This story was originally published in the January 19, 2018 issue of The Slant. Want Asian American news, media and culture in your inbox every week? Subscribe here.
When Trump made that horrifically racist comment about immigrants from Haiti and Africa, he also mentioned he would “welcome immigrants from Asia.”
Supporters defended him, saying it doesn’t make him racist—apparently because it was about economics, not race.
In other words, Trump and his supporters believe Asians (and Norwegians, apparently) are superior in skills and merit.
And once again, that upholds the outdated model minority myth.
A quick refresher
In Ellen D. Wu’s Color of Success, Wu argues that Asian Americans strategically crafted the “model minority” image of themselves as a survival strategy, assimilating when they were facing systematic discrimination.
Americans leveraged those narratives to increase diplomacy and dispel communism with Asia during the Cold War. But they also used Asian Americans as an “example” to dismiss African American protests, building a wedge between minorities.
And hell no, Trump—we’re not letting that happen again.
— Natalie Bui, editor