12/1/16

How to break the model minority stereotype

Me ^.^
Photo taken from my instagram page

[x] Get a tattoo
[x] Cut your hair short
[x] Study a subject that doesn't involve the medical, business, engineering (or STEM in general), or law field. (Though, I'm slightly a hypocrite because I am minoring in business.)
[x] Be broke
[x] Not be exclusively East Asian
[x] Procrastinate, go to random events, and not spend every moment of my life studying for school.
[x] Try to be active on issues that I care about like reproductive justice rights, politics, diversity/race, the lgbtqiap+ community, etc.

And now the weather:
How Far I'll Go by Alessia Cara

~ Stacy N.

3 comments:

  1. But is it really necessary to make an extra effort to break all the stereotypes? I mean, they do come from somewhere,and while they are a huge generalisation, sometimes they actually are personally true. For sure, prove people wrong if they're quick to assume.. but sometimes it's fun to joke about them too. Or is that wrong?

    -M
    <a href="thelyfoflittleme.blogspot.com.au”>The Life of Little Me</a>

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  2. No, I'm not saying break all the stereotypes. Be hard working and try to be successful (however you define success) within your own life. Also, if you choose to embrace some of the stereotypes and make it your own, great! For me personally, I'm still good at math, I just choose to not pursue a career with it because it doesn't interest me. And I'm working very hard to get by in life and make something of myself. The stereotypes that I'm breaking, I'm mainly doing unconsciously because I choose to live a life that I want to live.
    And to answer your question, the model minority myth actually came from American immigration policy. A long time ago, Asians, specifically East Asians were feared within the western world. They were seen as people who stole 'Westerners' aka white people's jobs, stole their women, etc. That time period was called the Yellow Peril. Then the U.S changed their immigration policy to allow Asians to immigrate to the U.S, but the Asians had to follow a certain criteria, they had to have a certain level of education, a certain amount of money, know the right people who were already living in the U.S. etc. because there was a quota set on Asian immigration. Thankfully, thanks to the Civil Rights movement, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made that quota illegal. That immigration policy basically much changed the views around Asians, but it didn't stop people from still seeing Asians as other, as a perpetual foreigner, even if you weren't born in Asia.
    Also, as I forgot to mention before, the model minority is a myth. Not every Asian is going to be well off, have a high level of education, is good at math, is East Asian, according to statistics. And the model minority was introduced to continue anti-black racism within the United States and also to continue white supremacy. It's basically much saying, "oh, if they (Asians) could succeed then you could succeed too if you worked hard enough." However, the U.S government would then pass laws and harshly punish black people even if the crime wasn't that bad, continuing to keep the anti-black racism embedded within a variety of systems like education, the justice system, healthcare, etc. And they've been doing that since forever, specifically with the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, where runaway slaves had to be captured and returned to their masters, criminalizing their intent to be free.

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  3. Also, for me, it's fine to joke about the stereotypes because for us, since we're both Asians, we're doing it with the unconscious intent of pushing back against the stereotype, proving that it's just a stereotype that isn't true for everyone.

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