[ View the story "Myth of the 'model minority'" on Storify] Myth of the 'model minority' How are Asian Americans impacted by perceived 'good stereotypes'?
The Stream· Tue, May 20 2014 16:48:36
Asian Americans in the United States are challenging "model minority" stereotypes that lead some to believe all Asians are more successful than other minority groups. In 2012, a
report by the Pew Research Center stirred widespread criticism for mainly portraying Asian Americans as a model minority group with the highest income and education levels among racial groups. Advocacy groups say overly positive national figures are misleading because they don't reflect the diversity of sub-groups among Asian Americans - which includes South East and South Asian Americans.
The model minority myth is not a new phenomenon, it gained traction in the 1960s when policymakers invoked the notion of the "successful" and "hard-working" Asian to draw comparisons to African Americans. Portrayal of the Asian success story was used to counter the demands of blacks during the civil rights movement.
The reason for the so called "model minority" was used to embarrass blacks during the civil rights movement. Because Asians were not complaining but they went to school and became professionals.stream.aljazeera.com
#ModelMinority myth created by white supremacy to "divide and conquer" solidarity coalitions between Asian, Black, Native, Latin@ people.Juliet Shen
Some a Asians do benefit from the model minority myth but lets not pretend like it's not laced with white supremacy.Shhhh
@ElleDubG @AJStream The whole point of #modelminority myth is to use Asians as "example" to Blacks/Latin@s of how minorities can succeed...Caitlin Williams
Stream community members
discusses misconceptions carried by the media during the civil rights movement, which often overlooked difficulties facing Asian-Americans.
Asian Americans have always complained about inequality, many times up to and including the U.S. Supreme Court. During the Civil Rights Movement, many Asian Americans supported the goals and efforts of African Americans, as individuals and also organizationally and in legal efforts. This is not well known, possibly, because media coverage of these efforts were minimal and were not enough to overcome more broadly disseminated racist stereotypes of Asian Americans.stream.aljazeera.com
In the video below, Professor Scott Kurashige discusses how model minority has been used to undermine social welfare of other minority groups:
Professor Kurashige Discusses The Model Minority Image.arabamericanmuseum
Some argue that endorsing "positive stereotypes" can trigger counter-effects, often diverting attention from pressing issues. While Asian Americans
earn higher income than other minority groups, they remain among the fastest growing poverty group.
The chart below indicates that the number of poor increased by more than half a million in the Asian American and Pacific Islanders' communities: :
On AAPI Voices, Jason Fong writes:
For the period from 2007-2012, the number of AAPIs in poverty grew by over 45%. By contrast, the poverty in the general population grew by about 28%. Why isn’t this trend getting more attention? Why are we fooling ourselves?aapivoices.com
Some netizens commented on how model minority masks important issues:
@AJStream it gives the wrong impression that A-A's follow rules, are predictable, controllable, not to be feared.Shungaboy
@AJStream Model minority myth seems to mask the oppression of asian women.That Thing Adam Ate
@ElleDubG Kids aren't trying to be exemplary. Being a model anything is de facto "not cool." And I hated being placed in a box. Hated thatlukashmaYYn
Research also indicates that mental health issuers are also overlooked.
to live up to the model minority myth causes cases of depression and suicide among Asian-American students.
One perspective on career expectations and pressures for Asian Americans:
Do you love your job? - Job Expectationswongfuproductions
In the documentary "Model Minority: Do the Math", Asian-American students share their experiences:
Model Minority - Documentary Promoentdivmedia
In the video below, Korean American Community Foundation Executive Director Kyung Yoon discusses how the model minority myth is not reflective of all Asians. She argues that resources often don't reach those who need it because the public lacks awareness of their community's critical needs. She adds that it can still be divisive when policymakers point to the Asians as the "successful minorities".
Myth Busting Model Minority Asian American Stereotypes - Kyung Yooncaptureyourflag
What do you think? What are some ways to combat the model minority myth? Tell us in the comments section below.