Model Minorities on Asian Americans

By Annie Huynh

Sarah was in school when her teacher was passing out their test scores from last week’s math test. One of her friends told her that there was nothing for her to worry about because they automatically assumed she’ll pass the test with no barriers. When the teacher came to Sarah’s desk, she scored an average of 65/100, indicating the grade of a C. Sarah’s friend shouted, “I thought all Asians were good at math.” That’s when Sarah realized that Asian Americans are still depicted as a model minority.

Do you ever hear anyone say that Asian Americans aren’t smart? Typically, you’d hear the opposite. Asian Americans are often perceived for their collective intelligence, with this stereotype, it blocks a path towards diversity in the Asian American community and can often drive Asian Americans into a single identity; that all Asian Americans are only smart. This stereotype can often mislead the actual demographics of every Asian American and can create a misconception that will label a history for all Asian Americans in the future. Not only can this affect the future but it can also create standards for Asian Americans that us Asians should be smart and that we are entitled to that stereotype. It can create the need that us Asians should be able to fit into the standards that the model minority sets us in and it can create fear that Asian Americans aren’t really Asian if they don’t deem themselves as smart.

For people that aren’t well-assimilated on Asian American culture, it can often lead to a negative impact on Asian Americans as they only tend to bring more stereotypes into the Asian American culture. The model minority towards Asian Americans can feed into their ego and mislead them into thinking that all Asian Americans are successful and that there is nothing for them to improve. This model minority was put into place to showcase Asian Americans having their academic success and that they no longer face any challenges and issues. This effect that was put into place by white supremacists, put a toll on Asian Americans like myself, as they continue to struggle with gaining confidence in their future success, since the majority of the people assume Asian Americans have no room for improvement. So when Asian Americans are detected as prosperous, they’re often celebrated as a model minority.

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