On the model minority, over achievers myth
“Asian-American success is typically taken to ratify the American Dream and to prove that minorities can make it in this country without handouts. Still, an undercurrent of racial panic always accompanies the consideration of Asians, and all the more so as China becomes the destination for our industrial base and the banker controlling our burgeoning debt. But if the armies of Chinese factory workers who make our fast fashion and iPads terrify us, and if the collective mass of high-achieving Asian-American students arouse an anxiety about the laxity of American parenting, what of the Asian-American who obeyed everything his parents told him? Does this person really scare anyone?”
Story: Are You Picking On Me? by Helen I. Hwang
Bullying includes verbal taunting, physical assaults, exclusion from a peer group, spreading rumors and cyber bullying — and Asian Americans are the most frequently bullied ethnic group, according to a 2004 study conducted with nearly 1,400 students. Psychologists believe Asians are particularly vulnerable to bullying because of stereotypes of being submissive. Sometimes the bullying of Asian youths also lends itself to an ugly cycle, where they become bullies of others.
The model minority myth ignores the heterogeneity of Asian American groups and their significantly varied levels of success. While many South and East Asian American groups such as Asian Indians and Japanese have been successful in receiving high school, bachelors, and advanced degrees, most Southeast Asian Americans including Hmong, Cambodians, and Laotians never finished high school-at times, rates comparable if not lower than other racial minority groups (U.S. Census Bureau, 2004).
SHATTERING ASIAN AMERICAN STEREOTYPES by Screen Actors Guild
We have all seen the Asian stereotypes in film and television: the nerdy student, the submissive lotus blossom, the sinister Fu-Manchu or Dragon Lady type. On May 10, 2011, in honor of Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Screen Actors Guild Affirmative Action & Diversity invited a group of distinguished Asian American entertainment industry professionals to the SAG national headquarters in Los Angeles to discuss how to overcome the stereotypical portrayal of — and lack of portrayals of— Asians in television and film.