Last week, the US Supreme Court heard arguments in the big Affirmative Action case, Abigail Noel Fisher v. University of Texas. (For my expose of a suspiciously-timed hoax crime at UT, see here. For Steve Sailer’s comments on the oral arguments, see here and here).
Both sides have buried the justices in amicus curiae briefs written by their political allies. But the Fisher case is novel, because it pits briefs from Asian-American organizations arguing both for and against Affirmative Action.
Asians have been often been held up as “the model minority“—smart, hard-working, law-abiding and uncomplaining. But now a new generation of American-born Asians has arisen that denounces the “Model Minority” image as if it were something to be ashamed of.
I call the two factions submitting Fisher briefs Model Minority (MM, against) and anti-model minority Asians (AMMA, for).
East Asians have, on average, IQs about a half-standard deviation above that of whites (105-107 vs. 100. National averages: Chinese 105; Koreans 105; and Japanese 107.) East Asians are about a whole Standard Deviation above that of American “residents” in general (95).
And East Asians have been routinely discriminated against in college admissions, as have whites, because of college bureaucrats’ desire to make room for underperforming blacks and Hispanics
I first encountered the “dumb Asian” phenomenon nineteen years ago. I was working at a summer job in Chinatown, teaching journalism to Chinese future rocket scientists at a Chinese ethnic educational and welfare organization.
I had just spent the previous year teaching remedial writing and reading at a Catholic college and at a community college, respectively, in Jersey City. Many of my community college students had been functionally illiterate. So it was a joy to be able to teach brilliant 14 and 15-year olds. I’ll never forget the time my smartest student, a 14-year-old girl on her way to becoming a brain surgeon, complained in class about an unnecessary comma I’d inflicted on her essay draft, in my “corrections.” (Full disclosure: I am a comma,nist.)
I responded: “Someday you’ll be on a talk show, flogging one of your novels, and you’ll complain, ‘I once had this writing teacher who added unnecessary commas to my work.’”
That seemed to defuse the matter.
However, there were at least two other classes, and they were decidedly not rocket scientists. Nor were most of my “ABC” (American-born Chinese), or for that matter my white American colleagues. There was the not very bright white woman from Jersey City, who was adept at multicultural office politics, and who endeared herself to her non-rocket scientist kids by never correcting their work. And two young ABCs: one a dim young guy who was headed to teach in the city schools; the other our boss, a young woman who didn’t even have a B.A., but who had an uncle on the agency’s board.
The ABC guy was a fan of an AMMA magazine, called simply A, which raged against the vicious “stereotype” of the brilliant, nerdy East Asian student.
A’s unspoken “logic” went something like this:
That was the quality of A’s reasoning, notwithstanding (or because?) it was founded by four ABCs who had graduated from Harvard, where they had published a similar magazine.
A magazine edited by affluent, high-IQ Asians, arguing that Asians aren’t bright. As Don King would say, Only in America!
Fast forward: this June, AMMA groups denounced a Pew Research Center report that
[Asian-Americans Reject ‘Model Minority’ Image Painted by Pew Report by Voices of NY, Colorlines/WNYC, June 25, 2012.]
The AMMAs had no factual basis for their criticisms. Nevertheless they were outraged at the report’s good news!
A magazine ran from 1989-2002. Its most prominent founder, Jeff Yang, has done well since as a professional Asian, getting in on the Asian cultural marketing consultant scam, as an Asian “expert” writer (“Tao Jones“ for the Wall Street Journal, book deals) trading in cultural stereotyping while denouncing stereotyping, shaking down corporations for racial events, and as a prominent member of rent-seeking racial spoils organizations such as the Asian-American Journalists’ Association (AAJA) and the Asian American Justice Center which, not surprisingly, both support Affirmative Action.
AAJA worked to spin news coverage away from the obvious Asian aspect of the 2007 mass murder spree of South Korean immigrant student Cho Seung-hui at Virginia Tech. (See Asian-American Journalists Promote Media Coverup and Asian-American Journalist Association Still Shovelling, by James Fulford.)
(At the time, I spent a good 15 minutes on the telephone with an AAJA flack, who kept denying that AAJA existed to privilege Asians. But if AAJA intended only to ensure that Asians got treated fairly, it could be just a non-racial, non-ethnic, treat-everyone-fairly group.)
Leftist East Asians at AMMA organizations like the AAJA and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund have appointed themselves the representatives of their ethnic groups and aligned themselves with racist, anti-Asian blacks and Hispanics. And AMMA organizations are promoted by powerful non-Asians in the media and politics.
These are the same people who, as Ying Ma has pointed out, have helped the MSM cover up the violence that racist blacks inflict daily on East Asians. [Black Racism by Ying Ma, The American Enterprise, November/December 1998.]
Ma emphasized that, while blacks brutalize Chinese-speaking immigrant and ABC public school kids in America’s cities, the Chinese AMMAs live in the suburbs and cannot even read the Chinese-language newspapers that report this violence.
(But AMMAs would suppress this news anyway, out of loyalty to their black coalition partners.)
Journalist Nicholas Lemann supported the leftwing, anti-meritocratic AMMAs in his 1999 book, The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy , a fascinating but failed attempt to debunk the SAT and rationalize Affirmative Action. (A brilliant anonymous, yet familiar-sounding review is posted at Amazon.)
Lemann went so far out of his way to condemn Model Minority strivers that he promoted the myth that the 1992 Los Angeles riots, in which blacks murdered scores of people, caused most of the $1 billion in damage, and burned down over 1,000 Korean businesses, were the fault of Korean shopkeeper Soon Ja Du.
In 1991, Mrs. Du caught a black would-be shoplifter, Latasha Harlins, putting a juice bottle in her backpack. The strapping girl, who had the punch of a man, beat the petite, middle-aged woman, whereupon Du shot her.
Du was convicted of voluntary manslaughter, but Judge Joyce Karlin, conscious that a sentence to a jail with no Asians for protection would amount to a death warrant, sentenced Du to probation. Karlin was eventually run off the bench for her wise compassion. [Reiner Mounts Assault on Judge Joyce Karlin Over Sentencing of Grocer Soon Ja Du, By Roger M. Grace, Metnews.com, February 10, 2010]
Lemann somehow forgot the nine Korean shop clerks that blacks had murdered during the previous year alone, even though Lou Cannon had discussed the history in great detail in his monumental 1998 work Official Negligence (Oddly, the Koreans failed to riot, murder, and burn down black neighborhoods nine times.)
No example more dramatically illustrates the treachery (John Derbyshire would call it “ethno-masochism”) of the AMMA groups as their attempt, following the riots, to get Korean shopkeepers to sit down and reconcile with the very blacks who had burned their stores to the ground.
In her 1992 book, Chinatown: A Portrait of a Closed Society , New Yorker writer Gwen Kinkead talked about how the Chinese are privately racist towards all other racial and ethnic groups, while cheerfully doing business with everyone. She presented a Janus-faced picture of political power in New York’s Chinatown. The bright, official side was represented by the communal associations, led by legitimate businessmen. The dark side: behind each leader’s legal businesses (e.g., restaurants) and communal association stood his status as leader of a Chinese organized crime gang, specializing in extortion (protection), gambling, and “the snakehead“ of illegal alien smuggling.
However, the AMMAs would do nothing to reduce the crime of the old model—among other things, AMMAs adamantly support illegal immigration—but seek to introduce a new layer of power, making millions of Asians dependent on them to orchestrate government intervention for Affirmative Action and other racial spoils.
East Asian immigrants and their American-born children have specific ethnic and racial identities derived from their respective histories. For instance, the Chinese hate the Japanese, both because of specific atrocities like the Rape of Nanking, and also because of long-flourishing rivalries.
In contrast, the AMMAs are culturally deracinated. They seek to create a generic Asian-American identity—on the lines of the “Hispanic” fraud. The only content to that identity: a rabid, politicized, racial hatred of whites
They may be wrong. But the historic American nation looks to be the loser.
Nicholas Stix [email him] is a New York City-based journalist and researcher, much of whose work focuses on the nexus of race, crime, and education. He spent much of the 1990s teaching college in New York and New Jersey. His work has appeared in Chronicles, The New York Post, Weekly Standard, Daily News, New York Newsday, American Renaissance, Academic Questions, Ideas on Liberty and many other publications. Stix was the project director and principal author of the NPI report, The State of White America-2007. He blogs at Nicholas Stix, Uncensored.