The model minority stereotype (1966- ) is how many in America see Asians, what I will call those whose family came to the country from East Asia (though much of this applies to South Asians too). They are seen as doing well in school, not causing trouble and so on.
Although it might seem like a good thing, many Asians hate being seen that way. Because it is not true. Because Asians are just people, not some strange stereotype cooked up in the minds of white people.
To see just how cooked up it is, notice how it is always the opposite of the stereotype for blacks:
|black men||Asian men|
|good at sports||bad at sports|
|do not like to work||hard-working|
|do not care about their children||family-oriented|
|break the law||make little trouble|
|have little education||have good educations|
|succeed by preferences||succeed by merit|
|black women||Asian women|
That is pretty strange when you consider that the stereotypes about blacks have very little to do with Asians but everything to do with the ugly history of race in America, with whites trying to cover up their crimes against blacks.
The model minority stereotype comes from whites trying to blame blacks for their condition. It lets white people believe that Asians come here with nothing and, even though they are not white, they still make it. So there must be something wrong with blacks!
By holding this stereotype, whites are not patting Asians on the back – they are patting themselves on the back!!
It is a fact that Asians in general have better educations and make more money than even whites. That is because many came to America to get university degrees and stayed. They did not pull themselves up from the bottom – they started near the top!
But it is also a fact that Asians are more likely to live in poverty than whites. Some Asians started out at the bottom and many of them are still there, like Cambodians, Laotians, Hmongs and some of the Chinese. One of the most violent parts of Manhattan is Chinese. Some of the poorest people I have ever seen in America are Hmongs.
And even well-to-do Korean Americans, say, still experience racism. Even when they are born in America whites still see them as foreigners: they are always Asians, never just plain old Americans. Whites do not trust them with important positions. Why? Like with blacks, whites see them as being “not like us”, meaning that in a bad way.
I think in time Asians will come close to being like Jews: in the white American mind they will go from “not like us” to “not quite like us”. They will come to understand that you can be a true-blue American and still look Asian. But Asians will never get closer than the Jews so long as whites are racist: unlike Jews, Asians cannot hide where they came from.