@3 weeks ago with 12 notes
With the precipitous decline of middle-class living standards, the gutting of social services and the rollback of the gains of the civil rights movement in the late seventies and eighties, many suspect that the myth of Asians as a “model minority” or “Super-minority” was contrived to divide working people, pitting one racial group against the others, in order to displace systemic contradictions. If the Asians can do it, why can’t Hispanics and Blacks? Praising the high family median incomes of Asian American families compared to the total average in 1979, Reagan and the mass media lauded their “hard work,” refusal to depend on welfare, and adherence to utilitarian values.
Numerous studies have cogently shown that when the statistics are analyzed against the numerical realities of dependents and of persons working per family, educational attainment, residence in high-cost cities, and other factors, the conclusion is that Asian Americans have not reached equality with Caucasians. Despite their comparatively higher educational attainment than whites or Chinese immigrants, for example, Filipinos have average incomes lower than other Asians, remaining a “disadvantaged minority group” trapped in low-paying jobs (Nee and Sanders 85; see also Yun 88-106). In 1979, the per capita Asian income was in fact lower than the U.S. average. Moreover, Asians are over-represented in low-wage sectors like food services and textiles (Lee 96). The myth of Asian success quickly evaporates before the reality of labor market segmentation, restricted mobility between sectors, and the “glass ceiling”—covert, subtle and systemic patterns of racism which effectively exclude Asians from the seats of institutional and political power. Takaki notes that this myth of Asian American success “offers ideological affirmation of the American Dream in an era anxiously witnessing the decline of the United States in the international economy, the emergence of a new black underclass, and a collapsing white middle class” (478). Ignoring the structural problems of society and the economy, this myth provides a quick-fix cultural explanation: to make America number one again, it is necessary to emulate Asians who have accepted the Puritan “errand into the wilderness,” the “habits of the heart” crystallized in “the bedrock values” of hard work, thrift, industry—in short, the utilitarian ethos in which the pursuit of enlightened self-interest is rewarded with material success.
This gasoline burning is for me, isn’t it? Exhaust and exhaustion being spent for my possession. Can the odometer remember the sighs, the angry times, drop-off times, Get Out byes? Distance between neighborhoods too lethal for my already infiltrated bones, so this Sierra is my shield and she my chauffeur. What do I deserve? All I know for sure is that I owe her four dollars for every morning to school, every excursion in the night time, and every program on Saturday just to leave the house and live my way. Does anyone have millions in apologies?
@3 weeks ago
I taught my sister about exponents and a bit of algebra, as well as showed the Who is Black in America panel discussion hosted by CNN and Soledad O’Brien, and continued to get into a fight about Obama being a Black man despite his Black and White heritage (and then a digression about racist implications of selecting a Black doll for a Black daughter in order to combat White ideals of beauty and their destruction of a solid Black identity, of which there are no racist implications but my sister is an annoying 9 year old).
@3 weeks ago with 1 note
My friend Jana needs to go Running Start next year, find a boyfriend, and have him drive us to class. I don’t understand why she can’t get with the program.
@3 weeks ago with 1 note