of people. Everybody is different and upon getting to know others, many would find that not everybody fits their “societal mold”. If there was no umbrella, stereotypical views would be way more uncommon.

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secretname7
Posts: 29

Originally posted by shorty123 on December 10, 2019 21:33

One article said that many Asian Americans come to America as refugees which doesn’t give them the same economic advantage as those who came freely. Another con of the term is that it is harmful to Asian Americans because they are all held to the same standard which is that they need to be perfect and get perfect grades school wise and they have to continue that success by obtaining a high paying job. This sets an incredible amount of pressure on the whole Asian race and this pressure was ultimately placed on them by the US. Another con is that the other minorities, specifically black people, when being compared to Asian Americans are seen as lazy and basically the bottom of the bottom. It sets this same ideology that while Asian people and white people are able to climb to success and maintain it, black people will never move up. For black people specifically who have been oppressed for so long, this is unfortunate because they will never be given the opportunity to move up the social ladder due to the broken system.

I agree with all of these. The standard of needing to be perfect sets a huge pressure on Asian Americans, which is not healthy. Also labeling "all other minorities" at the "bottom" is extremely offensive. It makes it seem as though others are "inadequete" which I hope someday can be forgotten and everyone can be viewed with the same worth.

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shorty123
Posts: 16

Originally posted by pannafugo on December 10, 2019 21:00

. These stereotypes, some believe, encourage Asian-Americans and cause them to actually perform better in school (“The Asian Advantage”). The flip side of this is the negative views if an Asian-American does not fit into this mold. It also has extremely negative impacts on other minority groups. As we talked in class, as well as mentioned in the articles, many Asian-Americans say “at least we’re not (insert minority group)”. This drives groups apart, and in turn could cause more acts of violence based on race. The idea of the model minority has also been used to criticize African Americans, blaming their struggles in being successful in America on their laziness, among other things. While the model minority concept may lift Asians up in a way, and make them more equal to whites, it pushes down those who do not subscribe to the concept, as well as members of other minority groups.


I agree with this statement a lot because when some Asian Americans compare themselves to other minorities they feel lucky in a way I guess specifically in comparison to black people and this sets a divide between two groups that should be united because they are minorities. It just sets the precedent of the ladder and how because like you said Asians were seen as the closest equal to whites, allowing them to climb the ladder, and this unfortunately continues to make it impossible for African Americans to move up on that ladder.


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ghostchicago
Posts: 22

Finding A Place in American Society

I think that the pervasive myth of the model minority creates a sort of complex in our society. Asian Americans still experience hate, discrimination, prejudice, and racism in our country, just like any other minority would. However, their plights are often not given coverage, and many people don't really think of Asian Americans as a minority at all. As Ellen Wu states in her article “Asian Americans and the Model Minority Myth”, Asians are often seen as shining examples of what it means to advance in society through hard work. Many view Asian Americans as a racial group who was able to go from the bottom of the social ladder, and climb to a higher place in American society. I think that this myth is harmful to Asians, as well as other minority groups. The view of Asian Americans as a “model minority” allows for the disregard of Asian American hardships. The existence of a “model minority” also implies the existence of a “non-model minority”, or a minority group that does not fit into the ideals of American society, which creates hardships on other communities.


I have definitely heard the sentiment that Asian stereotypes are not harmful because many of them are positive. Many stereotypes about Asian Americans are that they are smart, quiet, and hardworking. I’ve heard it said that these stereotypes aren’t harmful because many of them are positive traits. However, I definitely disagree. Although these stereotypes may be concerned with positive traits, they are ultimately harmful. Anything that creates a generalization about an entire racial or ethnic group is, in my opinion, inherently harmful. It creates a pattern where a group is confined to a certain position in society, and cannot advance.


I think that it is very common to assume that Asian people experience no hardships, and I think it is a common myth, that many fall victim to believing. Racism against Asian Americans seems to be much less known or publicized than the hate against other minority groups. This, along with Asian Americans’ status as a model minority, creates a sort of stigma and exclusion around Asian identities. Asian people are definitely white and do not benefit from the same privileges as white Americans do, but they also are often excluded from POC spaces. I have seen an example of this in my own life. I was once in a situation where a person I knew was organizing a POC drum circle, as a way to connect with other people of color and share ideas and experiences. My friend, who is Vietnamese, wanted to join in the circle. However, the organizer told her she was not allowed to participate because she “didn’t count as a person of color”. This interaction has stuck with me because I saw how much it hurt my friend. She, as an Asian person, is unable to exist with the same privileges as her white peers, but is also excluded from exclusively POC communities. I think that this comes as a direct result of certain stereotypes that exist about Asian people existing as not a minority group, and makes it hard for Asian Americans to find a place in American society.

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ghostchicago
Posts: 22

Originally posted by pannafugo on December 10, 2019 21:00

In some ways, the concept of the “model minority” is in some ways beneficial to Asian-Americans. It is stereotyping, but in an almost positive way-- saying Asians are smart, they are more likely to succeed in school/professional careers, they are exemplary children and families in general. These stereotypes, some believe, encourage Asian-Americans and cause them to actually perform better in school (“The Asian Advantage”). The flip side of this is the negative views if an Asian-American does not fit into this mold. It also has extremely negative impacts on other minority groups. As we talked in class, as well as mentioned in the articles, many Asian-Americans say “at least we’re not (insert minority group)”. This drives groups apart, and in turn could cause more acts of violence based on race. The idea of the model minority has also been used to criticize African Americans, blaming their struggles in being successful in America on their laziness, among other things. While the model minority concept may lift Asians up in a way, and make them more equal to whites, it pushes down those who do not subscribe to the concept, as well as members of other minority groups.

I think this is an interesting point, and pannafugo sums up the positive and negative aspects of Asian American stereotypes very well. I think that Asian stereotypes end up creating an enormous pressure on young Asian Americans to conform to these societal stereotypes. This is obviously a negative thing, even though many of the stereotypes can be seen as positive traits.

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RedStudent
Posts: 19

Is Model Minority a positive term?

If you were AsIan American and you were labeled the "model minority" would that be a good thing or a bad thing? I think there may be a few positives to being called the model minority but I feel for the most part its a negative term to be used. The term model minority refers to a demographic group that is perceived to achieve more than the average person. The stereotype says that if you belong to the model minority you'd get a higher education, higher income, lower divorce rate, low crime rate, etc. But does having all of that mean that you live a happier life? In "The Asian Advantage" it lays out whey Asian Americans seem to live a more successful life when immigrating to America. It goes on to state that Asians prioritize education from a very early age, they set aside special places in the home to study and really incenticize doing well in school. There is no one that would argue that getting a great education is the key to getting a successful job where you can make a lot of money. But is that truly the goal of Asian Americans? The article says that an A- is referred to as the Asian F. While I'll agree that education is important I think the issue really is what defines success. In “Asian Americans and the Model Minority Myth,” it states that Asian population has jobs as doctors and scientists and mathematicians and engineers in higher percentage than other minority groups. That's great but what about happiness. I didn't see anywhere that studied these Asian Americans later in life after they've studied their whole life, are now doctors and are married with kids to see if they are truly happy.

I think that it can work as a pro to label asians as the model minority because it could work to push them to want to do more and to be better than just average. If the minute you are born, your parents and your teacher push you to study and get a great education because thats what the stereotype says then that's likely what you will do. So on one hand it's good that the stereotype will push you towards getting a great education, but the downside is what if you don't want to be a doctor or a scientist. This stereotype really limits what you can do. What if you want to be an artist or a police officer or what if you want to just be a stay at home parent. I don't necessarily see how this stereotype of asian Americans has any real affect on other minority groups. I think each minority group has their own stereotypes to deal with the African Americans or Latin Americans shouldn't also have to be impacted by the roles put on the asians.

There are many that would say that Asian Americans don't even count as minorities. If Asian Americans by percentages are smarter, richer, and more successful than even white people how can they be looked down as a minority? Being a minority is typically a negative connotation to it, but if the goal in most life is to be rich and successful how can we call them the minority if most even white people want to achieve what most asians accomplish. I think stereotypes are ridiculous and don't help anyone. I think to categorize an entire race or sex etc as a minority is ridiculous. There are many white people that push education and push their kids to be doctors and scientists just like there are many asian parents that are accepting of their kid dropping out of college or being an artist. I think we need to get away with painting an entire race with the same brush and instead just judge individual people based on their individual choices in life.

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dummkopf
Posts: 21

Originally posted by Regina Phalange on December 10, 2019 20:54

The term “model minority” is certainly a harmful term. Having any sort of label placed on a certain group of people is a form of othering, and there are always consequences to that. The fact that we even have that term is telling in that we still want to make distinctions between different types of people in regards to where they fall on the ‘ladder’.

I definitely agree with this. Trying to categorize people based off of their race is alarming, especially when it is being done in terms of intelligence and/ or the ability to succeed. On another note, I think the ladder is an excellent way to symbolize the social structure of the United States because it just proves that anyone can climb up or down at any time, based off of the politics and happenings of the time.

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RedStudent
Posts: 19

Asian sterotypes

Originally posted by ghostchicago on December 10, 2019 21:49

I think that the pervasive myth of the model minority creates a sort of complex in our society. Asian Americans still experience hate, discrimination, prejudice, and racism in our country, just like any other minority would. However, their plights are often not given coverage, and many people don't really think of Asian Americans as a minority at all. As Ellen Wu states in her article “Asian Americans and the Model Minority Myth”, Asians are often seen as shining examples of what it means to advance in society through hard work. Many view Asian Americans as a racial group who was able to go from the bottom of the social ladder, and climb to a higher place in American society. I think that this myth is harmful to Asians, as well as other minority groups. The view of Asian Americans as a “model minority” allows for the disregard of Asian American hardships. The existence of a “model minority” also implies the existence of a “non-model minority”, or a minority group that does not fit into the ideals of American society, which creates hardships on other communities.


I have definitely heard the sentiment that Asian stereotypes are not harmful because many of them are positive. Many stereotypes about Asian Americans are that they are smart, quiet, and hardworking. I’ve heard it said that these stereotypes aren’t harmful because many of them are positive traits. However, I definitely disagree. Although these stereotypes may be concerned with positive traits, they are ultimately harmful. Anything that creates a generalization about an entire racial or ethnic group is, in my opinion, inherently harmful. It creates a pattern where a group is confined to a certain position in society, and cannot advance.


I think that it is very common to assume that Asian people experience no hardships, and I think it is a common myth, that many fall victim to believing. Racism against Asian Americans seems to be much less known or publicized than the hate against other minority groups. This, along with Asian Americans’ status as a model minority, creates a sort of stigma and exclusion around Asian identities. Asian people are definitely white and do not benefit from the same privileges as white Americans do, but they also are often excluded from POC spaces. I have seen an example of this in my own life. I was once in a situation where a person I knew was organizing a POC drum circle, as a way to connect with other people of color and share ideas and experiences. My friend, who is Vietnamese, wanted to join in the circle. However, the organizer told her she was not allowed to participate because she “didn’t count as a person of color”. This interaction has stuck with me because I saw how much it hurt my friend. She, as an Asian person, is unable to exist with the same privileges as her white peers, but is also excluded from exclusively POC communities. I think that this comes as a direct result of certain stereotypes that exist about Asian people existing as not a minority group, and makes it hard for Asian Americans to find a place in American society.

I agree with you that Asian stereotypes are still offensive even if they are positives. They can affect a part of the minority that does not fall under the umberal of the positive trait. The people that are not seen as that trait feel like they are not living up to what they need to be and putting them down. With these positive traits in general people are pressured by society into being those traits or some people will see them as people that do not belong as we saw on the website we looked at in class today.

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