Charts That Dismantle The Trope Of Asian Americans As The ‘Model Minority’

“Smart.” “Hard-working.” “Nice.” Those were among the adjectives that respondents offered up in a recent poll when asked to describe Asian Americans.

The poll, conducted by the nonprofit Leading Asian Americans to Unite for Change (LAAUNCH), was another all-too-familiar reminder that Asian Americans are still perceived as the “model minority.”

Since the end of World War II, this myth about Asian Americans and their perceived collective success has been used as a racial wedge — to minimize the role racism plays in the struggles of other minority groups, such as Black Americans.

Characterizing Asian Americans as a model minority flattens the diverse experiences of Asian Americans into a singular, narrow narrative. And it paints a misleading picture about the community that doesn’t align with current statistics.

Here’s a look at some common misconceptions driven by the model minority myth.

Myth: Asian Americans are a single monolithic group

Currently, more than 22 million people of Asian descent live in the U.S., making up approximately 7% of the nation’s population. They trace their heritage to different regions around the world, with people of East Asian and Southeast Asian descent making up the largest shares, though no group makes up a majority. More than 1.5 million Pacific Islanders, who descend from Micronesia, Melanesia or Polynesia, live in the U.S. as well.

Academics and activists trace the term “Asian American” to 1968, when students at the University of California, Berkeley, founded the Asian American Political Alliance. At the time, the group sought to unite students of Japanese, Chinese and Filipino descent to fight for political and social recognition.

“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders” (AAPI) is a term that has its roots in the 1980s and ’90s, when the U.S. Census Bureau used the “Asian Pacific American” classification to group Asians, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders together. In 1997, the bureau disaggregated the categories into “Asian” and “Pacific Islander.”

Myth: Asian Americans are high earning and well educated

Asian Americans have a median household income of around $78,000 a year, which is higher than the national median of about $66,000. However, that overall statistic obscures large differences among different Asian-origin groups.

These economic disparities are partially driven by similar disparities in education levels among Asian Americans. The highest-earning groups — Indian American and Taiwanese American households — also have the highest levels of education, while the lowest-earning groups have comparatively lower levels of education.

In fact, a 2018 Pew Research Center study found that Asian Americans were the most economically divided racial or ethnic group in the U.S., with Asian Americans in the top 10th of the income distribution making 10.7 times more than those in the bottom 10th.

Myth: Asian Americans immigrate to the U.S. in the “right” way

The Asian American community has the highest proportion of immigrants of any ethnic or racial group in the United States. Yet, Asian Americans are often overlooked in debates about immigration reform.

Asians have a wide range of reasons for immigrating to the U.S., including those coming as refugees or asylum-seekers. Out of the almost 11 million estimated undocumented immigrants in the U.S., around 1.5 million (14%) are from Asia, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

Heightened immigration enforcement has also impacted Asian Americans. From 2015 to 2018, Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested about 15,000 immigrants from Asia, according to a report by the nonprofit Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

The report also found that Southeast Asian immigrants were three to four times more likely to be deported for old criminal convictions compared with other immigrant groups. Out of the approximately 16,000 Southeast Asians with final removal orders in that period, more than 13,000 had removal orders that were based on old criminal convictions.

Myth: Asian Americans face less systemic racism and discrimination

Since the coronavirus pandemic started, hate crimes and violence against Asian Americans have increased. In an April survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 32% of Asian American adults — a greater percentage than any other racial or ethnic group — said that they feared someone might threaten or physically attack them.

But anti-Asian bias and discrimination are not new to the pandemic. To understand the current climate, it’s important to look at historical context. In past periods of national tension, especially during times when the U.S. has been at war with Asian countries, anti-Asian racism has similarly risen.

Myth: Asian Americans are fairly represented in leadership positions

Asian Americans are underrepresented in these positions of power, holding about 3% of these positions in comparison with composing 7% of the U.S. population, a report from The New York Times found last year.

More specifically, Asian Americans have the lowest degree of representation in political office compared with any other racial or ethnic group.

Asian Americans are even underrepresented in states with a high concentration of Asian American residents, like New York and California, according to a report by the Reflective Democracy Campaign.

Especially since the start of collective activism among Asian Americans in the 1960s, Asian Americans have had a rich history of political activism and involvement. But that history has not always translated to greater representation in political leadership.

Source: NPR

Eddie Huang Opens Up On Racism Towards Asian Community, Pop Smoke, And Leaving ‘Fresh Off The Boat’

Producer, director & personality Eddie Huang sat down with Ebro in the Morning for an honest conversation about racism against the Asian community following the shooting at massage parlors in Atlanta. He also discussed some of the experiences he has had himself, and its effects in the community.

He also spoke about the passing of Pop Smoke, solidarity among different races in Los Angeles, his decision to leave the show ‘Fresh off the Boat,’ and more.

He directs the film, ‘Boogie’ which is in theaters now.

Pro-immigration group Immigrants’ List Civic Action launches ad targeting Trump’s ‘attacks against Asian Americans’

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A progressive pro-immigration group is launching an ad targeting Asian American voters in battleground states by highlighting President Trump’s controversial rhetoric about the coronavirus.

The group, Immigrants’ List Civic Action, will air the ad featuring what the group calls Trump’s “attacks against Asian Americans” digitally and on connected television in the key states of Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.

The 60-second ad intersperses clips of Trump calling the virus the “Chinese flu,” “Chinese virus” and “kung flu,” along with reports of rises in anti-Asian discrimination, according to a copy of the ad shared with The Hill.

Asked about the group’s assessment of Trump’s “attacks against Asian Americans,” the Trump campaign defended the president’s comments regarding the coronavirus.

“President Trump is not afraid to call out China, and he also strongly stated that we must protect Asian Americans because they bear no responsibility whatsoever for the Chinese virus,” campaign spokesman Matt Wolking said in a statement. “The fault lies with China alone, and when Chinese officials tried to blame American troops for the virus, President Trump fought back against their disinformation campaign by making it very clear where the virus originated.”

The campaign highlighted comments from one of the president’s White House briefings in April where he stated that “it’s very important that we totally protect our Asian American community in the United States and all around the world. They’re amazing people, and the spreading of the virus is not their fault in any way, shape, or form.”

Source: The Hill

Florida Singer Corina Monica, Dubbed ‘Nail Salon Karen’, Quotes Bhad Bhabie in Racist Rant; Tells Nail Salon Workers To Go Back To Their Country Despite Being An Immigrant Herself

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Corina Monica is an independent recording artist who recently went viral after verbally attacking employees at a Florida nail salon .

The Pompano Beach resident, who has since been dubbed “Nail Salon Karen,” was caught on camera in a racist tirade against an unidentified nail technician. Although the events leading up to the recording are unclear, Monica repeatedly tells the off-camera staffer to “go back to your f***ing country” before threatening violence.

At one point, the singer tells the employee to “cash me outside,” quoting Bhad Bhabie’s infamous catchphrase from Dr. Phil.

Monica later identifies herself as an up-and-coming singer and assures the staff that they will regret the encounter.

Source: Heavy