Asian American Model Minority

Powerful Essays
Asian Americans have been socially constructed as the nation’s model minority. While undergoing racism and economic hardship during their transition into the United States, Asian Americans overcame adversity and achieved success in education and the work force. After World War II, the notion of Asian Americans as a model minority whom promoted the American values of Democracy began to arise. The United States decided to focus on their achievement because of their “cultural background” rather than their social activism against racist laws. Asian Americans were not always viewed as a “model minority” in the U.S. In 1882, the government passed the Chinese Exclusion Act limiting Chinese immigrants from entering America. This act was later repealed…show more content…
The title of the Time Magazine article is “How to Tell Your Friends From The Japs”. The purpose of this article was to racialize the Japanese as our enemy and distinguish them from the Chinese American allies. At first glance, the article’s title boldly uses the derogatory term “Japs” to describe the Japanese. Meanwhile referring to the Chinese as “your Friends”. Four photos of younger and older generation Chinese and Japanese men are presented around bullet points with defining characteristics. There is a clear line drawn between these two groups. Although they may appear similar, there is a major distinction. The use of language and traits emphasize the Chinese as the superior minority who is trustworthy and representative of American values. In assigning facial expressions, the Japanese were thought to be “positive, dogmatic, arrogant”. On the other hand, the Chinese facial expressions were “more placed, kindly, open”. These differences show the racialization against the Japanese during World War…show more content…
By raising the status of this social class, the government can compare and contrast other minority groups and their achievements. Now, structural racism in America was being pushed off as an invalid reason limiting the success of minority groups. The media turned the argument around by instead blaming the failures of these groups on the individuals. Asian Americans were viewed as the model minority because their success while also combatting the societal issues present in America. Minority groups could not receive the justice and equality necessary for achievement in America’s society without also facing the restraints placed on them by the media and structural
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