Myths, biases, and preconceptions can have a detrimental effect on racial and ethnic minorities, even if they are considered positive. Specifically, they can negatively impact the mental health and well-being of the concerned minority, affect their professional life, and impact relationships with other racial and ethnic groups. Myths about model minority have several adverse consequences to the involved minority and should be combated by broader society.
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The United States is a racially and ethnically diverse country; however, minorities are often prejudiced against. Persons of Asian descent are often viewed as the model minority due to “seemingly having achieved social and economic parity with their White counterparts” (Shih et al., 2019, p. 413). According to Blackburn (2020), the model minority myths stem from stereotypes of the Asian community, perpetuating the narrative that Asian children are mathematical or musical geniuses. They are also stereotyped as polite and law-abiding and are generally positively compared to other immigrant groups (Blackburn, 2020). Nevertheless, these myths have negative consequences for the members of the Asian community. Thus, the model minority preconceptions harm the relationships of the Asian community with other racial and ethnic minorities, leading to racial resentment (Chow, 2017). In addition, Asian-Americans are held to higher standards, forcing them to work harder to be considered equal to other groups (Shih et al., 2019). The misconception also disregards their mental health needs and well-being (Shih et al., 2019). Thus, the model minority myth can result in the Asian community being isolated from other groups and lacking mental health support.
The model minority myth should be addressed by broader society. First, awareness should be raised about the model minority preconceptions being perpetuated and harming the Asian-American community. The myth that these presumptions are “positive” and, therefore, cannot have an adverse effect should also be addressed through education. Second, it is essential to recognize that the Asian-American community is not homogenous and consists of several ethnic groups that should not be compared (Blackburn, 2020). Overall, the model minority bias against the member of the Asian-American community should be combated to decrease its negative consequences.
Blackburn, S. S. (2020). What is the model minority myth? Learning for Justice. Web.
Chow, K. (2017). ‘Model minority’ myth again used as a racial wedge between Asians and blacks. NPR.org. Web.
Shih, K. Y., Chang, T., & Chen, S. (2019). Impacts of the model minority myth on Asian American individuals and families: Social justice and critical race feminist perspectives. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 11, 412–428. Web.