margin model

“I think race relations in general get reduced to Black/White in the United States. And I think as a result if you are still a racialized minority your status somehow becomes weaponized one way or another. For example, for the Asian American population there’s a stereotype of the model minority. And because there’s that stereotype often the Asian American community is weaponized by the White community against all the other communities of color, saying, ‘well look at X group compared to the Asian American population’ which is also damaging and stereotypical because when people talk about the Asian community as that model minority they are thinking about East Asian, upper class populations and the good number of the Asian American community in the United States are not that. I’m not that. I’m Southeast Asian. And the Southeast Asian population of the United States includes Cambodian, Laotian, Hmong, and Thai. These groups are actually some of the poorest in the United States and most disadvantaged. But people don’t recognize that because they just think, ‘Oh if you’re Asian you must have the same achievements as all these other Asian groups’ and that is not true.”

One of my favorite quotes of Episode 32 with Diana Pho where she discusses the “model minority” myth and how these hierarchies in marginalized cultures can create further segregation. It’s a powerful thing to think about.