Glenn Bigonet, M.A.
Social Activist for Racial Equity
Facilitating Discussions about Racism
Model Minority Myth
"The model minority myth gives a pretty blanket for society to hide it's
racism against Asian Americans under, while seperating them from other
people of color who suffer from the same white supremacist system."
The Model Minority Myth is the racial stereotype that has been created around Asians in the United States. These stereotypes describe all people of Asian descent in the same way: "presumptions of academic and financial success, social and political meekness, a strong work ethic, dominance in math and the sciences, and strict parenting."(Oluo, p. 193) The problem with the model minority myth is that it describes a large and incredibly diverse group of Asian Americans.
For those who fit into the stereotype, as there are always part of a group that fit a stereotype, they are held into a very limited way of being and if they step out of that stereotype they receive pressure from the white majority to step back into place, effectively oppressing them. For those who do not fit the steretype, and that is the majority of Asian Americans, then their values and needs are seen as invalid and negated by much of society, again effectively oppressing them.
The Model Minority Myth has another effect as it elevates Asian Americans over Black and Latinx Americans creating another racial devide that in the end keeps all of them disenfranchised. Ijeoma Oluo describes the different ways in which the model minority myth harms Asian Americans as: (p.197-199)
The model minority myth, although it's not widely known or understood, essentially maintains white supremacy by oppressing Asian Americans and further disempowering other people of color. Understanding the model minority myth is vital to addressing systemic racism.
|Copyright © 2020 Glenn Bigonet, M.A.|