How to not be racist: Chapters 4 and 5

Sunday, November 4, 2018 - 4:17pm

The “Model Minority” and Racial Triangulation Theory

The “Model Minority” myth is a myth that upholds and maintains whiteness as the standard of what is “good” and “acceptable.”

Essentially, because Asian Americans act as white people think a “model minority” should act, they are cast with the name model minority, which still relegates Asian Americans to a status below, but almost as good as whites.

Many Asian people have a role in propagating anti-Blackness and racism as well.

Whether it’s the commercials where Black people are getting put into washers and come out white, or white skin lightening creams, or my little brother’s friend not wanting to hang out with him because his Indian grandmother said, “Black people are bad.”

People like Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, conservative pundit Dinesh D’Souza or Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai repeatedly claim the American dream is how they got to where they are – not by “claiming victim” or acknowledging racism, but by working hard and ignoring institutional barriers and systemic racist trends.

This is how the model-minority story operates: It leaves out details of structural racism, privilege and access to resources while prioritizing narratives of white-approved success.

It forgets a history of colonial legacy in Latin America, slavery, Jim Crow, redlining, redistricting and the fact that Black people had to be escorted by the army to attend integrated schools.

It also marginalizes Southeast Asian folx, who do not benefit from the model-minority myth because it is ultimately rooted in white supremacy: many Southeast Asian Americans, because of economic and political oppression, are not close enough to “white” to benefit from the model-minority myth.

Racial Triangulation Theory explains this phenomenon of the model minority quite well.

According to Adrian Cruz, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, the Racial Triangulation Theory explains this phenomenon of model minority quite well: “To comprehend racism and race relations as a triangulated process makes way for a comparative, and thus more robust, study of how racial inequality comes into effect and is maintained,” Cruz said. “Kim argues that on a field of racial positions, Blacks are insiders in US society – in many ways, their presence and right to be in the country is unquestioned – but they are persistently mistreated as a socially constructed inferior racial group. Conversely, Asian Americans are outsiders but, in comparison with Blacks, attain a position as a superior group but remain commonly perceived and constructed as foreigners. Thus, Asian Americans and Blacks experience conflictive group relations with each other; meanwhile, whites remain socially superior insiders... This mode of interaction between all three racial groups triangulates Asian Americans as a moderately ranked racial group – better than Blacks but never as good as whites. The bottom line is that Asian Americans and Blacks experience inequality between each other, tension with each other while simultaneously serving as referents to each other. Moreover, the triangulation of race relations allows whites to maintain their superior position within the multiracial United States.” - Adrian Cruz

For more on this/Resources:

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0032329299027001005

https://studybreaks.com/news-politics/unpacking-anti-blackness-asian-american-community/https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/04/19/524571669/model-minority-myth-again-used-as-a-racial-wedge-between-asians-and-blacks

http://nwasianweekly.com/2018/05/anti-blackness-asians/

Allyship

Ah, the end.

Do not rely on people of color to educate you about racism.

Yes, I wrote this. But it is not our job to educate you on racism.

Even if you did pay us, it would be a very emotionally taxing job to have to educate your ass.

People do not become teachers for a reason.

Further,

GOOGLE IS FREE

 

Resources:

https://www.whiteallytoolkit.com/intro-to-listening/

http://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/whiteaffinitygroup.pdf

https://medium.com/@LeslieMac/when-allies-fuck-up-its-time-to-dobetter-75ac071800a0

https://medium.com/@realtalkwocandallies/the-white-allies-guide-to-collecting-aunt-linda-41c6a92ae864

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/google-is-free-on-the-importance-of-white-allies-doing_us_588a4866e4b06558f8e94ef7

Further Conversations

My email is:

blacksonly4@gmail.com

Thanks for reading.

Try to be better.

Acknowledgements

God is No. 1. All glory goes to him for helping me complete this project.

Thanks to my Mom and Dad, beautiful Black people who told me to not to let white people (or any people) steal my joy.