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Model Minority Stereotype Essay

1253 words - 6 pages

My parents grew up in China. I was born in China. They both had high expectations of me. I had high expectations of myself. My parents took the time and effort to further my education beyond what my school provided me. I was always ahead in school. Since elementary school, I was told that I was smart from my classmates and teachers. At that time, being Asian was never a big deal. I began to realize that Asians were treated differently in intermediate school. Some of my classmates tried to trick me into doing their homework or ask for help when they actually just wanted the answers. They would get frustrated at me when I tried to help them, but I guess my way of helping is different than theirs. This issue grew when I moved schools in the summer going into 7th grade. My classmates immediately identified me as smart when they did not even know me. I was known as the shy, quiet, smart girl. Later, once my classmates got to know me, they would always expect me to finish first on tests. Some would tell me proudly, “I finished before you.” They sounded as if they accomplished a difficult achievement. I guess they assumed that since I was Asian, I should finish tests first because I am smart and should know the material. My classmates would be shocked at me when I did not get 100%. I never told them my score, but my teachers sometimes thought the whole class should know my score and would announce it to the class and the classes after mine. My classmates would then tell me after class, “I got a higher score than you and you’re supposed to be the smart one.” People make mistakes. I’m a human. Sometimes, people forget that I’m a human. To some classmates, I was a robot or a calculator. Because of that, people tried to use me and pretended to be my friend because they wanted me to do their homework. Apparently, since I was Asian, I was something inhuman. Something better than a human. That is a lie.
Many people, like my previous classmates, see others who have black hair, brown eyes, and skin color with different tones of browns as smart Asians. Asian, according to most Americans and the Oxford dictionary, is used to refer to only East Asia which consists of North and South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and China. Often times, Americans associate “smart” with “Asian”. Many Americans assume that the “Asian” race is more successful than other racial minorities in the United States. This stereotype is known as the model minority stereotype. Success, in this essay, is measured by academics, occupation, relations, and economics. Racial minorities include African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Hawaiians.
The cause of this stereotype was the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965. The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 erased the previous immigration acts and allowed select immigrants from Asia. The immigrants had to be immediate family of those whom were currently living in the United States or had a certain education background. Thus,...

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