Skip to main content

I was sad, but not entirely surprised, to read about incidents of anti-Asian hate perpetrated by individuals who are Black. What a dichotomy – victims of hate hating. This is a product of systemic racism. This is how a culture of white privilege pits people of color against each other like crabs in a bucket. There is no other group that has put up with the example of Asian Americans as the Model Minority more than Black people. From childhood, we heard it from pundits, teachers, sometimes even our own parents: If you work hard, do well in school, and be nice, like Asian kids, you won’t grow up to be poor, unemployed, and/or in jail. And over a lifetime, we’ve heard it long enough for a few to harbor a festering resentment and many to develop an unconscious bias that Asians are the crabs we compete with to overcome our own barriers.

Resentment is one of the “emotional cousins” of anger. The others are hatred, contempt, and animosity. All the emotions in the anger family are destructive.[1] Destructive emotions create ugly conscious and unconscious biases even in marginalized (colonized) people, making them unwitting actors in systemic racism.

Trumpism makes a mockery of being woke. There’s a reason for it. From that mindset, being woke is an awareness of being “played”; when the con is exposed. The Myth of the Model Minority, like the concept of race itself, is a manipulation of white supremacy. Just at it produced whiteness of a different color [2], racism has a pecking order of color. Now we’re all woke. The conspiracy is the lie of race. This increasing awareness, in all people of color, is to be celebrated as another step toward exposing and dismantling the structures and manifestations of systemic racism.

[1] Goleman, D. (2004). Destructive emotions: How can we overcome them? Bantam

[2] Jacobsen, M.F. (1998). Whiteness of a different color: European immigrants and the alchemy of race. Harvard University Press