On April 20th, 2021, AABANY Board Officer Margaret Ling was a speaker at the New York Law School Community Day Symposium entitled “The Pandemic and Structures of Inequality and Racism.” Margaret was invited by New York Law School faculty members, Professors Ann Thomas and Penelope Andrews. Margaret focused on Racism and the Law and specifically how Asian lawyers are stereotyped by the Model Minority Myth. She highlighted and discussed the recent findings and recommendations from the AABANY/Paul, Weiss report: A Rising Tide of Hate and Violence Against Asian Americans in New York During Covid-19. The discussion was engaging and informative for all of the New York Law School faculty and law students. Margaret is a New York Law School alumna (Class of 1983) and a Board Director of the New York Law School Alumni Association.
Though there is much ado about the area’s growth, it is a different story for some Asian households, which fell deeper into poverty even after the recession ended.
As yet another example of why the ‘model minority’ myth is harmful, Rachel Swarns’ article illustrates how Asian Americans are far from economically monolithic and how we must disaggregate the data to paint an accurate portrait of our communities.
The indifference toward Asian American equality is a result of our having been classified under the rubric of the ‘model minority’ and thus viewed as achieving success by keeping our heads down and working hard. But Asian Americans have not achieved the success and equality that we are perceived to have reached, particularly in the legal profession.
Congrats to Mike Huang, AABANY President, whose Law Day article appears in the May 1st issue of the New York Law Journal.
On Saturday, Oct. 27, the Wall Street Journal published an article entitled, “Rise of the Tiger Nation.” (Click on the link in the title to read the full article.) It adopted wholesale the conclusions and statistics from this summer’s Pew Research Center survey of Asian Americans. In fact, the author wrote at the start of the article:
No one would dispute the opening paragraph of the Pew Research Center’s massive study of Asian-Americans, released over the summer: “Asian-Americans are the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States. They are more satisfied than the general public with their lives, finances and the direction of the country, and they place more value than other Americans do on marriage, parenthood, hard work and career success.”
Actually, this past summer, many APA groups came forward with strong criticisms of the Pew Research Center’s study, pointing out its oversimplification of the lives and experiences of the diverse community represented by APAs. Like the Pew Research Center report, this article perpetuates the model minority myth, painting a far rosier picture than actual circumstances would support. In the legal profession, APAs continue to be under-represented at the upper ranks of law firms, corporations, government, academia and the judiciary.
A search on this blog under “Pew Research Center” will call up the reactions we were able to collect this summer to that report. Take a look for yourself. Contrary to the WSJ article, many would dispute the opening paragraph of the Pew Research Center study. About the only statement that would not be disputed is the fact that APAs are the fastest growing racial group in the United States. But the growth of the APA population alone does not signify that all APAs are doing well and succeeding across the board.
What do you think of the WSJ article? Is there a “Tiger Nation” and is it on the rise?