Friday, 2 January 2015

The Model Minority Myth - 16 Reasons Why It Deserves To Be Labelled As A Myth


1. It is argued by website Re-appropriate the concept of the model minority is an overt and potent tool of White supremacy, used by far-right extremists to justify structural racism against racial minority groups. 

2. The model minority myth is a model that holds Asians and Asian Americans to account, as an exemplary model whilst shaming and attacking other social and ethnic groups. 

3. People like to buy into positive stories about their own cultural or racial superiority. I mean it's nice once in a while, but to do it all the time and rub it in people's faces, is rather boring (and may I add arrogant too). 

4. People like to buy into the stereotypes and images, - regardless of how so many of it is debatable, controversial, inaccurate and unrealistic, because for many it is easier for them to get an idea or consensus of what certain ethnic and social groups are like.

5. The model minority term may echo positive connotations, but in reality it is anything but ideal. 

6. The model minority term may emphasize ones academic achievements, but this is at the expense of being Asian, or so it suggests.  

7. The model minority myth places added unnecessary burden and pressure on people of Asian descent to succeed and do well - and only in areas and subjects their parents want them to go into. & not out of personal choice (this may also explain why so many people in China, as well as Asians and Asian-Americans commit acts of suicide, all because of the pressures they face to get good grades, succeed in school) 

8. The model minority myth focuses on Asians success stories, whilst diverting their attentions away from their struggles, the hardships and difficulties and in overcoming those difficulties. 

9. The model minority myth asserts and imposes traditional Asian values that stem from strict tiger mum parenting and thus, setting a standard for other racial groups to emulate & thus, causing further resentment to the rest of society, proclaiming 'our' race is better than everyone else's. 

10. The Asian model minority concept is a myth because it implies that Asians are perfect and that displaying any faults, flaws may mean you are not worthy at all to anyone else, or to yourself.

10. Researchers Jennifer Lee and Min Sou explore how success sets the standards and expectations of Asian - American students in a way that equates attachment to academic pursuits to lack of self-esteem and self-identity. Asian American youths who succeed academically are the ones who feel strongly motivated to being and feeling more 'Asian' when they succeed. But when they don't do well, suffer racial and cultural distance, alienation and isolation from their own ethnic community. 

11. The model minority myth falsely assumes that being 'Asian', guarantees automatic success - if that was the case, then how come there aren't as many Asian Britons, Americans, Canadians, Australian celebrities, artists, producers, writers on TV, film, media and entertainment and arts?  

12. The model minority myth is a fabrication used to show Asians as being better, perfect than every other race. When in fact, we have our own imperfections, issues that we need to overcome as well. Alas, we are not perfect than any other race. No race is better than any other race. 

13. Some people think that if you are a model minority, it is the same as being a role model - it is not. A role model is a person whose (positive) behaviour or actions can be emulated by other people, regardless of their ethnicity, age, gender, sexuality. A model minority is a set of people of a minority group, who are often perceived as achieving a high level of academic and socio-economic success due to their level of income, education and strong family and cultural (& ethnic) values and ties.

But this is at the expense of people of other racial minority groups; of whom some will use this as a justification to verbally, physically attack that minority group, as well as pit ourselves against them; in this instance, Asians, Asian-Americans.  

14. Whilst it focuses on the achievements of Asians - Asian Americans, Britons, Australians, Canadians etc, this so-called 'positive stereotype' renders anything else that Asians do that isn't related to education or playing the violin, meaningless or unimportant. Such as arts and entertainment and sport. 




(Above: NBA Asian- American basketball player Jeremy Lin with current team, Charlotte Hornets) 

15. If you're Asian, your family expects you to excel at math(s) - and if you don't, you're not Asian enough (I sucked at maths and did well in art in school) 

16. And lastly, one of the other disparaging and dangerous myths, is that Asians never raise their voices and complain to the rest of society. We are known as the 'silent minority'; Asians like to remain quiet and not talk about things, openly. Especially as they don't want to come across as being rude. But there is a difference between being vocal - yet respectful to other cultures and races and remaining silent and non-vocal all the time. So if some racial injustice happened in the news, like a young man of Asian descent was murdered, in most cases, many Asians would say and do nothing. And worse, if that young man was a gang member or whatever, many Asians would condemn him, instead of feeling sorry for his death. All because he got himself in a position and later he ended up getting killed. 

It's sad. 


The model minority myth truly does highlight and emphasize success on academic and economic levels, - and yet it has very little to do with maintaining and promoting civil rights and racial equality in America and elsewhere with high Asian populations. Unlike the civil rights movement, the model minority myth exists to satisfy a particular group in society, whilst at the same time, further isolating themselves away from the rest of society & perpetuate racism, causing division amongst other ethnic groups.  

And that is why us Asians could do without being called the model minority group, whose ideals and standards are ones people shouldn't necessarily look up to and attain. 



Sources: 

The Cultural Canard of the Model Minority Myth: How Racial Gaps in Academics Aren't Due To Cultural Pathology - Reappropriate, August 29 2014 

I am Not a Model Minority - The Harvard Crimson, Bernadette Lim, February 13 2014

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