Asian-Americans and the myth of the model minority

On his show Last Week Tonight, John Oliver said a lot of things that needed to be said about Asian-Americans and the model minority myth. He rightly points out how when in 1965 the US overhauled its racist immigration policies, it initially favored those from Asia who were highly educated and had skills the US needed. This has enabled some to use the relative economic success of this subset to claim that systemic discrimination does not exist and to shame all the other groups of color who had none of their advantages.

A recent survey found that 42% of Americans could not name even a single famous Asian American, even though Kamala Harris is vice president. The next highest number of 11% named Jackie Chan, who is not an Asian American.

Michael Cruz Kayne helps them out.


  1. Matt G says

    Back when The Donald was bad-mouthing blacks (I know, when wasn’t he…), he suggested that the US increase the number of immigrants from…Norway! Someone did some digging and discovered that immigrants from Africa (yes, I know it’s a continent) are, on average, more educated than immigrants from Norway.

  2. jenorafeuer says

    @Matt G:
    That, of course, is quite possibly a consequence of a racist immigration policy; if there’s a lower bar on immigration from Norway, it would bring down the average of the various requirements to get in.

    There’s also the not-explicitly-racist policy of making it easier for families of current citizens to immigrate, which is obviously going to prioritize people who know who their overseas families actually are (which won’t be true for descendants of people brought over in the slave trade).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *