First-- you don't have to be Asian to post here. Second, every kind of Asian is welcome.
Welcome to AsianERA, a space intended for, but not limited to, English speaking people of Asian descent/ethnicity. As many, but not all, of us are not far removed from the cultural influences of our family or countries, this first post will have some SUPER FUN BUT SERIOUS (okay just all serious) issues to address.
If you're looking to learn more about Asian activism, or you're just curious what it's like to be an Asian (though your mileage may vary), here are some interesting links below. Most of them deal with America, which I apologize for as it is because I am American, so if you have any additions please let me know.
We may address some particularly hot button issues in here, including but not limited to immigration, cultural appropriation, and... yes, affirmative action, but please try and keep discourse civil in here.
==========MODEL MINORITY MYTH==========
Professional Burdens of Being a "Model Minority"
The model-minority image brings with it a number of problems. It can deter Asian American high-school students from seeking help when they’re struggling in school, socially isolating them and, ironically, causing them to fare worse academically. It places enormous pressure on Asian Americans to disavow and downplay incidents of racial harassment; when Asian Americans are depicted as the minority group that doesn’t complain, attract negative attention, or cause problems, it can feel uncomfortable for them to point out stereotypes, insults, and assaults.
Whites are three times more likely to be admitted to elite universities than Asian Americans with comparable qualifications, which has implications for their access to well-regarded degrees and the social networks that can facilitate entry to and success in high-status occupations. Japanese, Chinese, and Korean Americans have made inroads into these white-collar professions, such as engineering and medicine, but Hmong, Laotian, Cambodian, and Filipino Americans remain overrepresented in lower-wage jobs. The heightened success of some Asian Americans hides the economic and educational challenges facing others.
Asian Americans and the Evolving "Model Minority Myth"
Before the mid-20th century, the Tiger Mom did not exist in the national imagination. Instead, Americans believed that Chinese culture was disgusting and vile, viewing U.S. Chinatowns as depraved colonies of prostitutes, gamblers and opium addicts bereft of decency. Lawmakers and citizens deployed these arguments to justify and maintain the segregation, marginalization and exclusion of Chinese from mainline society between the 1870s and World War II. Those efforts were more than effective: to have a "Chinaman's chance" at that time meant that one had zero prospects.
The history of Americans' views about Chinese immigrant behaviors shows that "culture" often serves as a blank screen onto which individuals project various political agendas, depending on the exigencies of the moment.
In the midst of the black freedom movement of the 1960s, numerous politicians and academics and the mainstream media contrasted Chinese with African Americans. They found it expedient to invoke Chinese "culture" to counter the demands of civil rights and black power activists for substantive change. In 1966, then-Assistant Secretary of Labor Daniel Patrick Moynihan defended his controversial claim that the too-strong emphasis on matriarchy in black "culture" was to blame for the "deterioration" of African American communities by pointing to the "enlightened family life" of the relatively well-to-do Chinese. Moreover, critics disliked the ways in which ideas about Asian Americans reinforced the denigration of African Americans. Writing for Los Angeles-based Gidra magazine in 1969, Amy Uyematsu resented being implicated in "white racism" by being "held up" before other minority groups as a "model to emulate."
'Model Minority' Myth Again Used As A Racial Wedge Between Asians And Blacks
Sullivan's piece, rife with generalizations about a group as vastly diverse as Asian-Americans, rightfully raised hackles. Not only inaccurate, his piece spreads the idea that Asian-Americans as a group are monolithic, even though parsing data by ethnicity reveals a host of disparities; for example, Bhutanese-Americans have far higher rates of poverty than other Asian populations, like Japanese-Americans. And at the root of Sullivan's pernicious argument is the idea that black failure and Asian success cannot be explained by inequities and racism, and that they are one and the same; this allows a segment of white America to avoid any responsibility for addressing racism or the damage it continues to inflict.
Ghost of White People: Witnessing White Flight From an Asian Ethnoburb
While the term “model minority” substantiates a myth about how whites value Asians, Asians are only “model minorities” when they are small in number with minimal influence on a community. When Asians “set the norms of academic achievement by which whites are evaluated [and] ultimately usurp those previously in place,” once heralded Asian achievements are critiqued with suspicion.
An understanding of white flight from Asian ethnoburbs with high-quality schools sheds light on the hard truth of all forms of racial segregation, a truth that people of color have always known: race, not education, is the fuel for white flight. Some whites will simply avoid living near people of color, as has been the case since the early 20th century. Parents would prefer a cut in education programs to having their children sit alongside children of color. Little attention is given to the fact that Asians must earn anywhere from 50 to 140 points higher on the SAT to have an equal chance at college admission as whites.
Why else would whites flee the high-performing schools of Johns Creek for other high-performing schools in similar suburbs, except to get away from the Asians? Whites continue to flee Johns Creek at a relatively constant rate until the summer before high school, when panic leads to the sort of widespread evacuation that recalls the white flight from black neighborhoods in the 1960s and ’70s.
Asia is not a single, solitary country. Eight countries make up the South Asian subcontinent. Over a dozen comprise East and Southeast Asia. Asian Pacific Islanders are a people who represent over 40 ethnic groups with a range of customs, foods, languages, politics, and faiths.
PERPETUAL FOREIGNER IN ONE’S OWN LAND: POTENTIAL IMPLICATIONS FOR IDENTITY AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ADJUSTMENT
In addition to the strong correlations between ethnic minorities’ awareness of being stereotyped and their identity, their subjective experiences with the perpetual foreigner stereotype are moderately linked to adjustment. As expected, ethnic minorities who are more aware of the perpetual foreigner stereotype tend to report lower hope or life-satisfaction (for Asian Americans, Study 3), even after controlling for perceived discrimination, providing further evidence for the incremental validity of the perpetual foreigner construct. American history—with wars in Japan, Korea, and Viet Nam, and fears of the yellow peril with regard to Chinese immigrants—is rife with conceptions of Asians (and thus Asian Americans) as foreign and dangerous enemies (Takaki, 1998).
Debunking the perpetual foreigner myth
The assumption that Asian Americans are foreigners may seem innocuous, but the underlying attitudes can lead to frightening actions. The Chinese Exclusion Act, the Japanese internment camps and the recent shootings of two Indian men in Kansas were all fueled by fear of foreigners.
It implies that Asian Americans aren’t really American. We’re still outsiders, still considered “other.” No matter how long we have been in this country, we’re still viewed as foreigners. My family has lived in the U.S. for generations and in some cases, longer than many of my white friends’ ancestors. Yet they are never assumed to be foreigners like I am.
Perpetual Foreigners: A Reflection on Asian Americans in the American Media
2016 has not been a great year for Asian Americans in the American media. Beginning with the racist and xenophobic Yellow Peril stereotype which presented Chinese people as backwards, animal-like creatures and the diabolical Fu Manchu image which promoted the belief that the Chinese are sneaky, calculating masterminds obsessed with world domination, the American media has a long history of racist portrayals of the Chinese. These stereotypes, along with the exotifying of Chinese women as stoic and subordinate and the portrayal of Chinese men as quiet and feminine, continue to fill the American media. The fear of Chinese “world domination” is just a continuation of the racist belief that the “barbarian, cold, and calculating” Chinese are out to get the Western world. By assuming Chinese Americans have a better relationship with the country of their ancestral heritage, Watters is placing Chinese Americans in a second-class citizen role, unable to fully adopt all the characteristics to become a full citizen of the United States of America. This idea of the “perpetual foreigner” is not limited to Chinese Americans, but a xenophobic image many Asian Americans from a variety of Asian backgrounds must face.
The Two Asian Americas
in 1923, Bagai found himself snared by anti-Asian laws: the Supreme Court ruled that South Asians, because they were not white, could not become naturalized citizens of the United States. Bagai was stripped of his status. Under the California Alien Land Law, of 1913—a piece of racist legislation designed to deter Asians from encroaching on white businesses and farms—losing that status also meant losing his property and his business. The next blow came when he tried to visit India. The United States government advised him to apply for a British passport.
Hate crimes spread to encompass groups such as Sikh-Americans, with a mass shooting at a temple in Wisconsin as recently as 2012. In February, when a middle-aged white man in North Carolina shot three Muslim college students dead over what the police claimed was “an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking,” the father of one of the victims pointed out, “I am sure my daughter felt hated, and she said, literally, ‘Daddy, I think it is because of the way we look and the way we dress.’ ”
Stereotypes and Workplace Consequences for East Asians in North America
Results of this experiment show that coworker preferences are congruent with prescriptive stereotypes. The dominant East Asian employee was relatively disliked as a coworker compared to the nondominant East Asian employee, the nondominant White employee, and the dominant White employee. Even in this majority Asian sample, people preferred a White coworker over an Asian coworker if that coworker had a dominant personality. There were no differences in this preference based on the rater’s own racial background, gender, or the gender of the potential coworker. These results suggest that dominant East Asians are unwelcome and unwanted by their coworkers.
East Asians reported experiencing more racial harassment at work than other employees, highlighting the importance of studying discrimination against East Asians in the workplace despite the portrayal of East Asians as a “model minority” that escapes discriminatory treatment. Importantly, East Asians who violated racial stereotypes were the ones targeted for racial harassment; East Asians who “stayed in their place” did not experience more racial harassment than other employees. As predicted, East Asians who were dominant, and thereby violated a descriptive and a prescriptive racial stereotype, were subjected to more racial harassment than other employees. East Asians who were warm, and thereby violated the descriptive stereotype of being cold, were also subjected to more harassment. These results suggest that workplace harassment against East Asians occurs when they violate injunctive as well as descriptive norms. The implications of this pattern of mistreatment is that East Asians wishing to avoid harassment should not be dominant, and thereby forego power and leadership, and should also be cold, and thereby forego being liked.
Why Aren’t There More Asian Americans in Leadership Positions?
The 2001 study found that people who saw Asians as particularly high in competence experienced greater admiration of and envy toward Asians; those who saw Asians as particularly low on social skill displayed greater hostility toward and fear of Asians. The 2005 studydemonstrated the effects of these reactions, showing that individuals who held stereotypical views of Asians were less likely to want to interact with or learn more about Asians. For example, both high-competence and low-sociability ratings of Asians were negatively correlated with individuals wanting to be roommates with an Asian person. The authors of both papers theorized that whites are threatened by the “unfairly high” levels of competence possessed by Asians and essentially use the stereotype that Asians lack social skill as a pretext for discrimination.
The general success of Asians tends to delegitimize diversity initiatives for this group, and this reinforces the lack of Asian leaders. If Asians do advocate for the advancement of their group, they could be penalized, because women and minorities who advocate for diversity are seen as less competent and lower performers. Tom Sy’s research also suggests that the bias against Asian leaders can decrease motivation to lead among Asian Americans, which can further exacerbate and reinforce the view that they’re not suitable for leadership.
The Asian American ‘advantage’ that is actually an illusion
For decades, the data on median household incomes have shown the same, persistent racial disparities: Asians beating out whites at the top, while Hispanics and blacks hover near the bottom.
But why do typical Asian American households outearn typical white households? Like many statistics showing an Asian American advantage, this fact proves illusory upon closer examination.
But Asian Americans have to work harder just to keep up with whites. If you compare whites and Asian Americans with the same amount of schooling, Asian Americans actually make less money. If Asian Americans seem prosperous — and many aren’t, by the way— that’s only because a much greater fraction of Asian Americans have advanced degrees.
And despite those educational advantages, it’s an open question whether Asian American incomes are higher than white incomes in any meaningful sense. As we’ve seen, a startling number of them live in places where a dollar just doesn’t stretch as far, where it’s costlier just to put a roof over your head.[/SIZE]
The Uncomfortable Truth About Affirmative Action
The problem is not race-conscious holistic review; rather, it is the added, sub-rosa deployment of racial balancing in a manner that keeps the number of Asians so artificially low relative to whites who are less strong on academic measures. It is also time to look seriously at the impact on Asians (many of them immigrants or the children of immigrants) of the advantage enjoyed by legacy admissions and wealthy families who are likely to give significant donations. It distorts and confuses the debate to lay the preferential treatment for whites over Asians at the feet of affirmative action—or, on the other side, to deny that Asians are disadvantaged in admissions today.
It is also extremely troubling when solely test-based admissions such as Stuyvesant’s reflect the failure to remedy structural disadvantages suffered by black and Latino students. What is needed instead, then, is race-conscious affirmative action, to address the historic discrimination and underrepresentation of blacks and Latinos, in combination with far less severity in the favoring of whites relative to Asians.
The enrollment of Asians is the highest ever, at more than twenty-two per cent, with their increased share cutting into white, rather than black or Latino, enrollment.
The Thorny Relationship Between Asians and Affirmative Action
Some affirmative-action advocates stress that doing away with race-conscious admissions would actually hurt certain Asian applicants. The category “Asian” encompasses an incredibly diverse spectrum of ethnic groups, from Chinese to Cambodians to Bangladeshi. Most of those groups are severely underrepresented in higher education, some of them more so than African Americans, despite the focus on black students in much of the public discourse on affirmative action.
Despite the widely disseminated narrative that Asians are hurt by affirmative action—including by media outlets that cater to Asian American communities—surveys suggest those communities generally support race-conscious admissions. The National Asian American Survey in 2012 found that three in four respondents support affirmative action. Similarly, in the 2016 Asian American Voter Survey, 64 percent of respondents said they favor “affirmative action programs designed to help blacks, women, and other minorities get better access to higher education.” Just 25 percent said they oppose such programs. These attitudes suggest that one of the prevailing arguments against affirmative action—that Asian Americans are victimized by it—isn’t felt on the ground as much as headlines make it out to be.
In 2005, a Princeton study found that Asian Americans must score 140 points more than white students of otherwise comparable caliber on the 1600-point SAT in order to be considered equals in the application process.
Asian Americans Are Not Tools
The conflation of Asian American perspectives on college admissions and white perceptions of discrimination is fallacious. The Times, by attempting to group these two concepts together, demonstrates ignorance regarding the troubled history of Asian American achievement in the United States.
In an attempt to remedy the result of racial homogeneity in the merit-based admissions process in New York City schools—more specifically, a 73%Asian enrollment at Stuyvesant High in 2014 and similar statistics—a "holistic admissions" approach was proposed. The Research Alliance for New York City Schools projected that the main beneficiaries of the program would be "well-rounded" affluent white students.
The social separation of “Asian” and “normal” (read: white) students is more substantiated. Asian American organizations are not advocates for white students. Nor do they sympathize with such cases. Abigail Fisher, a white student who went to the Supreme Court because she believed her University of Texas rejection was a form of racial discrimination, had a 3.59 GPA and a 1180/1600 SAT score. Neither demonstrate academic excellence. Furthermore, as a white woman, Fisher was statistically placed to benefit most from affirmative action policies.
The insertion of perceived “white discrimination” into Asian American perspectives on college admissions by people who are not Asian American is an attempt to use our struggles against racist national contexts to promote the very structures that have disempowered us.