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This week, there was a lot of buzz about an Asian woman who was kicked off of Twitter after a picture of her doing a Nazi salute surfaced online. She also allegedly made a number of pro Nazi comments, and allegedly referred to Adolf Hitler as “her boo.” While this has sparked outrage from many in the Asian American community, some are are not Asian thought this was normal behavior from a “model minority.” But what is a model minority? And does this term describe Korean Americans today?
Model Minority Theory
The term model minority is usually only used on Asian Americans. A basic definition of a model minority is someone who has ethnic origins in another country, but will abandon them to be accepted in their new culture by the people who are the majority. In this case, they will deny their background, forget their language, not complain about anything and will worship White people. They will do anything to be White, will only love White people and only accept White people as being acceptable. This term is used to show that other minorities are a “problem” and that they should learn to act better like the model minorities do.
If you are wondering why people think this is true, ask yourself the following questions: How many times are Asian Americans shown as having serious problems or feeling like victims of prejudice and hatred in movies and on television? When an attractive Asian woman, by Western standards, is shown as falling in love, what does the guy normally look like? When an Asian man sees a woman he would like to be with, what does she normally look like? When Asian Americans are shown as having really close friends, how often are they Black or Hispanic?
The Reality of Life
The truth is, the overwhelming majority of Korean Americans, and Asian Americans in general, do not fit this theory. This notion is very racist and offends many in the Asian American community. I have been overwhelmed by the number of Asian people who have expressed their pain that they are viewed this way by so many in the United States. It has caused serious issues in the community to go unnoticed. Most Korean Americans will certainly let you know if they don’t like something, and some are so proud to be Korean that they appear to be racist to other people.
The truth is Korea Americans, as well as other Asian Americans, have not had an easy life in the U.S. Many Asian women have been viewed as nothing more than a sex object to men who met them. Some men openly admit that they want an Asian woman because they think she’ll happily sit around and do what she is told. A lot of Asian American men are bullied are often shown as being smart, but not romantic. Jokes about what people feel are the lack of masculinity are viewed as being funny and acceptable on television. Many Asian Americans have been openly mocked or attacked because of their appearance. In recent weeks, more and more Korean Americans have been physically attacked, with some being told to “Go back to China.” Racism in the Korean American community is very real and very hurtful.
Because many people do not care about the prejudice and issues that face the Korean American community, many have had to suffer in silence. But no one should have to suffer period. And no one should have to be labeled a “model minority” due to racist stereotypes. No, Korean women do not want to be your trophy wife to fulfill your perverted desires with. No, Korean men do not want to do all of the hard work for you so that you can take the credit for it. No, Korean people will not sit around and allow you to do whatever you want to them. And no, other people will not stand around and allow these thoughts to continue on. No matter who you are or where you family comes from, we’re all of one race. The human race. No one is born superior or inferior, but by one’s actions is one proven to be superior or inferior.
Hopefully you understand that the views of the woman spoken of at the outset does not represent the views of the majority of the Asian American community. And hopefully you understand that the label of model minority can be very hurtful to the Asian American community. Even though I often talk about some of the negative issues that I have personally faced in dealing with the Korean American community, there have been a number of positives as well. The truth is, many Korean Americans, and Asian Americans in general, are good role models for all people, not just minorities. But it may not be for the reasons you think or have been shown in the media. Instead of just assuming that all stereotypes are true, take time to get to know people for themselves. If you do, you’ll get to make many friends and may experiences that will last you a lifetime.