“Anti-Model Minority” Leftists Inventing An Anti-White Pan-Asian Identity
Last week, the US Supreme Court heard arguments in the big Affirmative Action case, Abigail Noel Fisher v. University of Texas. (For my expose of a suspiciously-timed hoax crime at UT, see here. For Steve Sailer’s comments on the oral arguments, see here and here).
Both sides have buried the justices in amicus curiae briefs written by their political allies. But the Fisher case is novel, because it pits briefs from Asian-American organizations arguing both for and against Affirmative Action.
Asians have been often been held up as “the model minority“—smart, hard-working, law-abiding and uncomplaining. But now a new generation of American-born Asians has arisen that denounces the “Model Minority” image as if it were something to be ashamed of.
I call the two factions submitting Fisher briefs Model Minority (MM, against) and anti-model minority Asians (AMMA, for).
East Asians have, on average, IQs about a half-standard deviation above that of whites (105-107 vs. 100. National averages: Chinese 105; Koreans 105; and Japanese 107.) East Asians are about a whole Standard Deviation above that of American “residents” in general (95).
And East Asians have been routinely discriminated against in college admissions, as have whites, because of college bureaucrats’ desire to make room for underperforming blacks and Hispanics
- Remember that, by definition, about half of East Asians are below average for their groups. For dumb Asians, meritocracy is not necessarily appealing.
- Increasing numbers of Asian legal and illegal immigrants hail from low-IQ countries and ethnies such as the Hmong, Cambodians, and Vietnamese;
- AMMA organizations are Leftist ideologues. They support Affirmative Action for political reasons, regardless of their respective groups’ interests.
I first encountered the “dumb Asian” phenomenon nineteen years ago. I was working at a summer job in Chinatown, teaching journalism to Chinese future rocket scientists at a Chinese ethnic educational and welfare organization.
I had just spent the previous year teaching remedial writing and reading at a Catholic college and at a community college, respectively, in Jersey City. Many of my community college students had been functionally illiterate. So it was a joy to be able to teach brilliant 14 and 15-year olds. I’ll never forget the time my smartest student, a 14-year-old girl on her way to becoming a brain surgeon, complained in class about an unnecessary comma I’d inflicted on her essay draft, in my “corrections.” (Full disclosure: I am a comma,nist.)
I responded: “Someday you’ll be on a talk show, flogging one of your novels, and you’ll complain, ‘I once had this writing teacher who added unnecessary commas to my work.’”
That seemed to defuse the matter.
However, there were at least two other classes, and they were decidedly not rocket scientists. Nor were most of my “ABC” (American-born Chinese), or for that matter my white American colleagues. There was the not very bright white woman from Jersey City, who was adept at multicultural office politics, and who endeared herself to her non-rocket scientist kids by never correcting their work. And two young ABCs: one a dim young guy who was headed to teach in the city schools; the other our boss, a young woman who didn’t even have a B.A., but who had an uncle on the agency’s board.
The ABC guy was a fan of an AMMA magazine, called simply A, which raged against the vicious “stereotype” of the brilliant, nerdy East Asian student.
A’s unspoken “logic” went something like this:
- Not every single Asian is a rocket scientist;
- Therefore, the stereotype of the brilliant Asian nerd is false!
That was the quality of A’s reasoning, notwithstanding (or because?) it was founded by four ABCs who had graduated from Harvard, where they had published a similar magazine.
A magazine edited by affluent, high-IQ Asians, arguing that Asians aren’t bright. As Don King would say, Only in America!
Fast forward: this June, AMMA groups denounced a Pew Research Center report that
[Asian-Americans Reject ‘Model Minority’ Image Painted by Pew Report by Voices of NY, Colorlines/WNYC, June 25, 2012.]
The AMMAs had no factual basis for their criticisms. Nevertheless they were outraged at the report’s good news!