The Model Minority by Nicholas Kristof —- he took out myth cuz he still doesn’t buy it’s a myth omg die
I’m still getting indignant emails from Asian-Americans who complain that my column looking at Asian-American academic success perpetuates the “model minority” stereotype in ways that are harmful. I don’t buy it, as I’ve noted in a previous post. But I’ll give the last word to the critics. Here’s a note from a Japanese-American in Detroit:
“It never ceases to amaze me that American public intellectuals should make sweeping generalizations about Asian Americans without conducting a modicum of serious research. If you were to read opinions about Darfur or sexual slavery that were based on nothing more than the sort of flimsy anecdotal evidence you cite, I doubt you would take them seriously.
“Above all, you missed the entire point of the model minority myth, whose origins lay in conservative white efforts to discredit the agenda of the Black civil rights movement. The implication that Asian American achievement validates the existence of a colorblind meritocracy in America serves to rationalize inequality in America. Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans, so the conservative argument contends, would be high achievers if they would only emulate the work ethic of the model minority Asians. The corollary argument is that Black, Latino and Native American failure is of their own making and not a cause for ameliorative measures by the state. Unless you accept this argument, you should recognize that to uphold the positive model minority stereotype is to reinforce the negative stereotypes of other persons of color as criminals, illiterates and drunkards.
“But perhaps there is a better way for you to test the social value of positive stereotypes. Why not dedicate your next column to celebrating the achievements of Jewish financiers while praising the virtues of a Jewish culture that privileges the handling of money? Why not go further and suggest that the uniquely Jewish penchant for chasing profits holds the key to peace and prosperity in the Middle East? When the complaints from the ADL and other roll in, you only need to respond, Im not very sympathetic to your argument, mostly because it would squelch discussion of this issue and because it doesnt seem so debilitating a stereotype.”
fuck nicholas kristof