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.
Despite the easing of taboos and the rise of hookup apps, Americans are in the midst of a sex recession.
These should be boom times for sex.
The share of Americans who say sex between unmarried adults is “not wrong at all” is at an all-time high. New cases of HIV are at an all-time low. Most women can—at last—get birth control for free, and the morning-after pill without a prescription.
If hookups are your thing, Grindr and Tinder offer the prospect of casual sex within the hour. The phrase If something exists, there is porn of it used to be a clever internet meme; now it’s a truism. BDSM plays at the local multiplex—but why bother going? Sex is portrayed, often graphically and sometimes gorgeously, on prime-time cable. Sexting is, statistically speaking, normal.
Each year, local governments spend nearly $100 billion to move headquarters and factories between states. It’s a wasteful exercise that requires a national solution.
The Amazon HQ2 saga had all the hallmarks of the gaudiest reality TV. It was an absurd spectacle, concluding with a plot twist, which revealed a deep and dark truth about the modern world.
Fourteen months ago, Amazon announced a national beauty contest, in which North American cities could apply to win the honor of landing the retailer’s second headquarters. The prize: 50,000 employees and the glory of housing an international tech giant. The cost? Just several billion dollars in tax incentives and a potential face-lift to the host city. Then last week, in a classic late-episode shock, several news outlets reported that Amazon would split its second headquarters between Crystal City, a suburban neighborhood near Washington, D.C., and Long Island City, in Queens, New York.
Some progressives are blaming a single demographic group for a string of losses in the midterm elections—but that distorts the actual results.
After Democrats gained a House majority, causing most of them to celebrate the biggest check on Donald Trump’s power since he was elected, a tiny faction in the progressive coalition reacted in anger and frustration, fixating on races that would have made their “wave” even bigger: Beto O’Rourke in Texas, Andrew Gillum in Florida, Stacey Abrams in Georgia.
In all these Democratic defeats, there was an easily identifiable group that voted overwhelmingly against the progressive candidate: Republicans. But members of this progressive faction did not lash out at Republicans. They instead directed their ire at another group, defined by race and sex. They lashed out at white women.
Peter Navarro—a business-school professor, a get-rich guru, a former Peace Corps member, and a former Democrat—is among the most important generals in Trump’s trade war.
“No one’s more careful about what they buy,” Peter Navarro told me recently. The director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy was explaining that he reads labels closely and avoids products made in China. “People need to be mindful of the high cost of low prices,” he said. In Navarro’s telling, those cheap flip-flops are supporting an authoritarian state, and that cut-rate washing machine might be mortgaging America’s future.
Such wariness of foreign goods is not just one man’s consumer preference—it’s United States policy. In the past year, the Trump administration has embarked on a trade war with sweeping geopolitical aims: The entire government now has a mandate, if a murky one, to make China play by the rules—and also to slow its rise. Trump has slapped tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of goods imported from the People’s Republic. And China is not the only front in the war. To aid American businesses and stop other countries from growing at America’s expense, the administration has renegotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement and initiated bilateral talks with the European Union, Japan, and other allies.
In the wake of an upper-middle-class exodus, the Republican Party needs to win working-class voters—or it will lose its grip on power.
There was a time when Charlie Baker, the popular Republican governor of Massachusetts who won his bid for reelection by a wider margin than did the stalwart progressive Senator Elizabeth Warren, might have been considered one of the GOP’s leading lights. As it stands, he is an oddity. Though the Republican Party still commands the allegiance of some secular, college-educated, upper-middle-income voters in the suburbs of big cities, such voters represent a shrinking share of its coalition.
Admittedly, this is not an entirely new development. Voters who describe themselves as socially liberal and fiscally conservative, or rather socially progressive and fiscally pragmatic, have been gravitating to the Democrats since the Clinton era. But the 2018 midterm elections really do feel like the culmination of this decades-long trend. Rockefeller Republicans have fully given way to Bloomberg Democrats, a shift that seems especially pronounced among younger elite-educated professionals, and it is hard to envision a reversal. Henceforth, the Republican Party will either win working-class voters or lose its grip on power.
In today’s economy, well-off people live in big cities, while everyone else gets pushed out. Bringing new Amazon offices to Virginia and New York could hasten the process.
On the long list of things that New York City desperately needs—money for the subway, for affordable housing, for schools and public hospitals and universal pre-K—more high-paying, high-skilled jobs is not at the top of the list. It could be argued, in fact, that many of New York’s ills are caused by the explosion of high-paying jobs in a city where the construction of affordable housing and transit improvements has not kept up pace.
Yet New York and hundreds of other cities spent the past year trying to convince Amazon to bring 50,000 jobs to the city, a process that was rewarded on Tuesday when Amazon formally announced that it would set up new offices in Queens and in the Crystal City area of Arlington, Virginia.
Allocating responsibility for violent acts to any politician or pundit should be done only with the greatest of care.
It’s an all too familiar pattern. Every time there’s an act of political violence or threatened political violence, there’s a brief pause as both sides of our polarized nation wait to see who’s responsible. Then, the instant the attacker is identified, he becomes yet another rhetorical club in perhaps one of the most divisive debates in modern American politics. Who else is to blame?
When the violence comes from the right, is it Donald Trump? Is it Fox News? When the violence comes from the left, is it Maxine Waters? Is it Bernie Sanders?
On and on it goes. At the core of the argument is a contention—your rhetoric is motivating your radicals to do terrible things. Each act of violence from your side reaffirms the systematic moral deficiency of your position. Moreover, each act of violence from your side has many fathers—those whose rhetoric makes them “complicit” or creates a “climate” that breeds violence. On the other hand, each act of violence from my side is an aberration—an incident so isolated that it’s outrageous to pin any responsibility for it to any idea or any important person. My rage doesn’t inspire violence. My rage is righteous.
Weeks ago, Super Typhoon Yutu devastated the Northern Mariana Islands, which are home to tens of thousands of Americans. Mainland outlets paid little attention.
Several hours before Super Typhoon Yutu struck the morning of October 25, Harry Blanco was making final preparations for the storm. He boarded up the windows of his house, secured loose objects outside, gathered his valuables in a backpack, and locked his black Labrador, Lady, in the laundry room, where he felt she’d be safe. Then, he—along with thousands of his neighbors in the Northern Mariana Islands—waited in their homes. The remote American territory in the western Pacific would soon face the biggest storm to hit U.S. soil since 1935.
As night fell, Yutu swept toward Blanco’s village on the island of Saipan. The howling outside intensified, and Blanco’s partially wooden home began to buckle in the sustained 180-mph winds. “The house started shaking,” recalled Blanco, a 56-year-old retired U.S. Army colonel. “I started getting scared because it was not fully concrete.” But his bathroom was, so he retreated there. Just after midnight, the roof that covered half of his house was ripped off, and Blanco felt the furious winds trying to suck him up into the air. “I jumped in the bathtub,” he said. “I was holding myself down using the spout ... It was wet, so it was slippery.”
“The fire, to me—it’s like an ocean. It’s so strong that we don’t really stand a chance of doing much to it.”
Seven years ago, Park Williams took an hour-long drive with a couple of friends to see a wildfire. He remembers it now as a revelation.
At the time, Williams was researching the scraggly pine forests that dot the southwestern United States. He worked at a national laboratory that overlooks more than 1 million acres of protected desert forest. On June 26, 2011, the wind knocked down an aspen somewhere in that national forest, toppling it into a power line and igniting a small flame. The landscape was parched, the winds were unruly, and soon that flame had become the largest wildfire in New Mexico’s history.
Williams couldn’t go to work—his lab had been evacuated—so he and his friends drove around town, hoping to catch a glimpse of the blaze. Eventually they came to a spot just below the mountains. He remembers the air outside the car reeking like an ancient brick fireplace. The fire stood a mile off. “It looked like a skyline of buildings,” he told me. “You could see it in the mountains above you.”
It is best not to diagnose the president from afar, which is why the federal government needs a system to evaluate him up close.
President Donald Trump’s decision to brag in a tweet about the size of his “nuclear button” compared with North Korea’s was widely condemned as bellicose and reckless. The comments are also part of a larger pattern of odd and often alarming behavior for a person in the nation’s highest office.
Trump’s grandiosity and impulsivity have made him a constant subject of speculation among those concerned with his mental health. But after more than a year of talking to doctors and researchers about whether and how the cognitive sciences could offer a lens to explain Trump’s behavior, I’ve come to believe there should be a role for professional evaluation beyond speculating from afar.
I’m not alone. Viewers of Trump’s recent speeches have begun noticing minor abnormalities in his movements. In November, he used his free hand to steady a small Fiji bottle as he brought it to his mouth. Onlookers described the movement as “awkward” and made jokes about hand size. Some called out Trump for doing the exact thing he had mocked Senator Marco Rubio for during the presidential primary—conspicuously drinking water during a speech.