“The only real reply to that is we have known about the context of Asian Americans in this country with race,” she said.
“And the fact that people are unaware of it is part of the invisibility that Asian Americans have experienced and that is part of the challenge.
”Lew-Williams, whose research explores Asian American race and migration, offered historical context for racial violence against Chinese, particularly in the late-19th century.
“So that’s then the model minority … the evil scientist who is spreading disease … just our physical bodies are disease carriers, subhuman,” she added.
This sense of superiority is what “allowed Asian Americans to succeed when African Americans have ‘failed,’” according to Lew-Williams.