Friday, May 13, 2011

Model Minority Myth: Sticky Floor and Bamboo Ceiling Truth?

Over the past week, there’s been so much chatter about the Model Minority Myth and the Bamboo Ceiling.

The ‘model minority’ myth owes its inception in no small part to the gaming of the University of Chicago’s 1924 Survey of Race Relations, engineered by influential members of the Chinese and Japanese immigrant communities.

While Wesley Yang brought our attention to the Bamboo Ceiling, here’s an excerpt from Sylvie Kim’s response in Hyphen:

Yes, the Bamboo ceiling sucks for an engineer who will never make it to management level. But it probably sucks more for the Asian immigrant who has to dust that Bamboo ceiling after emptying out the wastebaskets and mopping the floors. While earning no more than $12,000 a year may be a badge of Model Minority defiance for some Asian Americans, it’s a stark economic reality for others.

If it wasn’t for the following true tale that just happened to a friend, I would have drowned out the chatter and let it go.

One of the main reasons I’ve been so frustrated about job hunting is because I got rejected even though I thought I did really well on the interview. On the other hand, a classmate who also went for an interview thought she had bombed it but ended up getting the position. The thing I can’t get over is that when I found out she was also going for the position, I already felt like I wasn’t going to have a good chance at the position, mostly because she was white. The irony is that she just recently came to America from Europe while I’ve lived in America ever since I could remember. I know it’s a bit too simplistic to say that and really I have nothing that shows race may have been involved in the decision making process. I just can’t help but get so angry and frustrated at a situation that does seem to have race involved.

Never mind the Bamboo Ceiling, he got stuck on the Sticky Floor.

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