Asian Americans (and Asians around the world) should be up in arms about this. Yet another "official" photo has been found, of an Olympic team posing with its members pulling back their eyes to make them slanted. This time it's four members of the Argentine Women's Soccer Team, mocking their Chinese hosts in a photo in a national sports magazine....
Another part of the â€œmodel minority mythâ€ â€” that Asian-American students should perform well in science, technology, engineering and math fields â€” also can be unfair to students, Maeda said. â€œSome are great at music or English,â€ Maeda said. â€œAnd if they donâ€™t live up to the model minority myth it puts an extra pressure on them, giving them the idea that they somehow arenâ€™t good enough in their endeavors.â€
As another example, WVON-AM Chicago talk-show host Perri Small nailed the rationale for black frustration over charges of Sen. Obama's "elitist" attitude during an appearance on CNN last month. Ms. Small explained that many in the black community took "elitist" to mean "uppity," a particularly troublesome translation as the term "uppity" dates back to pre-Civil Rights and the Jim Crow era. Despite progress in the black community, "uppity" continues to be perceived as code for blacks who do not "stay their place."
Stereotypes sometimes are based on a kernel of truth, but they're twisted and blown out of proportion and used out of context. Sometimes, stereotypes can even be "good" in that they're not negative images. But trust me, a stereotype is still a stereotype. It's a generalization that's not universally true, and even the good ones are impossible to live up to. Asian Americans are very familiar with the stereotype of the "model minority." It goes like this: Asian Americans are smart, quiet, dependable, hard-working and never complain. Asian American kids are smart, quiet, straight-A students, play classical music on instruments like piano, cello and violin, and never complain. It's all hogwash, of course... but it's based on that kernel of truth. Asian Americans were known for a hundred years for successfully assimilating into mainstream American society. It never completely worked because we could never be accepted racially into the mainstream like European Americans could, but Asian immigrants and their families worked hard to become economically successful in America. But a brand-new report published by New York University, the College Board and Asian American educators and community leaders found that the idea of "model minority" is a myth, and that the APA (Asian Pacific American) population is as diverse and no more homogeneous than the rest of America.
â€œCertainly thereâ€™s a lot of Asians doing well, at the top of the curve, and thatâ€™s a point of pride, but there are just as many struggling at the bottom of the curve, and we wanted to draw attention to that,â€ said Robert T. Teranishi, the N.Y.U. education professor who wrote the report, â€œFacts, Not Fiction: Setting the Record Straight.â€