Stare Down the White Gaze: Demystifying the “Model Minority” Stereotype :“You brought the virus here.” These words were thrown at me on a street corner as I walked my dog, soon after the stay-at-home order was issued.
But the discrimination and scapegoating of Asian Americans during the pandemic should serve as a wake-up call to Asian American’s complicity with the “model minority” stereotype.
The stereotype came into existence under the White gaze to denigrate Black Americans, shifting the blame for racial injustice from systemic racism to Black people.
In fact, the “model minority” myth is still engrained in this community, illustrated by heated debates in Asian American social networks, such as alumni groups.
The central Confucius tenets that guide human relationships–hierarchy and obedience–are in harmony with the “model minority” stereotype.