I thoroughly dislike when Asian Americans are compared to African Americans/Blacks. Perhaps Asians are more comparable to Latinos, who are able in some cases to “pass” for white (ex. Italian). African Americans/Blacks carry the weight of the reputation of their ethnicity wherever they go. They can seldom “pass.”
I know from first-hand experience that even when you do not act in accordance to your race’s stereotype, there will be some white people who wonder why you don’t, and they will look at you as though you are some sort of defective person or oddity. I’ve been told that I do not sing like a black person because I prefer pop music, don’t “act” like a black person, don’t talk like a black person. It is infuriating.
The reason I find the comparison highly insulting is that African Americans/Blacks, unlike Asians, have endured hundreds of years of discrimination (and torture) of a physical and psychological nature.
Asians didn’t have their families bought and sold like cattle. They were allowed to keep their familial relationships. They were not overwhelmingly hung from trees, denied the right to vote, denied the right to think of themselves as human, have their churches burned, etc.
These events caused damage to the psyche of a community by increasing frustration and lowering self confidence and the belief that you can meaningfully affect change in your life. So it angers me when we are supposed to “get it together” and collectively become “puritanical” scholars and entrepreneurs when education and ownership (business and private) denied to us for YEARS.
Whites like Asians because they are capable of embracing the white way of thinking as the norm. They often don’t challenge white society. I’ve noticed that Asians are often okay with denying certain parts of their culture to completely assimilate into the mainstream white culture. You don’t hear Asians complain as much as other minorities about being underrepresented in film, for example. I’ve heard some Asian women prefer white men, because they find Asian men “unattractive.”
Yes, a good work ethic is great. Agreed. But when talking about the black community, people forget that it is as if an atomic bomb was dropped on a populace and no one cared. Instead, white people are scratching their heads and wondering why there are mutations in the subsequent generations. The United States government has done very little to rectify the fact that almost everyone else (except Native Americans) have had a healthy head start in terms of education, privilege, and entrepreneurship when compared to blacks. Some whites have failed to be empathetic on these points.
The civil rights movement just happened people; let’s be realistic.
Despite immigrant status, racism affects every black person; so I was hoping for more of an optimistic takeaway from the book—a way forward through this mess. Instead, the book is depressing and cynical. Whites are allowed to retain their optimism, hope, happiness, nationalism and God; blacks are left to be cynical, depressed atheists waiting for a secular deity (the law? the government?) to save them. It reads to me as resignation.
More on that “hope vs. despair” debate here, here, and here. Another reader on the “model minority”:
The perception that some cultures value education and success more than others feeds into dangerous stereotyping. As a Latino who has spent most of his life in majority Latino communities, I can say with confidence that Latinos don’t suffer a cultural deficiency in wanting their kids to succeed. I have a hard time believing that the achievement gap exists because some cultures don’t have enough honor.
Ta-Nehisi Coates has done a great job of drawing a line through slavery, Jim Crow and mass incarceration to show how conscious policy decisions can benefit one race of people while casting out the other. While there’s no doubt that many in the Asian American community have overcome racism and discrimination to find success, it isn’t because they rose to the top of a meritocracy. There’s always help along the way. The reparations made to the Japanese Americans after World War II is a good example of that.
How to achieve educational equity is debatable, but it won't be accomplished by telling blacks, Latinos and other underachieving minorities that they don’t have their priorities straight.
The highly selective UC campuses are known, sometimes bitterly, to serve especially disproportionate numbers of Asian students; Asians famously make up half of the undergraduates at UC Irvine, for example, which was No. 1 on Leonhardt’s list. By highlighting economic diversity in lieu of its race-based cousin, this year’s Upshot and Washington Monthly rankings may support arguments that the state’s ban on race-blind admissions discriminations has shortchanged blacks and Latinos in favor of whites and Asians. While that may very well be true, the rankings offer an opportunity to highlight nuances to the “model minority” stereotype and the ways in which it hinders economic equality in education.
The irony being the people most “bitter” about the Asian-American students are so-called progressives who claim to care about minority groups.
Why is Asian achievement in the UC system so quickly dismissed? As any reader of The Atlantic knows, these Asian kids live in a country founded on “white supremacy,” a country where “white privilege” rules and where they experience microaggressions. You would think people who claim to care about minorities would celebrate this accomplishment. But they actually describe the UC system—a system where whites are underrepresented relative to the white population of California—as a system with an admissions policy based on “white privilege.” They must go through a lot of mental gymnastics to come to that conclusion.
A countervailing view from another reader:
Asians don’t go through nearly as many microaggressions as other minorities. They aren’t put down and treated as if they’re thugs or criminals purely because of skin color. They also haven’t been nearly as oppressed as other groups. There are still African Americans alive from the time when they weren’t allowed to vote or go to good colleges.
Asians in California are typically pretty wealthy, and the average Asian family might even be wealthier than the average white family.
That’s true, according to this data from the Public Policy Institute of California:
Because of this wealth disparity, Asian Americans live in better neighborhoods with better schools and can afford all the tutoring and extracurriculars they did. Most Hispanics and African Americans have much lower income, resulting in getting the shorter end of the stick by needing to go to lower quality schools because they have less money and resources to be as competitive.
For example, SAT workshops are expensive (I did a few about four years ago) and nearly everyone else except myself were wealthy Asians. They can afford to be taking those classes/workshops for four or more years, whereas the average Hispanic/African American family can’t afford the four digit cost to even do one. You don’t think that makes a difference on the end result?
Another reader doesn’t buy that argument:
Asians don’t go through as many “microaggressions” as other minorities TODAY because Asians behave differently, have different values, attitudes and behaviors, and therefore different socioeconomic outcomes. Asians went though more micro AND macro-aggressions that any other minority at the turn of the 20th century, and certainly during WWII. But they triumphed over racism and poverty because of their intelligence, honor, value systems, and their cultural priorities, combined with a work ethic as strong as the Puritans’.
It is 100 percent cause-and-effect. And when we’re finally willing to publicly admit it, THEN we can earnestly attempt to close the achievement gap. But the only possible way to do it is for the under-performing minorities to change their cultures.
Disagree? Email email@example.com and we’ll get a debate going. But here’s some quick historical context to go along with that last reader’s point about Asian Americans being macroaggressed during WWII—the most egregious example being internment, of course:
In 1988, U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, [which] provided financial redress of $20,000 for each surviving detainee, totaling $1.2 billion. The question of to whom reparations should be given, how much, and even whether monetary reparations were appropriate were subjects of sometimes contentious debate within the Japanese-American community and Congress.
On September 27, 1992, the Civil Liberties Act Amendments of 1992, appropriating an additional $400 million to ensure all remaining internees received their $20,000 redress payments, was signed into law by President George H. W. Bush. He issued another formal apology from the U.S. government on December 7, 1991, on the 50th-Anniversary of the Pearl Harbor Attack, saying:
In remembering, it is important to come to grips with the past. No nation can fully understand itself or find its place in the world if it does not look with clear eyes at all the glories and disgraces of its past. We in the United States acknowledge such an injustice in our history. The internment of Americans of Japanese ancestry was a great injustice, and it will never be repeated.
Mick Mulvaney wants you to know that he’s no narc like John Kelly.
Here’s the thing, Mick Mulvaney says, sitting in his West Wing office on Wednesday afternoon: He knows that Donald Trump’s administration doesn’t always make good on conservative ideals. He knows that they’re “spending a bunch of money on stuff we’re not supposed to,” and that all the excess doesn’t comport well with his own reputation as a fiscal hawk and Tea Party darling during his congressional days, before he became acting White House chief of staff.
At ease as he pages through work papers, Mulvaney seems the opposite of John Kelly, the retired Marine Corps general painted as a conflicted soul who despised running the White House. “When I got here, morale wasn’t what it needed to be,” Mulvaney told us. “I don’t think I’m telling any secrets—John hated the job. And let everybody know.” He cheerfully extolled his relationship with Trump, joking that he’d gained 10 pounds since becoming chief. (“I eat more with the president now,” he said. “He eats hamburgers all the time.”)
No one has capitalized on this look’s popularity more than influencers. Some have even started to make thousands of dollars on photo presets that warp anyone’s pictures to fit this mold. But every trend has a shelf life, and as quickly as Instagram ushered in pink walls and pastel macaroons, it’s now turning on them. “Avocado toast and posts on the beach. It’s so generic and played out at this point. You can photoshop any girl into that background and it will be the same post,” said Claire, a 15-year-old who asked to be referred to by a pseudonym because of her age. “It’s not cool anymore to be manufactured.”
The former vice president pondered running in 2016, but Obama wanted Hillary Clinton.
Barack Obama stood in the Rose Garden, watching Joe Biden announce that he wasn’t going to run for president—exactly what he wanted and had helped make happen.
Four years later, the president has come a long way on his views of a Biden run.
For many Democrats, Biden’s 2020 announcement today is the bookend to the anxiety and regret they’ve been filled with since Election Night 2016, when they watched the “blue wall” of midwestern states fall away from Hillary Clinton: He would have held on to those white working-class voters and beaten Donald Trump, they believe. He would have won.
“It’s one of the great imponderables,” Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, who supported Clinton but immediately endorsed Biden today, told me hours before the former vice president released a campaign video that he will follow with events in Pittsburgh and a tour of the early primary states over the next two weeks.
It’s much less scientific—and more prone to gratuitous procedures—than you may think.
In the early 2000s Terry Mitchell’s dentist retired. For a while, Mitchell, an electrician in his 50s, stopped seeking dental care altogether. But when one of his wisdom teeth began to ache, he started looking for someone new. An acquaintance recommended John Roger Lund, whose practice was a convenient 10-minute walk from Mitchell’s home, in San Jose, California. Lund’s practice was situated in a one-story building with clay roof tiles that housed several dental offices. The interior was a little dated, but not dingy. The waiting room was small and the decor minimal: some plants and photos, no fish. Lund was a good-looking middle-aged guy with arched eyebrows, round glasses, and graying hair that framed a youthful face. He was charming, chatty, and upbeat. At the time, Mitchell and Lund both owned Chevrolet Chevelles, and they bonded over their mutual love of classic cars.
Aquariums might seem like underwater wonderlands, but building a new one comes at a cost.
The United States is experiencing a new wave of aquarium enthusiasm. Over the past few years, groups in Detroit; St. Louis; Scranton, Pennsylvania; Memphis; Cape Canaveral, Florida; and New York City have proposed or started construction on large aquariums. Springfield, Missouri, and Shreveport, Louisiana, have recently opened aquariums. Boosters for these spaces are selling them as conservation initiatives that will create jobs and bring in revenue—alternatives to sports stadiums and shopping districts meant to revitalize downtrodden downtowns.
But the history of aquariums tells a different story. In the earliest public aquariums, tanks were sparsely populated with somewhat mundane species. These institutions started as traveling fishery exhibits: The 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair contained some of the first tank displays. The state of Pennsylvania fashioned a grotto with glass jewel boxes lining a dark hallway that was illuminated from above. The residents—trout, catfish, and others—had been sent via specialty train.
I was a Trump transition staffer, and I’ve seen enough. It’s time for impeachment.
Let’s start at the end of this story. This weekend, I read Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report twice, and realized that enough was enough—I needed to do something. I’ve worked on every Republican presidential transition team for the past 10 years and recently served as counsel to the Republican-led House Financial Services Committee. My permanent job is as a law professor at the George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School, which is not political, but where my colleagues have held many prime spots in Republican administrations.
If you think calling for the impeachment of a sitting Republican president would constitute career suicide for someone like me, you may end up being right. But I did exactly that this weekend, tweeting that it’s time to begin impeachment proceedings.
Scientists have been searching for marsquakes since some of the earliest missions to the Red Planet.
Because we’ve been sitting on the same rock for thousands of years, sometimes our language can tend to be a little Earth-centric. The word earthquake, for example, feels universal, as if it can be applied to any shaking ground. But zoom out beyond our tectonic plates, and the vocabulary shifts.
Mars, for instance, has marsquakes.
They sound too silly to be real, as if a Netflix show about future Mars settlements made up a scary natural disaster. But tremors on Mars are a thing, and right now scientists believe they have detected a quake on Mars for the first time.
Scientists know this because they sent a seismometer to our planetary neighbor. The instrument arrived last year, on board a NASA lander called InSight. The seismometer, small and dome-shaped, has sat on the brick-colored surface since, waiting for hints of movement below the surface. On April 6, it caught something, a “quiet but distinct” signal, scientists said. A rumble from the depths.
While 2020 hopefuls debate hypotheticals, state-level Republicans are curtailing the expansion of the franchise in Florida.
Two separate stories this week about criminal justice and the right to vote offer a sharp microcosm of the difference between the major U.S. political parties.
The Democratic presidential field has spent most of the week tying itself in knots over whether prisoners should be able to vote—an important but largely abstract debate. Meanwhile, Florida Republicans are close to passing a law that allows felons to vote after serving their time, but places serious hurdles before them.
The debate demonstrates much about the two parties. It contrasts the Democratic tendency to focus on national solutions to problems with the Republican emphasis on state-level policy. It shows a Democratic tendency toward abstraction, and a Republican emphasis on action. And it suggests why conservative policy ideas are winning across the nation, despite evidence that America is a center-left country.
He can deliver us from a scandal-plagued presidency and transform the relationship between gay and straight America.
Recounting how he met his husband via an online dating app, the Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg made light of his sexual prudence. “Possibly not the app you’re thinking of,” he quipped earlier this month before an extremely friendly audience assembled by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, a clear reference to the gay hookup app Grindr. (Buttigieg met his future husband, Chasten, who has improbably emerged as the most intriguing and popular campaign spouse, on Hinge, which is more oriented to long-term relationships.) In his best-selling memoir, Shortest Way Home, Buttigieg writes, “Other than the same-sex aspect, our first date was something our parents could have recognized as typical, almost vintage.” The happy couple own a home, have two dogs, and speak frequently of their desire to have children. There is no hint that their relationship is anything other than monogamous.
In his announcement video, the former vice president bathes the past in a warm glow.
The key word in Joe Biden’s announcement video is aberrant. If Donald Trump serves only one term, Biden declares, “I believe history will look back on four years of this president and all he embraces as an aberrant moment in time.”
Before Trump, the former vice president implies, a moral consensus reigned. America, he declares, “is an idea”—an idea that “everyone is treated with dignity,” and that “gives hate no safe harbor” and “instills in every person in this country the belief that no matter where you start, there’s nothing you can’t achieve if you work at it.” That, Biden explains, is “what we believe”—or at least we did, before Trump came along.
That’s a fundamentally different message from the one being peddled by Biden’s key competitors, who see Trump not as a historical aberration but as the outcome of a long historical decline. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren both depict Trump as a manifestation of the class war that the ultrarich have been waging since the Ronald Reagan era; in their telling, this war created the economic insecurity that made working-class whites susceptible to Trump’s racist scapegoating, and Trump is escalating the conflict by handing over the government to corporate and financial interests. Pete Buttigieg, meanwhile, attributes Trump’s rise to America’s long-standing failure to meet the challenges of globalization, a failure that has left Americans susceptible to “the myth that we can stop the clock and turn it back” to an era before automation and outsourcing.