Model Minority Impact

1387 Words 6 Pages
In 1966, sociologist William Petersen used the term “model minority” to describe Japanese Americans and praised them for living “generally affluent and, for the most part highly Americanized lives”. The “model minority” label expanded to describe all Asian Americans for having a perceived higher socioeconomic level and higher education. In fact, the average Asian American household, when compared with all American adults, have a median income actually exceeds the average American household by $16,200 and are 21% more likely to have a college degree, according to Pew Research Center. Asian culture and traits are often accredited to this success. It would seem that Asian Americans are disproportionately more successful than any other group …show more content…
Johnson in 1964 marked a turning point in the fight for civil rights, as it outlawed discrimination based upon race, color, religion, sex, or nationality. The act banned segregation, enforcing equal access to public places, employment, schools, and voting, creating the foundation of modern America. While the movement to pass the Civil Rights Act was led by African Americans, it opened up a new path to equality for minorities including Asian Americans. The Civil Rights Act was followed by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, ending discrimination based on one’s national origin in the immigration process. The Immigration and Nationality Act, ended nationality based quotas and opened up immigration to Asians, after the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882 and the Immigration Act of 1924 which targeted the Japanese. The 1929 immigration quotas allowed for a total of 150,000 immigrants, and designated none of the available slots to Chinese people (Migration Policy Institute). The destruction of ethnically based immigration selection had an immediate response, quickly repainting the portrait of America. While European immigration fell 38 percent from the 1950s to the 1970s, Asian immigration surged from just 6 percent to 35 percent. The population of Asians in America continues to grow, and while the discussion around immigrants largely focuses around Hispanics, Asians represent 40% of all foreign born citizens in 2008, …show more content…
The implementation of Affirmative Action which was designed to allow universities to take race into account in the admissions process to aid historically disadvantaged groups in America has helped African Americans and Hispanics but Asians have not been assisted by the process. However, top universities also allocate many spaces for the wealthy, privileged, and connected, most of whom are white, leaving very few spots for high achieving Asian students. Micheal Wang, a Californian student, found himself in this position when he was rejected by six out of the seven Ivy League universities he applied to, despite having a sparkling application that was complete with a top ACT score and singing at Obama’s inauguration. He filed a complaint to the Department of Education and the universities he was rejected from, yet received no replies. Wang’s experiences are not unique, as he joined a group of 64 Asian American organizations filing a joint complaint to the Department of Education (The Economist). In addition, as Jennifer Lee, professor of sociology at UC Irvine and Min Zhou, professor of sociology at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and UCLA, the co-authors of the book “The Asian American Achievement Paradox”, “Asian Americans would benefit even more so from affirmative action in the workplace” (Thomsen). Beyond

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