I want to comment on why the Model Minority Myth is bad - not good, not neutral, but nothing other than bad.
- Firstly, no racial stereotype is positive. They are reductive and created with the intention to limit one’s humanity. They are caricatures of an entire group of people.
- The Model Minority Myth was created by white people.
- It was coined in the 1960’s when the New York Times Newspaper ran stories describing the success of Asian-Americans (I believe specifically Japanese-American and then Chinese American people) in the US despite marginalization(they didn’t want to say racism) basically saying that through cultural influences which promoted strong family values and hard work ethic, Asian Americans were able to “thrive” in the US despite the barriers that were present.
- This was the 1960’s, an era that included numerous social & political movements not only in the US, but around the world. The Model Minority Myth was created in opposition to those movements, namely the Civil Rights Movement in a manner that proposed Asian Americans, who were/are racial minorities, were doing quite well in spite of the issues that were being highlighted throughout the Civil Rights Movement (a movement largely headed by Black Americans).
- Not only were white people using Asian Americans as a means for justifying that things were fine the way they were, white people were pitting Asian Americans against other People of Color.
- The Model Minority Myth contributes to the idea that all Asians are interchangeable. It ignores the differences in histories, economic status, and educational attainment among the people of various ethnicities who are racialized as Asian, collectively and individually.
- Statistically, it just isn’t true when you look across the board at various ethnic groups racialized as Asian the level of economic and educational disparity. (For Hmong-American people, the percentage of those living in poverty is 25% & we’re also below in terms of educational attainment and annual median salary)
- Having been perpetuated, it’s placed unfair expectations/pressures on Asian students academically and contributed to false ideas of our performance making academic aid and support more difficult (in terms of its availability and in asking for it)