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Let’s All Say Goodbye to the term “"Model Minority”"

The most popular adjectives to describe Asian Americans from a recent poll from Leading Asian Americans to Unite for Change were “Smart,” “Hard-working,” and “Nice.” Although these adjectives might seem positive, they are a painful reminder that others still view Asian Americans as the “model minority.”

What is the model minority? Asian Americans are elevated as the “model minority,” creating a “standard” for other minorities to be measured against and often criticized for not fitting this perceived “standard.” Since World War II, this idea has been pushed onto Asian Americans to create a racial wedge – specifically against other minority groups such as Black Americans.

Asian Americans deal with assumptions such as:

  1. Asian Americans are a single monolithic group

  2. Asian Americans are high earning and well educated

  3. Asian Americans immigrated to the U.S. the “right” way

  4. Asian Americans face less systemic racism and discrimination

  5. Asian Americans are fairly represented in leadership positions.

It’s the opposite of all of these claims.