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.
I don’t know who the young man in the MAGA hat in this photo is. And I don’t care to know.
His name, which the internet will inevitably turn up, really doesn’t matter. It matters to his parents, of course—and to his teachers. I hope they will be reflective, and I know they should be ashamed: of this smirking young man and the scores of other (nearly all white) students from a Catholic school in Kentucky. Today, on the National Mall in Washington, they apparently mocked, harassed, and menaced a Native American man who had fought for the United States in Vietnam and who today represented both the U.S. and his Omaha nation with poise, courage, and dignity.
Once again, Trump tried and failed to strike a deal on Saturday.
President Donald Trump is trapped. He shut the government to impose his will on the incoming Democratic majority in the House of Representatives. That plan has miserably failed. Instead, Trump has found himself caught in the trap he supposed he had set for his opponents.
Now he is desperately seeking an exit.
Trump attempted Exit One on January 8.He spoke that evening to the nation from the Oval Office, hoping to mobilize public opinion behind him, pressing the Democratic leadership of the House to yield to him. That hope was miserably disappointed. Surveys post-speech found that Trump had swayed only 2 percent of TV viewers. In the 10 days since the speech, Trump’s approval ratings have dipped to about the lowest point in his presidency. The supposedly solid Trump base has measurably softened.
Insights into the little-studied realm of last words
Mort Felix liked to say that his name, when read as two Latin words, meant “happy death.” When he was sick with the flu, he used to jokingly remind his wife, Susan, that he wanted Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” played at his deathbed. But when his life’s end arrived at the age of 77, he lay in his study in his Berkeley, California, home, his body besieged by cancer and his consciousness cradled in morphine, uninterested in music and refusing food as he dwindled away over three weeks in 2012. “Enough,” he told Susan. “Thank you, and I love you, and enough.” When she came downstairs the next morning, she found Felix dead.
During those three weeks, Felix had talked. He was a clinical psychologist who had also spent a lifetime writing poetry, and though his end-of-life speech often didn’t make sense, it seemed to draw from his attention to language. “There’s so much so in sorrow,” he said at one point. “Let me down from here,” he said at another. “I’ve lost my modality.” To the surprise of his family members, the lifelong atheist also began hallucinating angels and complaining about the crowded room—even though no one was there.
Starting the process will rein in a president who is undermining American ideals—and bring the debate about his fitness for office into Congress, where it belongs.
On January 20, 2017,Donald Trump stood on the steps of the Capitol, raised his right hand, and solemnly swore to faithfully execute the office of president of the United States and, to the best of his ability, to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. He has not kept that promise.
Instead, he has mounted a concerted challenge to the separation of powers, to the rule of law, and to the civil liberties enshrined in our founding documents. He has purposefully inflamed America’s divisions. He has set himself against the American idea, the principle that all of us—of every race, gender, and creed—are created equal.
America’s largest internet store is so big, and so bewildering, that buyers often have no idea what they’re going to get.
Updated at 5:28 p.m. ET on January 17, 2019.
There’s a Gatorade button attached to my basement fridge. If I push it, two days later a crate of the sports drink shows up at my door, thanks to Amazon. When these “Dash buttons” were first rumored in 2015, they seemed like a joke. Press a button to one-click detergent or energy bars? What even?, my colleague Adrienne LaFrance reasonably inquired.
They weren’t a joke. Soon enough, Amazon was selling the buttons for a modest fee, the value of which would be applied to your first purchase. There were Dash buttons for Tide and Gatorade, Fiji Water and Lärabars, Trojan condoms and Kraft Mac & Cheese.
The whole affair always felt unsettling. When the buttons launched, I called the Dash experience Lovecraftian, the invisible miasma of commerce slipping its vapor all around your home. But last week, a German court went further, ruling the buttons illegal because they fail to give consumers sufficient information about the products they order when pressing them, or the price they will pay after having done so. (You set up a Dash button on Amazon’s app, selecting a product from a list; like other goods on the e-commerce giant’s website, the price can change over time.) Amazon, which is also under general antitrust investigation in Germany, disputes the ruling.
Though some describe themselves as the “counterculture within the movement,” many members of nonreligious and left-leaning pro-life groups feel welcome at the largely Christian, conservative event.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—On Friday morning, a few hours before the start of the March for Life—the 46th-annual event held to commemorate the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision and to call for its repeal—banners waved above the heads of some 60 people gathered on the wet, slushy grounds of the National Mall. Consistent Life Network: … End Abortion, End Poverty, End Racism, End War, read one. Secular Pro-Life: For the embryology textbook tells me so, read another—a sly riff on the “for the Bible tells me so” refrain of the Christian hymn “Jesus Loves Me.” Protesters carrying signs (Destroy the patriarchy, not the preborn) and wearing buttons (War is not pro-life) stood in the cold listening as a teal-haired atheist with a nose ring addressed the crowd that had gathered: Why, she asked, if it is wrong to kill a person who’d been born already, would it be okay to kill a person who hadn’t yet?
Dr. Sherman Hershfield woke up one morning and was surprised to find himself behind the wheel of his car. Somewhere between his Beverly Hills apartment and his practice in the San Fernando Valley, the silver-haired physician had blacked out. Somehow he’d avoided a crash, but this wasn’t the first time. “I didn’t know what was going on,” he admitted.
Apart from his frequent blackouts, Hershfield was in fine health for a man in his 50s. He was tall and lean, ran six miles a day, and was a strict vegetarian. “I believe a physician should provide exemplary motivation to patients,” he once wrote. “I don’t smoke and have cut out all alcohol.” Hershfield specialized in physical medicine and rehabilitation, and for decades had helped patients with brain injuries learn to walk again and rebuild their lives. Even with his experience, Hershfield didn’t know what was wrong inside his own head.
To those outside the black community, the Nation of Islam’s persistent appeal, despite its bigotry, can seem incomprehensible.
Updated on March 19 2018.
When I was 17, I was a scruffy-headed biracial black and Jewish teenager, and a furious Louis Farrakhan hater. In the mid-1990s, Farrakhan’s fame and influence was at its height; I had once been thrown out of a middle-school gym class for calling the Nation of Islam leader a racist. His Million Man March, a massive collective act of solidarity and perhaps the most important black event of the decade, had been one of the loneliest days of my young life. I sat in homeroom, one of just a few dozen kids in school, wondering why so many people hated people like me.
It was a story my high school English teacher Cullen Swinson told me, years later, that helped me understand why people might associate with the Nation. Scott Montgomery Elementary School was located in what The Washington Post called “The Wicked District” in a grim series on black youth in D.C. in the 1950s. Things were still bleak in the late ‘60s when Swinson began attending Scott—one year, there was a crime scare that enveloped the whole neighborhood.
Domesticated felines are one of the biggest threats to birds worldwide. Two pet owners think they’ve found a solution.
Here’s an alarming but little-known figure—stray cats and pet cats allowed outdoors kill 3.6 million birds every day on average in the United States, for a total of at least 1.3 billion birds per year. That’s most likely a sizable chunk out of the U.S. land-bird population, which the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center estimates is around 10-20 billion. While habitat loss and climate change pose long-term dangers to birds in this country, recent research shows that outdoor cats currently kill more of them than any other threat caused by humans.
It’s not just a problem in the U.S. A 2011 study found that domestic cats have directly contributed to extinctions of 22 bird species on islands around the world, and threatened dozens more. Researchers in the United Kingdom estimated that 55 million birds fall prey to domestic cats there each year; in Australia, threats to endangered species led government officials to announce plans for euthanizing 2 million feral cats.
The president offered three-year protection for “Dreamers” and immigrants with protective status in exchange for $5.7 billion in border-wall funding. Democrats rejected it out of hand.
The 29th day of the partial government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history, has been virtually indistinguishable from the first.
On Saturday, President Donald Trump entered the Diplomatic Reception Room in the White House to reveal the “major announcement concerning the Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border” he had teased on Twitter on Friday. In some respects, it could be viewed as a major step toward ending the shutdown, with Trump outlining a new proposal to break a logjam that has left hundreds of thousands of federal workers without pay. And yet in other ways—with Democratic leaders roundly rejecting the plan before it was even aired—it may as well have never happened.
The White House proposed three years of protection for two categories of immigrants. The first group comprises about 700,000 young adults, known as “Dreamers,” who were brought to the United States as children without authorization; they had been protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the Obama-era policy that Trump sought to end before federal courts intervened. The second category, temporary protected status, covers people who were allowed to move to the United States after disasters hit their home country; Trump has similarly sought to cut back these protections, only to see his actions stopped in court.