Maclean’s, a weekly news magazine in Canada, printed an article in their November 10th 2010 issue called “‘Too Asian’?” It is about how “too many” “Asians” are getting into top universities in Canada.
Some Asian Canadians do not like how the article sees them through racist stereotypes. First, they are seen as narrow, soulless grade grinds. Second, and worse still, they are not even seen as Canadians but some kind of foreign threat (the perpetual foreigner stereotype).
The article has an “us against them” mindset where “us” means upper-middle-class white Canadians and “them” means Asians of any sort, whether from mainland China or suburban Toronto.
Maclean’s sees the interests of Canada and white people as being one and the same. It cannot separate the two. Anyone who is not white is some kind of threat.
And strangely different.
I was always taught that hard work and education were good things, that one makes sacrifices for one’s own education and that of one’s children; that in a just world one should be judged on merit regardless of colour.
I thought most people felt that way, even white people. After all, in America whites like to complain that blacks are unwilling to work hard and do not value education.
But according to Maclean’s these are “Asian” values:
The value of education has been drilled into Asian students by their parents … there’s a long tradition in Chinese culture, for example, going back to Confucius, of social mobility based on merit.
So wait, whites do not drill this stuff into their children’s heads? And if they are not teaching them to succeed on merit, what in the world are they teaching them?
Maclean’s sees Asians as being so strange and different that they talked to an expert on the “parenting styles of immigrants as they relate to education” (notice the perpetual foreigner stereotype).
When Asian parents want their children to go to the best university possible – something I thought everyone wanted – they are called “single-minded in their approach to university”.
When white students do not want to study hard to get a good education but would rather spend more time partying, drinking and playing sports, they are not called “lazy”, “undisciplined” “irresponsible” or “uncompetitive”. No, it is called:
a sacrifice of time and freedom they’re not willing to make.
Reading Maclean’s you would think that whites want a free ride: a good life without having to work hard for it.
Maclean’s even has doubts about judging people on merit regardless of colour:
Likely that is a good thing. And yet, that meritocratic process results, especially in Canada’s elite university programs, in a concentration of Asian students.
Yet if whites are unwilling to work hard and do not value education, then they do not really belong at the nation’s best universities. As simple as that. After all, that is just what blacks in America are told when they are stereotyped in the same way.