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Model Minority and Race

I have been U.S. for more than 50 years. Every decade or so there would be a flurry of articles about the Chinese-Americans being the model minority. Most of us consider it to be a compliment, hard working, family oriented, responsible, and not making any waves. I myself have mixed feelings about the attention.
For we are being used as a deflection target for other minorities. For white Americans, we are a perfect example for how a minority should behave, law abiding, hard working, not protesting against discrimination, as contrast to African-Americans. We are used as example against affirmative action, that’s until we went beyond some limits, then we are also resented by middle class whites. When we not only get higher SAT scores, but also higher medium incomes, when we get 50% of the entrants to Stuyvesant and Bronx High School of Science. Then there comes informal quotas on incoming class of Ivy League Schools, on limits on H1B visas and immigration. With China on the verge if not in fact passing U.S. on total GDP, the backlash is inevitable.
Growing up in the idealism of the 60s, of civil rights and antiwar protests, I share solidarity with the demands of African-Americans for equal rights. Yet, being part of society, one inevitably also were infected, whether conscious or unconscious, with strains of racism, of stereotyping other minorities, of a sense of superiority, and of course when it affects self interest. The recent fight in California over university admission is a case in point. I do hope we as a community be aware of the pitfall.

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