Above: The video above provides some context for this module’s discussion. Ellen Wu and other Asian American voices offer additional perspective to compare/contrast with your reading, which includes Robert Lee’s historical analysis of the model minority.

Watch the video and read the two articles (one by Robert Lee and the other by Michael Tayag).

Lee notes the clear social and political rationales for constructing “Asians” (initially the Chinese and Japanese) as the model minority, which stemmed from the Cold War concerns in which the United States was invested in a number of ideological battles, military actions, and intelligence gathering efforts against various manifestations of Communism (and the fears that such might arise).

For your response, consider the historical aspect of the “model minority myth” and its traction today. Has been the myth of the model minority been perpetuated, extended, or refuted? And in those cases, what are the causes? Do contemporary political trends parallel past circumstances as discussed by Lee, or have expectations changed since then? Consider our current political and social circumstances as a part of your response, and utilize specific examples of what you have seen in the media or elsewhere regarding the “model minority” construction (or deconstruction of).

Moreover, what other consequences are there for those categorized as model minorities? Does being “a model minority” equate to complete racial acceptance into American society? How does Tayag’s article attempt to re-frame the experience of someone forced into the label of a “model minority”? Feel free to also reflect on earlier readings as well, as they explore the same topic from different approaches.

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