Amy Chua (1962- ), better known as Tiger Mom (born in the Year of the Tiger, no less), is an American law professor at Yale and a Chinese mother at home. She has written four books so far:
2002: World On Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability. Free-market capitalism allows ethnic minorities, like Jews or Chinese, to gather huge fortunes, controlling much of a country’s wealth. Democracy, meanwhile, rewards leaders, like Hitler or Mugabe, who appeal to the hatred of the ethnic majority.
2009: Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance – and Why They Fall. How the Persians, Romans, Chinese (Tang Dynasty), Mongols, Dutch, British and Americans became hugely powerful, in part by being open to ethnic out-groups. This lack of openness doomed Nazi Germany. The US’s willingness to take in the world’s best and brightest, particularly Jews and Asians, has made it a huge military power.
2011: Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. When worlds collide: Chinese parenting meets Western children. Her children seemed to have turned out well, but she nearly lost the love of her youngest daughter.
2014: The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America. The Bootstrap Myth repackaged. She looks at why Mormon, Jewish, Chinese, Iranian, Lebanese, Cuban, Nigerian, West Indian and Cuban Americans do so well in the US. The three traits are:
- superiority complex – thinking your group is better, special or exceptional compared to others. It provides “ethnic armour” against racism, fighting fire with fire.
- insecurity – feeling like you do not measure up.
- impulse control – being disciplined enough to put in tons of hard work.
The measure of success: She does not measure “success” in a consistent way. Generally, she looks for median household income, educational achievement and high position in big companies. Had she measured it by wealth, political power, drop in poverty rates or relative to parents’s education, she would have wound up with different groups. As it was, she left out British Americans and added Nigerian, West Indian and Cuban Americans – but not Cubans who came after 1979.
She credits her own success – being a professor at a top university – to her Triple Package Chinese upbringing. Yet her father was also a professor at a top university (Berkeley). She said he came to the US “with nothing” – yet he had a scholarship to MIT. He came from an upper-class family in the Philippines.
Many of her “successful” “cultural groups” are just middle and upper class people who moved to the US. They did not pull themselves up by their bootstraps: they bought a plane ticket.
Blacks: Racism, though real, is not the main thing holding back native-born Black Americans. Nigerians, after all, come to the US and do much better. She says it is mainly because Nigerians are a Triple Package culture while Black Americans are not. But she is comparing Nigerian immigrants, who were nearly all middle and upper class in Nigeria, with native Black Americans,who are upper, middle and lower class.
– Abagond, 2015.
- Welcome to Asian American History Month 2015
- Colour-blind racism
- White ethnographic gaze: the 1960s
- Charles Murray
- Steve Sailer
- The Third Enlargement of Whiteness
- The Black middle class in America
- Model Minority + Bootstrap Myth = ?
- Asians: The Republican User’s Guide – see chapter two